The Announcement of the Birth of Jesus to Mary
by Jeff Olds
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.
Today’s passage tells of the announcement to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus. This visit from the angel Gabriel is referred to as the annunciation – the announcement of the incarnation by the angel Gabriel to Mary.
In verse 28 the angel came to Mary and told her that she was the “favored” one and in verse 30 he told her that “you have found favor with God.” At biblegateway.com there is some commentary that helps develop this idea,
“The portrait Luke paints of Mary is significant. She is a model believer, taking God at his word. She is favored of God (v. 30), thoughtful (v. 29; 2:19, 51), obedient (v. 38), believing (v. 45), worshipful (v. 46) and a faithful follower of God’s law (2:22-51). It must be emphasized, however, that despite all these qualities, God’s choice of Mary to bear this child springs from his grace, not from any inherent merit that she possesses. She is the object of God’s unmerited, graciously provided goodness. Her description as one who has found favor with God (kecharitomene, v. 30) makes it clear that God has acted on her behalf and not because of her. In fact, Mary is totally perplexed by the sudden announcement. She did not ask for or seek this role in God’s plans; God has simply stepped into her life and brought her into his service. Her asset is that she is faithful. She should be honored for her model of faithfulness and openness to serve God, but that does not mean she is to be worshiped. Luke wants us to identify with Mary’s example, not to unduly exalt her person.”
During this Advent season, may we strive to develop the characteristics that allowed Mary to be favored by God.
Father, help me to find favor with you.