1.26-56 Mary

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Luke 1:26-56

 Introduction:  The Catholic Church has so distorted the stories about Mary, that people who don’t read the Bible for themselves know little or nothing about her.  She was important to God and highly favored.  Like all Bible characters, we need to try to understand her.

I. What this passage says about her

    A. Virgin   vs. 27

         1. παρθένος: a female person beyond puberty but not yet married and a virgin (though in some contexts virginity is not a focal component of meaning); virgin, young woman.

         2. The virginity of Mary functions, in parallel with Elizabeth’s barrenness, as an obstacle to the production of the promised child.  It is exalted neither as of value in itself (as commonly assumed in Catholic study) nor as a mark of spiritual humility [1]  

    B. She was probably about 13 years old

    C. She was favored (vs. 28, 30) in the sense of being the one to bear the Messiah     “You will conceive and give birth to a son.”    Vs. 31

    D. She was related somehow to Elizabeth    vs. 36

    E. Mary believed the angel    vs. 38, 45

II. What she did

    A. She listened to the angel

1. We often ignore God

2. We become so accustomed to Scripture that we don’t learn

    B. She asked questions

    1. Vs. 34

2. She believed, but not blindly

3. She wanted to understand some of the “how”

    C. She was willing to let the Lord do whatever He wanted with her 

         1. Vs. 38

         2. Mary is shocked. To be pregnant outside marriage is a scandal. As she has never slept with Joseph, her pregnancy will be seen as proof of adultery. She may even be stoned to death. And yet she accepts God’s will. This is Mary’s greatness — that she is completely willing for God to use her life, despite physical pain or social embarrassment.[2]

    D. She was looking for some evidence and confirmation   vs. 39

         1. She went to see Elizabeth to see if what the angel said about her was true

         2. εἰς πόλιν Ἰούδα; ‘into a city of Judah’, probably Jutha (or Juttah), S. of Hebron, a city of priests, Josh. 21:16.[3]

         3. εἰς τὴν ὀρεινὴν μετὰ σπουδῆς:  into the mountainous country with haste/eagerness

         4. She received more than she asked for

             a. Elizabeth was pregnant

             b. Elizabeth knew Mary was pregnant with the Messiah   vs. 41-45

             c. Mary prophesied    vs. 46-55

III. What we can learn

    A. God sometimes works in unexpected ways; at other times He’s predictable

    B. Faith is a part of all relationships with God (Even the young can have faith)

    C. Mary is not the Key character here; Jesus is

    D. Sometimes faith shows up in unexpected places; Zachariah (priest) did not believe (vs. 20), Mary (13 year old girl) did.

    E. With God nothing is impossible   vs. 37    There is nothing that God cannot do.     God can do anything!      No word from God will ever fail.

Conclusion:  Let’s be like Mary and accept whatever the Lord says. 


[1]Nolland, J. (2002). Vol. 35A: Word Biblical Commentary : Luke 1:1-9:20. Word Biblical Commentary (49). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[2]Knowles, A. (2001). The Bible guide.  (1st Augsburg books ed.) (473). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg.

[3] Bond, J. (1890). The Gospel According to St. Luke (83). London: Macmillan.

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