The Annunciation of the King
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name as Mary. 28And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. Luke 1:26-30
Mary’s Visitation of Good News
The only thing we really know about Mary is that at the time of the angelic visit is that she was a virgin and betrothed to Joseph, of the descendants of David. However, four times in Luke chapter one Mary is acknowledged as one who is blessed. This creates the question: “What is so special about her that would catch the eye of God?” It truly makes one wonder as to what God values. But whatever it was that caught His eye we do know that Christ chose a teenage girl of no reputation to entrust His humanity.
In my opinion Mary’s favor goes beyond her being entrusted with the babe but also that she would divine favor even in the midst of the ridicule and mockery of man during her pregnancy with Jesus and after. This idea can be seen in multiple areas from Joseph staying with her instead of sending her away, the finding of the manger, the financial provision from the magi, the two angelic warnings to flee from danger and even Jesus making sure at the cross that she would be taken care of so to fulfill His duty as firstborn. The angel makes it clear that not only does she have favor but the Lord is also with her. This is seen in that the Lord is with her to watch over her much like He did with Joshua son of Nun and in the midst of everything no harm comes to her.
A peculiar point of interest is that she is perplexed by this greeting, the ESV Bible says that she was “greatly troubled” by this introduction. One can only wonder what about the heavenly compliment troubled her. Was it because an angel sent from the Lord was before her or perhaps because she remembered all the other times someone in the O.T. had an angelic visitation and suspected a hard season a head.
“Ever since Eve women have believed for a son, One who’d reverse the sin caused curse.” –Justin Rizzo chorus. Truly since the fall women had been looking for a seed, a child, a son that would crush the head of the serpent and bring forth redemption. For the first promise of redemption was spoken of a promised seed to come from woman. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3:15 This child who was promised at the fall would be great and now it was finally time for the child to come forth. The child of promise was finally drawing nigh. Redemption was finally at hand and Mary was to be the chosen womb that redemption would come through.
The Annunciation of the King
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:31-35 In this prophecy that Mary is receiving we see the identity of the baby she was to birth. Multiple facets are revealed of this Child, though there main facet that is revealed of Jesus not only mentioned twice but as the first and the last thing to be said of Him and that being His Divinity.
“…and you shall name Him Jesus.” Jesus or Yeshua means “The Lord saves” which is synonymous with the Old Testament name Joshua. This name is not only significant for what it means but also because of the two Joshua’s in the Old Testament that are foreshadows of Christ.
Joshua the son of Nun was Moses successor as well as the only one of two to make it from Egypt to the Promised Land. Joshua was both a mighty warrior and a good leader in that the people followed the Lord under his leadership as well as was able to raise up godly leaders to replace him. It was said of Joshua that even when Moses would leave the tabernacle Joshua would stay. This shows us that he was both priestly and a warrior. The messiah is also considered to be a second Moses. “Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.” Exodus 33:11…“except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have followed the LORD fully.” Numbers 32:12… “Then He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you.’” Deuteronomy 31:23…“Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, and had known all the deeds of the LORD which He had done for Israel.” Joshua 24:31…“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me(Moses) from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. 18I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you(Moses), and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.” Deuteronomy 18:15,18
Joshua the son of Jehozadok who was the priest of the Lord that was crowned king. Joshua being both priest and king was as a foreshadow of the two offices being united together through Christ. “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD. 13Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.”’ 14Now the crown will become a reminder in the temple of the LORD to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen the son of Zephaniah.” Zechariah 6:12-14
“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High”(His Divinity). The first thing angel reveals about the baby after giving His name is His divine identity. This Child will be great and will be the Son of God, the greatness defines His identity as the Son of God. Finally the One whom David encountered in those hills in Bethlehem was to finally come forth, the one who was the LORD’s chosen King that the nations were to be given too. The One who is to sit at the right hand of the LORD as His enemies are made a footstool was finally to come forth. “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.” 7“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. 8‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.’” Psalm 2:6-8…“The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’ 2The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, ‘Rule in the midst of Your enemies.’” Psalm 110:1-2
The Lord highlights the Divine Identity of the Child over anything. This is first and foremost who the Child is, the Son of God. This child is YHWH! First she finds out that she was to bear a Son and name Him Jesus, and now she is being told that it would be God’s Son. This in itself must have caught Mary by great surprise. Mary was to carry God, YHWH inside her womb. The magnitude of this is beyond what words can express. The humility that it would create in Mary is great, yet the humility of this act for God to become a human fetus and dwell in a sinful human for 9 months and then be raised by a human couple is unmatchable and unthinkable. We cannot just merely write this off but truly should take time and just reflect on this reality of how humble God was to come.
