About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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    Gabriel's Message To Mary

One day a Jewish teenager named Mary was minding her own business when out of nowhere she was startled by the appearance of an angel, and not just any angel.  It was Gabriel (Luke 1:30 to 33).  He encouraged Mary not to be afraid of him.  Seeing an angel would scare most of us, don't you think?       


The name Gabriel means "the strong man of God."   He appears 4 times in the Bible.  In Daniel 8:15 to 27 and 9:20 to 27 he told Daniel about certain end time events as they applied to Israel.  In Luke 1:8 to 20 he foretold the birth of John the Baptist while here in Luke 1:26 to 38 he foretold the birth of Jesus.      


"You have found favour with God," Gabriel told Mary.  As far as we know there was nothing special about Mary other than she was born into the lineage of King David which is important to Biblical prophecy.  She was just an ordinary teenager who lived in the hick town of Nazareth, nestled in the hills of Galilee.  There was nothing special about Nazareth either.  Nathanael correctly asked, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth" (John 1:46)?  Everyone knew Nazareth was a pretty rough town, but leave it to God to pick a town of ill repute to accomplish His will.  


Mary was told that she would give birth to a son.  This would have confused her since she and Joseph had not been intimate.  How in heaven's name could she give birth to a son, but of course, it was in heaven's name that this miraculous birth would take place.  


"You are to give him the name Jesus," Gabriel added.  The name Jesus means "Yahweh saves."  Mary would have understood that this name had some kind of Messianic designation.  This must have been totally bewildering.   


"He will be great and be called the Son of the Most High," Gabriel said next.  The term "Most High" finds its roots in the Hebrew word "Elyon;" the eternal I AM, who is without beginning and without end.  A woman giving human birth to divinity sounds more like Greek mythology than Jewish prophecy, but her son would be no pagan god.         


God would give Mary's son the throne of His father David.  David was prophetically significant in the historical life of Israel.  His life and rule as King of Israel centuries earlier was prophetic of the life and rule of Israel's Messiah, who would soon be squirming around inside of Mary. Jesus would be the much anticipated Israeli Messiah who would eventually restore Israel to the predicted greatest nation among the nations.      


Gabriel told Mary that Jesus would sit on the throne of David.  That's not the throne Jesus presently sits on in heaven.  David's throne was a literal throne in the literal city of Jerusalem.  It's this literal throne in the literal city of Jerusalem that Jesus will sit on some day.      


"He will reign over the house of Jacob forever ... His kingdom will have no end."  If forever means forever and no end means no end, Jesus will not only rule over Israel and the nations for a thousand years but He will rule over Israel and the nations who will bring their splendor to Him throughout eternity (Revelation 21:24) on the newly created earth.  


Mary would have had lots to reflect upon once Gabriel vanished back into thin air.  Maybe she reflected on Zechariah 12:10 to 13.  "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.  They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn."  Would Mary have pondered over her son being pierced by her own people?  Would she have wondered when Jesus would sit on David's throne?     


Maybe you have never thought about this, but if you reflect on Gabriel's message to Mary, you will come to understand that he spoke just as much about the return of Jesus to earth that ends this age as he spoke about His birth into humanity that began this age.  So, when you sing "born is the King of Israel" (The First Noel) this Christmas, understand that Jesus is Israel's eternal king and He will sit on David's throne in Jerusalem forever. 


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