“Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” (v. 38)

Luke 1:26-38 Monday 21 December 2015

Psalm: Psalm 89


Our passage follows, six months later, one in which the birth ofJohn the Baptist has been promised to the priest Zechariah and hiswife Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-20).

Some readers will find the notion of a virgin birth impossibleto believe. Others will accept it as evidence of God's power overthe world God has created. Whichever view we take we need to notethat Luke draws our attention beyond the manner of the birth to itssignificance. Jesus comes into the world, not as a result of humaninitiative but of God's. It marks a new era for the world.

Joseph is of the "house of David" (v. 27), the great king inIsrael's history, the greatness of whose dynasty is promised in 2Samuel 7:16. Jesus is to fulfil that promise, inherit David'sthrone and reign over the house of Jacob (ie Israel) (verses32-33). Christian faith has its roots in the Old Testament which itshares with modern Judaism.

The words 'Hail Mary, full of grace', familiar to manyChristians, come from the Latin translation of Luke's Greekoriginal. 'Greetings, favoured one' is nearer to the original. Thegrace in question is not a virtue Mary already possesses but thefavour she receives from God.

To Ponder

  • If you have access to a picture of this episode use it formeditation. (You can find a selection of images here.
  • If you were to make Mary's words in verse 38 your own, whatwould they mean for you?
  • What does the stress on Jesus as the heir of David's kingdomimply for Jewish-Christian relations today?
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