your throne shall be established forever.” …God’s redemptive plan will be accomplished through his Descendant. Jesus will reign over the house of David, for the royal messianic succession will continue forever in him” (Just, 68–69). 34
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
• Mary asks a perfectly logical question, for virgins generally do not conceive and bear children. Her question comes from innocence and genuine interest, as opposed to Zechariah’s question of how he and Elizabeth, both old, would become John’s parents—a question borne of unbelief in the promise (1:18–22). And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 35
• This same Holy Spirit who hovered over the waters and created the heavens and the earth would hover over Mary, implanting her with the seed of the Son of Man—Jesus, “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary” (Apostles’ Creed). And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 36
• Gabriel announces another miracle to Mary: Elizabeth, long barren, is now pregnant with John the Baptist. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
• The disciples asked Jesus, “Who then can be saved?” He said, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:25b–26). With this event, the salvation of mankind was not only possible but surely coming in the person of Jesus. And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
• Mary’s words parallel Simeon’s in the Nunc Dimittis: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word” (2:29), words of faith summarized in one word—Amen: “Yes, yes, it shall be so” (Small Catechism).
THE ANNUNCIATION OF OUR LORD Study Notes for the Christian Layperson by: Rev. Mark Schlamann
Collect of the Day:
O Lord, as we have known the incarnation of Your Son, Jesus Christ, by the message of the angel to the virgin Mary, so by the message of His cross and passion bring us to the glory of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Psalm 34:1–3 (antiphon: Isaiah 62:11b) — Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your salvation comes”
Psalm 45:7–17 (antiphon: v. 6) — Your throne, O God, is forever and ever
Old Testament Reading:
Isaiah 7:10–14 — Prophecy of Jesus’ birth: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (‘God with us’)”
Psalm 45:6–7b — Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness
Hebrews 10:4–10 — We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all
Luke 1:38a — Alleluia. Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. Alleluia.
Luke 1:46b, 47a; 2:30–31 — My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For my eyes have seen Your salvation that You have prepared in the presence of all peoples.
Luke 1:26–38 esv Author and Date: usage in passages like Philemon 25 and Gal. 6:18” (Lutheran Worship: History and Practice, 411).
The Holy Spirit inspired the evangelist Luke to write his Gospel sometime between 55 and 60 A.D. to a certain Theophilus. This reading takes place between the annunciation of John the Baptist’s birth (1:5–25) and Mary’s visiting Elizabeth (1:39–56).
But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
• “We need not be surprised that Mary was disturbed when she heard the angel’s words” (Arndt, Luke, 50).
• Luke introduces the town of Nazareth, to which Jesus would be forever linked (Matthew 2:23). Luke introduced Gabriel earlier in this chapter, as Gabriel visited Zechariah, soon–to–be father of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus. Our text takes place while Elizabeth was six months pregnant with John. to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.
• Luke, inspired by the Holy Spirit, researched the events that transpired to provide an accurate account of what happened (1:1–4). Luke notes that Mary was a virgin (see today’s Old Testament reading for the corresponding prophecy of Jesus’ birth) and Joseph a descendant of King David (see Luke’s genealogy in 3:23–28, as well as Matthew 1:1–17 for the Apostle’s account). And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 28
• “Mary was called favored because she had found grace and good will with God, as the angel explains later. She was to conceive in her virginal body Him from whose fullness we have all received, grace upon grace (John 1:16), who would be the one man abounding in grace (Romans 5:15). Therefore she is called by the angel the favored one or full of grace. The following words, “The Lord is with you,” are according to Judges 6:12, where Gideon, the hero, also is greeted by the angel with the words “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor. For in Christ was fulfilled the prophetic picture of Gideon, who miraculously delivered the people of Israel from the Midianites (Isaiah 9:6, 7). Mary should conceive Him who was to be our Immanuel, that is, God with us (Isaiah 7:14); therefore the angel says to her, ‘The Lord is with you’” (Lindemann, The Sermon and the Propers, Vol. 2, 164). • This greeting is shared between pastor and congregation in the Liturgy as part of the Salutation. “The phrase is more than simply a greeting; it is indicative of the special relationship between the minister and the congregation. …It is part of the everyday speech of God’s faithful people, as we find in Ruth 2:4, Luke 1:28, 2 Thessalonians 3:16, and elsewhere. The response [“And with your spirit” or “And also with you”] parallels biblical
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
• “Assuring Mary that there was no cause for fear, an assurance needed when one is suddenly confronted with what is supernatural, [the angel] stated that Mary had found favor with God…that God looked upon Mary with satisfaction and was intending to bestow blessings upon her” (Arndt, 50). And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
• The angel’s announcement parallels Isaiah’s (see above), the prophecy God first proclaimed in Genesis 3, promising Adam and Eve, having fallen into sin at Eden, the Savior of all mankind. Just as God showed His love to our first parents, He did so with Mary, promising a Savior, with the Savior coming forth from the virgin’s own womb. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 32
• The angel teaches Mary and us who this Child truly is. “Mary is instructed by the angel concerning the child she will conceive and bear. This is her catechesis. Messianic designations abound: ‘Jesus’ (1:31), ‘great’ and ‘Son of the Most High’ (1:32), ‘King’ (1:32–33). For the hearer of Luke’s gospel, there should no longer be any doubt about the identity of the one who is the subject of the Gospel. …Matthew sums up both the person and work of the Messiah: ‘He will save His people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21)” (Just, Concordia Commentary: Luke 1:1—9:50, 68). and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 33
• “Jesus is the culmination of the Davidic line. All the promises of God in the [Old Testament] are now coming to fulfillment in Christ. …The royal line of the kingdom of Judah, prophesied by Jacob in [Genesis] 49:10 ff., merges with the royal line of David that comes in 2 [Samuel] 7:16: “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me;