Luke 1:26-30 O’ Favored ones
Luke 1:26-30 O’ Favored ones
Before Mary heard she would conceive a child from the Holy Spirit. She first was troubled and tried to discern the “greeting” of favor that had been revealed to her through the angel Gabriels message about Jesus her Son to come.
We left off reading two Sundays ago the foretelling of John the Baptist by the angel Gabriel, making Elizabeth and Zechariah parents, God keeping His Word.
John being “good news” to both Zechariah and Elizabeth and to many...
“and you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.”
But not all the people of the world…
See today we will start reading of “The Birth Of Jesus Foretold.”
And while Jesus will be mentioned and brought to light in verse 31, we will stop today at verse 30 and ponder, discern and engage in what Mary just went through in our text with the angel Gabriel. (This ultimately pointing us to Christ)
So we will discern, weigh in, and engage deeply in the saying of the angel of the Lord to Mary.
Which we know the messenger who stands in the presence of God, is not delivering “the angels message“ but God’s message.
Let us read our text this morning:
Please stand for the reading of God’s Word
Luke 1:26-30 “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Luke 1:26 “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,”
Context being important us needing to know...
This being the same year and timeframe when John was announced to Zechariah and Elizabeth (no year passed, it was the same year)
So now 6 months into Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John, we read the “angel Gabriel was sent from God...” again
So Gabriel in the 6th month, same year and we know this because Of Lukes orderly account that he sought to write influenced and led by the Holy Spirit to write this accurate narrative of Jesus life.
“The angel Gabriel…was sent” - was sent in greek means to be dispatched or to become sent towards a designated goal to send someone a message
And we know from reading the story of Zechariah about John’s birth announcement that this is nothing new for the angel of the Lord to do, to deliver messages from God
This message however being the most anticipated message, in the history of the world.
Yes John was lower case “good news” but now the angel Gabriel has been sent out again...
But to where? to a city of Galilee to a small village named Nazareth
Not to a Temple where he met Zechariah, mind you where the tabernacle was
But the angle it’s as if left the Temple and returned to heaven and then 6 months later entered into the small village named Nazareth; in the city of Galilee
Remember Context - It is dark times for the people of God. Where king Herod ruled; issuing worship of others god’s
And the people of God needing a reminder of hope quickly as it’s been 400 years of silence from God.
So God sends Gabriel to Nazareth
Real quick facts about Nazareth:
The city of Nazareth is not mentioned in literature prior to the NT
Nazareth which is lower Galilee that was Jesus’ childhood home; situated on a ridge 500 meters above sea level
So who was the angel Gabriel sent to this time?
Luke 1:27 “to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.”
So Gabriel was sent to a virgin, meaning she was saving herself for marriage to have children
“Virgin” - in greek can also mean an unmarried person
So Mary has not had sex and she has no children
But we read that this “virgin” is “betrothed to a man.”
Pause here for a min: Listen in. We see it throughout all Scripture God made man and he made woman. - Children and Students listen in God made man for woman.
So here even in the Gospel of Luke through Mary and Joesph being “betrothed” to one another
We can know that God created man to be with woman
There is knowhere in Scripture that speaks of a man being with a man it being ok; or a woman being with another woman and this being ok. No.
It speaks of the same sex living in this lifestyle as an “abomination before the Lord”
And any other way (except for Man with a Woman) is sinful and disobedient to His order and ways.
So we read that Mary was “betrothed” to a man...
What does the word “betrothed”?
We know it as an engagement “He proposed to her.”
But Betrothed - in greek means to be or become legally promised in marriage to the opposite sex.
So Mary and Joesph have promised (legally) to one another, that they want to be together in marriage
Mary being a woman and Joseph being a man
In Jewish culture:
A man and woman were betrothed or pledged to each other for a period of time before the actual consummation of their marriage.
This betrothal was much stronger than an engagement period of today, for the two were considered husband and wife; except that they did not live together till after the wedding.
