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Luke Chapter 1:26-45

Memory verses for this week:  John 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

Introduction: We continue our study of the book of Luke as we cover the middle section of Chapter One.  Last week, we studied about Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth.  The angel of the Lord came to Zacharias and told him that he would have a son in his old age.   This son would come in the Spirit and power of Elijah, and his name would be John.   From the day of these tidings until John the Baptist was born, Zacharias lost his ability to speak.  We pickup this week in Verse 26 as Mary receives a similar message about her upcoming birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.


I.   The Announcement to Mary of the Birth of Christ

Luke 1:26  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

Luke 1:27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

Luke 1:28  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

The birth of a Saviour had been promised many years before the angel visited Mary.  In the beginning creation, God promised that there would be one that would come that would be our Savior.

Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

The term “Her seed” referred to the seed of a woman.  And her seed was none other than Jesus Christ.

Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

In this verse in Isaiah, it is clearly told that a virgin would conceive a son.   Immanuel means “God with us.”  Mary was a virgin and had never knew a man.

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isa 9:7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

What great names are associated with our Lord Jesus Christ.  Wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. 

In verse 26, it says the angel appeared to Mary six months after Elisabeth had conceived.  Gabriel seemed to be the angel that the Lord always used to bring announcements.   We have only three angels mentioned by name in the bible, Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer which fell as recorded in Isaiah Chapter 14.   Whether all three of these were arch-angels is not clear, but Michael is clearly noted as an archangel in Jude 9.   I’ve always thought these three were the three archangels of God and given special tasks to accomplish.   We know a large number of the angels were cast out with Lucifer when he was cast out of Heaven.

2 Pet 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Gabriel was sent to a certain city and to a certain person which was Mary.  Mary was a virgin espoused to Joseph.  Note she is not just a young girl as some versions of the bible make it out, but she is identified twice in verse 27 as a “virgin.”  In verse 28, it says that Mary was:

“Thou art highly favored.”

“The Lord is With thee.”

“Blessed art thou among women.”

These things were not said about her because she was a popular person or because she lived a worldly life.  It was because she was a women who lived a separated life and was willing to serve God even if it cost her.  Mary was a virgin of the house of David which made her born of David’s greater son.   She was not chosen because she was a virgin, but she had to be to be chosen as Jesus’ earthly mother.  But it was due to her being a spiritual person and subject to the will of God.  Mary was from the tribe of Judah and qualified to bring the Savior into the world.    We see the promise made to David concerning His son and the reference to Christ.

2 Sam 7:12  And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

2 Sam 7:13  He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

2 Sam 7:14  I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:


Luke 1:29  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

Luke 1:30  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

Luke 1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

The announcement by the angel troubled Mary.  She did not understand what he was telling her at this time.  The angel told here to not fear but to realize that she had found favour with God.  She would conceive and bring forth a son who would be called Jesus.  Jesus of course means “Saviour”.

Luke 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Luke 1:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

The angel tells Mary that her son would be great and would be called the son of the Highest.   Many who did not respect Jesus for who He was simply called him Joseph’s son, but Joseph was not Christ’s true Father.  The Holy Ghost came upon Mary when she conceived.   Joseph was Christ’s ‘step father’ as he might be called.  He raised him on earth, but he was not Christ’s father.   God promised that Jesus would be given the throne of David.  It was a literal throne there in Jerusalem, and one day, after the seven years of Tribulation, Jesus will come and take up that throne.  In Acts, the apostles asked Jesus if God would at that time restore the kingdom to Israel.

Acts 1:6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Acts 1:7  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.


Acts 15:13  And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

Acts 15:14  Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

Acts 15:15  And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

Acts 15:16  After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

Acts 15:17  That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

After the times of the Gentiles, God will return again and setup that throne of David.   Christ in that day will reign 1,000 years on the throne.  (Rev 20:4-6)

J. Vernon McGee said this about Christ.

This is plain language. There is no way of misinterpreting it. This passage is quite literal. Those folks who deny the virgin birth also do not believe that the Lord is going to sit on the throne of His father David. Apparently it was understood that what Luke is writing about is literal. The virgin’s womb is literal, and the throne of David is literal. He shall literally reign over the house of Jacob, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end. That kingdom is also a reality.  [i]

God stated that He would reign over the house of “Israel” forever.   Israel was the name God gave to Jacob, and this has reference to the natural descendants of Jacob, the natural Jews.   After the Millennial Kingdom, this kingdom will be moved to the new heaven and new earth and there will be no end of the kingdom.

Luke 1:34  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

Luke 1:35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Mary had to be both shocked and perplexed by this news.   She asks a simple and pointed question… “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”  This also points to the fact that she was a virgin.   It was not a lack of faith, as it was when Zacharias could not understand how he (and his wife) could have a son since they were well stricken in years.  Mary was asking for enlightenment as to how it was to happen.   The angel tells her that the Holy Ghost would come upon her.