“the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David” (The Promised King). The Babe’s second identity that being the descendant of David. The Lord has not forgotten His promise that He gave David that His throne will be established forever. The Lord in His great love for His friend David came in the flesh to fulfill His promise to His friend on His own. “Truly is not my house so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me…” 2 Samuel 23:5 This Child was born to sit on the throne of David, and from there He shall rule. He was destined to be as His father David but in a far greater way. This is the child of promise that the Lord had promised to David and that the prophets spoke of.
“He will reign over the house of Jacob forever” (The Eternal King). This Child will sit upon throne of His father David forever ruling and reigning in the City of David, in Jerusalem. He will never die nor be replaced as King. Israel will finally have a king again but this king will be unlike any other king that Israel or even the world has ever seen before. For upon the throne of David, God in flesh will reign forever. Israel’s long awaited King has finally come and it is God Himself. Where men had failed in times past to lead His people rightly God Himself in His great love and humility has come to rule and reign forever. He has come to lead His people Israel Himself upon the throne of His friend David.
“His kingdom will have no end” (The Conqueror King). His Kingdom will truly have no end. He will not be defeated and it will be expansive. It will not cease to grow. His Kingdom will grow in strength, power and economically. Though those areas may not look the way they do now we do know this Kingdom will not stop expanding. The Roman Empire was the most vast and strongest of the ancient kingdoms but even Rome was stopped from expanding. Jesus Kingdom will not be stopped but will overcome and conquer all opposition.
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (The Lord will bring forth redemption). This will not and could not happen on man’s own strength but God in His loving power is showing His strength and bringing forth redemption. This is not man’s doing but God’s. God in His great love is doing this. God is showing His power in bringing forth redemption. In doing this God is in essence revealing not only His great love and power but His great humility.
“ for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” Once again we are reminded of the Divine Identity of this Child. This is such an important fact that the angel mentions it at the beginning and the end. The people had been waiting for the descendant of David to rule and reign as king, but the idea of God in flesh being this king was foreign. The Lord found it important that Mary would know who this Child was that He had the angel say it twice. This is not some mere child but this is YHWH. This Child is the promised One that Isaiah had prophesied of. The One that was to come and establish an eternal Kingdom.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7
The Sign of Confirmation and Mary’s Yes
36And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:36-38 After the angel Gabriel gives the prophecy, he gives Mary a sign of confirmation. The sign being that her relative Elizabeth who in her old age was no longer barren but now six months pregnant. This was word was given to confirm that which she had just been told. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” God in His matchless strength, power and wisdom can do anything. Nothing can hinder Him, for He who spoke creation into being holds all power. “…for wisdom and power belong to Him.” Daniel 2:20
The Annunciation marks the beginning of a new season in Redemptive History. It is the announcing of the beginning of another era in Redemptive History. The Messiah’s long awaited arrival was finally drawing nigh. “As the fall of man was a free act, so too the Redemption had to be free. What is called the Annunciation was actually God asking the free consent of a creature to help Him be incorporated into humanity.” “And Mary said, ‘Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38
 Fulton Sheen, Life of Christ, (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1958), p 17.