It was a promise with weight; and without sharing in intimacy with one another until the day of the wedding
See in our culture today this thought seems absurd, because we look at engagement as a means of a promise to come
In our culture now, Engagement is leading to a day where the marriage will become legal.
But in Mary and Josephs day they looked at it “legally” without the blessings and benefits of living together before marriage.
Which living together as man and woman under the same roof; not married provides great amounts of shame and tension to build in your relationship
As with living together comes the temptation to be sexually active with that person
Mary had not been with a man, for Luke called her a virgin and noted that she was pledged, promised to be with Joesph and bound legally in our context to him. In this looking forward to the blessings marriage offers in the covenant of marriage.
So who was this virgin engaged too or betrothed too?
Luke 1:27 “to a virgin betrothed...to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.”
So Introduce the virgin Mary, soon to be husband to “Joseph”
And we can see here that Joesph is from the “house of David And the virgin’s name was Mary.”
Next Sunday we will dive more into what this means as it’s also mentioned in Luke 1:32
So we know in our text so far we have the angel Gabriel, the virgin Mary and Joesph her soon to be husband
Luke 1:28 “And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!””
So now in the little village of Nazareth which is in the city of Galilee
The angle of the Lord, Gabriel speaks “Greetings” to Mary
When we hear someone start off a welcome by the word “greetings” what might come to mind is that they come in peace and with good intentions (Anne Of Green Gables)
“Greetings...” in greek means to “rejoice” or “be glad”
So when someone would say, “greetings” this was a sign “to greet with a wish of health and happiness”
So Mary can hopefully begin to see this is a good greeting
But it doesn't mean it wasn’t still a shock to her and brought fear to her
“Greetings...O favored one, the Lord is with you!”…
Luke 1:29 “But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.”
Now as we know from Zechariah’s experience and encounter with the angel of the Lord in the Temple of the Lord from...
Luke 1:11-12 “And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.”
So we know Zechariah was troubled and “fear fell upon him.”
But here we can see Mary had already heard the greeting of the angel of the Lord
And in this greeting she heard these words first that… “O Favored one the Lord was with you!” - What words to hear? Right?
Now Zechariah did not hear what Mary heard, which was ”greetings“ No the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah standing, but the angle didn’t say “greetings” to him, but he did say ”do not be afraid”
So their is similarities in the encounters. Mary’s encounter is more of a gentle approach, no that either one lacked compassion and love
But in the word “greeting” so Mary would of found rejoicing before Zechariah who didn’t first hear the word “greeting”
So “The Lord is with you Mary” and she was still was “greatly troubled...”
In the greek “greatly troubled” -means to throw into confusion and to be perplexed at something someone says
See Mary wasn’t confused as to why the angel is their per say, but more so at what the angels greeting entailed
“But she was greatly troubled at the saying...” (the message or details the saying)
Church this morning our greek definitions will help us see that this moment was less about presence of the angel and more about the weight of the angles “saying” to and about Mary.
See in our text, what only has the angel said so far to Mary? “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
What would be confusing about this? Shouldn’t this be Good News? Why is she greatly troubled at the saying?
Let us continue on in V. 29
”and she was greatly troubled at the saying…and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.”
So we know she is greatly troubled - meaning thrown into confusion at the saying and now...
Why would she seek to “try to discern” this saying or greeting? Isn’t it clear enough to Mary the angels intentions?
“Mary, the LORD IS WITH YOU!”
In the greek “try to discern” - means to engage in deep thought, weigh in or consider
What was she “trying to discern?” “what kind of greeting this might be?”
In the greek “what sort of” - meaning what origin, of what country, of what kind of greeting this might be? Or how great!
What is going on? Where is this angel coming from? What does this greeting and saying mean? But overall this is quite a great moment!
So if we know “greeting” in greek means “to rejoice or be glad”
Then why is she thrown into “troubled?” thrown into confusion?
Why is she trying to discern this greetings saying?
Isn’t it clear to her Gabriel’s message?
“Mary the Lord is with you!”
