Announcement of Jesus’ Birth

KEY VERSE: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” —Luke 1:42


THE announcement to Mary by the angel that she was to be the mother of the long-promised Messiah of Israel must have been a very wonderful experience. The account states that “when she saw him [the angel], she was troubled [alarmed, excited] at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.” (Luke 1:29) But the angel assured her, stating that she should call his name Jesus, and said, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (vss. 32,33) Then he said unto her, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”—vs. 35

After her meeting with the angel, Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, who was to be the mother of John the Baptist. Elizabeth indicated that it was because of Mary’s faith that this blessing came to her, saying, “Blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (vs. 45) Mary, in expressing her joy, also indicated that she had an accurate knowledge of the prophecies concerning the lineage of him who was to be the king over Israel.

Mary’s statement was, “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. He hath showed strength with his arm; he bath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.”—Luke 1:48-55

God had promised David that “thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.” (II Sam. 7:16) When he died the promise passed to Solomon and the Lord spoke to him saying that if he would be obedient as was his father David, the kingdom and the lineage would pass through him. (I Kings 9:4,5) But, on the other hand, if he was unfaithful, he would be cast off as far as the promise was concerned. We know that, despite a good beginning, Solomon was unfaithful and the kingdom was wrested from him. “Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.”—I Kings 11:11

And so the lineage passed through Nathan rather than Solomon. Mary, in her statement, indicated that those of Solomon’s line were rich and arrogant and expected that the line would be sustained through them; but God had fulfilled his promise and the true line of succession had come through the less honored but more faithful line of Nathan, of which Mary was the heir. (See the genealogy given in Luke 3:23-38, especially verse 31.)

On the day the Savior was born, the angels made the wonderful announcement as recorded in Luke 2:10-14, “Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. … Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, in his prophecy in Luke 1:66-75, tells why the birth of Jesus is tidings of great joy to all people. We quote in part from this text: “And he has raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been since the world began: … to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, the oath which he sware to our father Abraham.” This wonderful oath is recorded in Genesis 22:16-18. The pertinent part of this promise as related to this lesson is in verse eighteen which reads, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice.” This identifies the birth of Jesus with the promised seed and the eventual establishment of the kingdom which is for the very purpose of blessing all the families of the earth.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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