“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
— Luke 1:32Read the full passage: Luke 1:26–38
The day Mary met Gabriel was an amazing day. That day, Mary experienced the grace of God in a way she never experienced it before. She was amazed at what was being said to her. The angel immediately greeted her as “favored one”! It was not because of Mary’s personal prestige that she was “favored” but because of God’s amazing grace. It was put on Mary by God Himself! She was to be the recipient of God’s grace. Mary was full of grace only because she had received the undeserved, unmerited favor of God.
This is the first time this form of the Greek word charis is used in the New Testament. God’s grace on Mary was ultimately inexplicable by human reasoning but was God’s choice in carrying out part of His redemptive plan on mankind.
The grace Mary experienced in this brief announcement extended to the virgin birth and also to the revelation of the entire ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. It includes His saving work, His righteous life, deity, resurrection, ascension, glorious return, and kingdom rule. All of that was in the few brief words Gabriel gave to a young teenager who was to be the mother of Jesus. The use of Gabriel’s phrases remind us of the familiar Old Testament scriptures regarding the Messiah. He will be great, the Son of the Most High, He will have the throne of David, He will reign over Jacob, and His kingdom will be eternal! Wow! What a meeting! And what a message! And what AMAZING GRACE to Mary, and to us!
Gabriel’s message to Mary introduces a pivotal point in God’s redemptive plan. What people do with this Son Jesus will determine their eternal destiny! Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). And the Scripture says, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Mary was confused and greatly troubled because it was impossible for her to have a son since she was a virgin. The angel gave her a sign: Elizabeth, who was older and barren, was also pregnant. And Gabriel proclaimed, “nothing will be impossible with God” (v. 37). God will do what God wants to do. And Mary was to give birth to the Savior of the world. What an incredible time in history, in Mary’s life, and for us. Mary responded as a humble servant to God when she replied, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word” (v. 38).
God’s Word was fulfilled, and He used His humble, willing servant to accomplish His purpose. Just as Mary received wonderful, matchless grace from God on that day, we did as well.
Questions for Thought
- Have you moved from knowing about God to knowing God through His Son, our Messiah Jesus Christ?
- Are you willing to be God’s humble servant to share the good news of God’s grace with others this Christmas season?
Minister of Pastoral Care and Missions
Alan has served full-time on staff of First Baptist Church of Dallas since May of 1987. He has a passion to minister to and assist the body of Christ, to experience God’s fullest blessings. He is passionate about the great commandment and the Great Commission. And he is passionate about his family. Alan and his wife, Janna, have three adult married children, and six grandchildren.