Mind you Mary was Jewish and they were awaiting the Messiah to come, so this wasn’t just something random that was happening this was BIG NEWS!
She had been waiting just like all the other people of God for God to break the silence with the coming Savior and waiting for God to speak and here was Gabriel again.
Lets read verse 30
Luke 1:30 “And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”
Wait! Hasn’t the angle already spoken Mary as “Favored?”
So what happens here, is the angel Gabriel speaks back to her; and clarifies and brings home once again what he said about Mary
Not only being favored, but “Mary you have found favor with God.”
But first we can see it says…Do not be afraid...” - rightfully so the angel who stands in the presence of God is there
And we see the same thing play out when Zechariah saw Gabriel in Luke 1:12-13 “And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.”
And the angel without asking Mary her name, mentions her name in his greeting...
is this not becoming all to personal?
So what does Mary hear next?
“Mary… for you have found favor with God.”
Mary while fearful we can read of, as many in Scripture are struck with fear and awe at the sighting; and presence of an angel
But thats not her biggest concern at this moment (while absolutely an amazing and awe struck moment)
Lets Recap Really Fast whats going on:
So first we have the angel saying to Mary “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
Then “she is greatly troubled” - meaning thrown into confusion
After that she is trying to discern what sort of greeting this might be? thinking deeply, and engaged in deep thought
And now Gabriel makes it as plain as day “Mary The Lord is with you!” & now again, “Mary you have found favor with God!”
What does this mean?
That “Mary has found favor with God?”
“You have found” - in the greek means to find, reach and or learned your position
You have found what?
“favor” - Church this morning I need you listen in.
I know we have looked at a lot this morning but don’t miss this!
Do you know what this word “favor” in the greek means?
We know favor with humans as a good thing; so as to earn ones favor is never a negative thing; but favor the God is on a whole another level.
This word favor in the greek means grace, good will or gift.
Gabriel was sent to Mary to deliver a message, and in our text this is before Christ is mentioned to her that she will give birth to by the conceiving of the Holy Spirit
So God lets Mary know this truth of favor or grace - that she “has found favor with Him.”
It is important to really look at how the text is placed for us this morning in Luke 1:26-30
Mary isn’t trying discern why the angel is present, but more so troubled and trying to discern the greeting of favor Gabriel carried from God to Mary
And the greeting is this “Mary, you have found favor with God.”
Going back to our greek word for “You have found” - meaning learned your position
In God’s timeline; so all who are chosen in Christ He knows; and at the right time so this salvation is revealed to us through faith in Christ.
At this moment Mary was having a realization; learning her position where she is finding out she is chosen and favored in Christ
But Jesus wasn’t born yet how could this be?
1689 BF&M - Point 6 “Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ until after His incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages.”
Meaning in our narrative, Christ hasn’t been born yet; but it doesn’t mean that Christ’s grace and favor can’t be offered to those whom God chose before the foundation of the world.
In the OT and NT those who are spoken of as righteous; so all are found in one righteousness alone and that’s Christ righteousness.
Exodus 34:6-7 “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.””
Mary is baffled and perplexed not alone at the appearing of the angel; but what the angels greeting and message was “favored one! - You have found favor with God.”
Mary can not get past that God would have favor upon her:
Marys use of words such as troubled and discern help us see this moment was a deeply pondered, patient and in awe visitation.
See from V.26-30 - Mary doesn't know about having a child yet! She soon will in next weeks message as we continue on in Luke
But what is happening is she is gripped, halted to ponder the reality that God has favor upon her; and her being a recipient of God’s grace and mercy through Christ who is to come.
Mary just like us knows that she is a sinner, and wayward and knows that this favor she is being offered is unmatched and worthy of pondering and pausing because it is from the Father in heaven.
A gift of grace who is to be adorned by Christ to come.
I love what Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,”
Church this message of Jesus birth foretold - while we haven’t read of Christ in the narrative yet (which is v. 31)
So we know it is through Christ we have “found” life
Through faith in Christ we have learned and discerned out position, as Christians who have been shown favor & (grace)
Mary can not believe that God would have favor for her, (Grace) for her // It even has to be repeated twice to her.
