“Favor With God”
I want the favor of God but I don’t understand His favor. My thinking on this subject is largely influenced by my human desire for comfort. God’s favor does not equal worldly comfort.
Luke 1:26-45 Gabriel is back with the next appointment.
Last week we saw the visit with Zacharias in the Temple. This week Gabriel comes with news for the young Jewish woman, Mary. His message to her is about favor: “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Let’s just say that God’s favor turned Mary’s life upside down.
We view Luke as an investigative reporter so I want us to picture the interview that Dr. Luke has with Mary, the mother of Jesus. There are multiple subplots concerning this interview:
1. A Greek background of philosophy and logic meeting the traditions and culture of Judaism.
2. A learned man of medicine and a Jewish peasant woman.
Look at the topics covered:
Angels – ___________________________________________________________________
Birth – ____________________________________________________________________
Cultural aspect of betrothal – _________________________________________________ The detail in this account establishes the context for a Gentile to grasp the enormity of what Gabriel tells Mary.
The character of who God chose – So Luke the Dr. has the testimony and he tells every generation that follows – the Angel spoke truth – a virgin shall give birth to God’s Son. This is a report on the situation as well as the character of Mary. Likewise – the character of Joseph, who will be the real time example of manhood for Jesus, “Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.” (2:4-5)
Last week I talked about the tone of Gabriel’s voice when he addressed Zacharias. I think it came with great command and authority. This week the tone is different.
Verse 29 says Mary was troubled when she “saw him” and at what he said but not at how he said it. ______________________________________________________________________
Since the instant Gabriel had been created his right relationship to God was bringing glory and honor to His Name (see Revelation 5:13). Gabriel is in awe at the plan of God and whom the Lord will use for His purposes.
1. You have found favor with God.
2. You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.
3. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the highest
4. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of the Father David.
5. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.
The difference between Zacharias question and Mary’s question is this:
Zacharias doubt was an issue of faith – “I am old and my wife is advanced in years.”
Mary’s question was not about her capability, but about her innocence: “I do not know a man.”
Gabriel gives her the reason she can trust his message and in her Lord: “For with God nothing will be impossible.”
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