26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 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. LUKE 1:26-28
The passage of scripture I want to concentrate on today is v. 28b, but first an overview of of the entire section Luke 1:26-42. The theme should be plain to all readers, the announcement of Jesus’ birth. Here is an outline of the facts presented:
v.26-31 God sends the angel Gabriel to Mary, a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph to tell her she is pregnant. – We should be amazed that God sends angels to intervene in our lives. We who are all sinners, who deserve nothing be God’s wrath get instead His compassion.
v.32-33 Gabriel foretells of the child’s greatness the coming Christ. – Even Mary who was likely not highly educated clearly understood the implications made by Gabriel’s announcement. She was to give birth to the promised Messiah.
v.34 Mary responds not with I am not worthy, s be for I have never slept with a man. – I think most of us would have expected a response like Sarah. Some stranger shows up tells you you are gong to have a baby and you have not had any form of sex EVER, you would likely laugh at them. Mary just calmly ask, how can this happen?
v.34-37 Gabriel responds that through he power of the Holy Spirit, For with God nothing shall be impossible this shall come to pass. So too shall your cousin Elizabeth give birth.
v.38-42 Mary responds by going and visiting Elizabeth where she receives confirmation, v.41 of all that is to happen.
Usually when something is repeated in the bible it is of special significance. So to I believe is the case here with Mary. Albeit for very different reasons than my Catholic friends of even many uninformed evangelicals today.
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. v.28
And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb v.42
What does it mean blessed art thou among women? First I completely agree with those that say Mary was truly blessed. After all it is hard to argue the fact out of all the folks walking the earth at that time she alone was chosen to give birth to the Messiah, the Son of God, the King of Kings. Of course Mary fit the prophesy perfectly being of the house of David, so God knew what He was doing.
Where I differ in my opinion of “Mary” is why she was blessed. Many think she was “blessed” and THEN chosen by God. But none of the biblical text supports this. Let us look at it again:
v.28: Note what Gabriel says, Mary is blessed because the Lord is with thee. It is not Mary that is special it is God that makes her (and us) special.
v.42: Note what and how Elizabeth says to Mary, blessed is the fruit of thy womb. Again context is everything Elizabeth is saying you have been blessed by God in being selected to carry the Messiah, and that Child in your womb is the Greatest Blessing of All.
We do a disservice to God, making him co-equal to us, (what do we need a God for then anyway?) when we place the emphasis on any human above God. The miracle of the Virgin Birth and Incarnation of Christ Jesus is one to be celebrated and marveled at. We must remember that it God and always God alone we Glorify.