And that the expression of this grace, who is Christ would one day live in her conceived of the Holy Spirit so as full filing the OT prophets that ”he will be born of a virgin…”
Isa 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
To be born of a virgin, live a sinless life, be crucified under Pontious pilate, would die on a cross to cover our sin and shame only on the third day to rise again in VICTORY.
We who are Christians in this place, God has looked upon us, and said what he has said to Mary “Favor” - grace upon our broken and fragile lives.
Church this morning if you are in Christ:
“You have found” - in the greek means to find, reach and or learned your position
God has revealed to you our position in Christ, you have learned your position just as He did with Mary in this story.
As you have heard of what Christ has done for us on the cross; so God in HIs faithfulness and sovereign choosing has chosen to open our eyes to this grace, this favor Found only in Christ.
He has helped us learn our position in Him that has been there before the creation of the world.
Ephesians 1:4 “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love”
Christ Jesus the one not born of the seed of man, but Conceived of the Holy Spirit so as to not even touch sin or unrighteousness to be the perfect atonement and sacrifice for your sins.
Mary must of been baffled because she knows her sin, she knows where she has been
She knows her disobdience to God’s law and how she can’t keep it. - Yet God rich in mercy through Christ has revealed and been a giver in grace
A call for us this morning to discern, sit with and engage in deep thought; weigh-in and consider really what has been given to us in Christ. - Favor which is grace.
This greeting was amazing, this Saying was huge; and it required moments of reflection to cherish the favored words Of God the Father to her broken life.
And we Christians who have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift we receive as we trust and put faith in Christ; after He reveals it to us...
And after pondering God’s grace through Christ so we are found rejoicing for we have found hope and life and rescue from sin.
If you this morning are not a Christian:
There is favor for you in Christ; but you have been living for yourself and not for His glory and purposes.
May the Lord today, reveal to you truly what Christ as done for you, saving you from yours sins by going to the cross
“you have found” - to be learned. Unbeliever this morning hear the Word of the Lord this morning that it may be counted to you as righteousness
Romans 4:3 “For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.””
Believe God, John 3:16-17 ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Let’s just be real Mary was stopped in her tracks when she heard of this “favor of God towards her”
What will stop you in your tracks this morning? I pray it is this truth
If you do not know Christ and you never trust in Him as Lord and Savior of your life, by grace through faith. Then you will never receive favor, but a life of fear and seperation from God in a place called hell.
And Abraham believed the Lord - means he counted as True. || Trust in Christ this morning and receive the favor of the Lord.
Mary is “found” in christ before the announcement of Christ to her
Before hearing that Mary would conceive a Son by the Holy Spirit. She first was met and captivated by the grace her future Son (Christ) would bring; not only to her but the world lost in sin.
This grace who is Christ (conceived of the Holy Spirit) would one day dwell in her.
And one day; such as today Christ dwells in us by the power of the Holy Spirit by grace through faith
For us Christians Christ lives in us by and through the power of the Holy Spirit
Which is the gift of God He freely gives to those whom He has chosen to give spiritual, life and sight too.
Remember Favor in the greek means grace or gift.
This favor - this grace, we receive through faith in Christ is present in us as the gift of the Holy Spirit and praise God.
The gift of the Holy Spirit which is our inheritance to be welcomed back into the presence of our perfect Savior.
- We know where we have been, what we have done
- And when we hear that Christ has come to offer us “favor” so it leaves us baffled; us trying to understand it, but ultimately it’s by faith we believe which is a gift of God.
The promise and covenant what Mary and Joesph were to soon enter into
Now a new covenant was to come; Christ who would be born soon to them as parents and to all the world as Savior and Lord
Offering Favor to His chosen Children who would have salvation revealed to them.
As our text mentions the word favor twice:
So it brings to mind John 1:16 “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”
In Christ we have life and grace and are rescued from the penalty of sin, we who are found in Christ; the favored ones.