Luke 1:36  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Luke 1:37  For with God nothing shall be impossible.

To confirm Mary’s faith, Gabriel tells here that her cousin Elisabeth, known as barren, had also conceived and was now six months along with child.   This points out how we know John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus.  While all of this might be hard to believe, verse 37 makes it clear.  “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

I thought J. Vernon McGee’s comments on verse 37 were especially good.

The birth of John the Baptist is also miraculous, but it is not a virgin birth. The statement of the angel, “For with God nothing shall be impossible,” is a good one and something we need to hold onto during these days. I want to emphasize, however, that there are folk who have taken this statement and twisted and distorted its meaning. There is nothing impossible with God when He has determined to do it, but He will not necessarily do the impossible we ask of Him. Many people use this verse as a cliche to cover up the fact that they want their own selfish desires. Nothing is impossible with God, but there is a great deal that is impossible with you and me. When a man says, “Nothing is impossible with God” and fails at some task he claims the Lord gave him to do, it causes unbelievers to ridicule God. Anything God determines to do He can accomplish, because there is nothing impossible with God. But that does not mean He will do everything believers want Him to do, because some things are not included in His plan. Let us put everything in proper perspective before we do a lot of talking that will hurt and harm the cause of Jesus Christ rather than help it.  [ii]

Luke 1:38  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Mary was a woman of faith, and says for it be unto her according to thy word.   I wonder if we were faced with such a difficult thing, would be so quick to agree.   No doubt she realized that she would be facing shame from a world who would never believe the truth about her situation.  These peculiar circumstances were not normal, and the world would never believe that she was chosen of God for this great miracle.   But Mary was a humble servant, and accepted all of this as God’s Will and bowed in submission to His Will.   She was engaged to be married, and I’m sure she wondered what Joseph would think.   We have a record of some of the things Joseph went through when he was told of what was to transpire with Mary.

Mat 1:18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Mat 1:19  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

Mat 1:20  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Mat 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Joseph’s great love for Mary is shown by his willingness to hide her away privately rather than making her be shamed before the public.  She truly might have been stoned to death had he exposed her since the since of adultery was punishable by death.  She was not guilty of any sin, but men and women would have thought she was.   Because God sent the angel to tell Joseph the truth, he accepted things and did things the right way.

II. Mary Visits Elisabeth

Luke 1:39  And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

Luke 1:40  And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

The bible doesn’t tell us the thoughts Mary must have had after the angel departed.  No doubt she would have wondered what her acquaintances and relatives would think of her.  Would they believe her account of the angel, or think she had created the story to hid something she had done.   Mary goes in haste to see her cousin, Elisabeth.  While their situations were different, God was involved in both of their lives.    Elisabeth was too old to have a child, but yet she was expecting one in a few months.   Most likely she would have words of comfort to Mary who was young at this time.

Luke 1:41  And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

As Mary saluted Elisabeth, John leaped in her womb and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.   This was another indication of how God was pleased and blessed both of these women.

Luke 1:42  And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Luke 1:43  And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Luke 1:44  For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luke 1:45  And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Elisabeth greets Mary with great words that had to encourage and uplift her.  “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”  These are not only words of faith, but point to the purity of Mary.   And further proof of the words of Gabriel about how this mysterious child would be none other but God manifested in the flesh.   This had to be a great blessing to Mary.   Elisabeth tells her that there will be a performance of those things told her from the Lord.   Mary was truly a chosen vessel of God.  She perhaps was the greatest woman that lived during this time.   But irregardless of her greatness and purity, we do need to remember that is all she was.  A great woman chosen of God to be the mother of Jesus Christ.  She has no more power with God than any other saved person.   Some teach that she can intercede for you with God.  That is not true teaching.  We are to come in the name of Jesus, the name above every other name.

Matthew Henry said this about the meeting of Mary and Elisabeth.

Blessed is she that believed. Believing souls are blessed souls, and will be found so at last; this blessedness cometh through faith, even the blessedness of being related to Christ, and having him formed in the soul. They are blessed who believe the word of God, for that Word will not fail them; there shall, without doubt, be a performance of those things which are told her from the Lord. Note, The inviolable certainty of the promise is the undoubted felicity of those that build upon it and expect their all from it. The faithfulness of God is the blessedness of the faith of the saints. Those that have experienced the performance of God’s promises themselves should encourage others to hope that he will be as good as his word to them also: I will tell you what God has done for my soul.

    Mary’s song of praise, upon this occasion. Elisabeth’s prophecy was an echo to the virgin Mary’s salutation, and this song is yet a stronger echo to that prophecy. We may suppose the blessed virgin to come in, very much fatigued with her journey; yet she forgets that, and is inspired with new life, and vigour, and joy, upon the confirmation she here meets with of her faith; and since, by the sudden inspiration and transport, she finds that this was designed to be her errand hither, weary as she is, like Abraham’s servant, she would neither eat nor drink till she had told her errand.   [iii]


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[iii]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.