Sunday School Lesson – December 4, 2016 The Promise of a Saviour
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator
Time: 7 or 6 B.C. – Place: Nazareth
Golden Text: “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS (Luke 1:31).
The word “promise” is an agreement to do or not to do something. It’s a declaration as it was given to Isaiah the prophet to give to His people (For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6). God always fulfills His promise.
Luke 1:26 – And in the six month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth. Luke’s Gospel is addressed to Theophilus, a man who apparently was a Greek who was known among the Jews as a Gentile because he wasn’t of the Jewish nationality. Luke’s goal was to set forth to give in detail the facts about the earthly life of Jesus Christ in order to encourage and strengthen the faith of Theophilus. Gabriel in Jewish and Christian traditions is the archangel of God, one of the historic fundamentals of the faith is the virgin birth of Christ, Mary’s relative Elisabeth was six months pregnant with John the Baptist. Gabriel was commissioned by God to give Mary a message. We’re surrounded by angels, but they do not reveal themselves to humans unless God advises them to do so. Therefore, it is imperative for us to understand that Gabriel was sent by God to give Mary not just a message but a promise. Gabriel’s assignment was to visit Mary. May was a young virgin who was espoused to Joseph; meaning Mary and Joseph were engaged to be married.
Luke 1:27 – To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. Mary was a godly woman but not without sin, either original or actual sin, but she was chosen by God to bring forth His Son supernaturally. Mary was a virgin who was engaged to Joseph. It was a formal marital agreement that continued for about a year before the official marriage took place, but the parties during this espousal period were considered husband and wife. Joseph was the descendant of David.
Luke 1:28 – And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Gabriel appeared to Mary and greeted her with a salutation “Hail” which is to greet with cheers or to signify tribute. Mary had been chosen by God to bring forth His Son supernaturally. She was chosen from all the other women in the village. What an honor and privilege to be chosen by God to be given this favor.
Luke 1:29 – And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. Mary’s immediately response was not fear, as often indicated in the Bible when people encountered angels. Mary was troubled about the greeting, Mary couldn’t understand why a heavenly visitant should greet her in such an exalted terms.
Luke 1:30 – And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. Gabriel’s reassuring words may have had removed the fear she naturally might have had at the angel’s appearance. While Mary did not respond verbally, Gabriel saw her uneasiness and told her not to fear. He then reassured her that she had in fact found favor with God. It was God’s favor or grace, not on Mary or her righteousness. We all have experienced the favor of God in our lives through receiving salvation, it was His grace upon our life.It was through His favor that our spiritual eyes were opened, and our spiritual deaf ears were receptive to the word of God’s salvation through His Son, Jesus.
Luke 1:31- And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. The angel told Mary she was going to conceive in her womb a child, and it would be a male, and she will name Him, Jesus. In Biblical times the name given to a child was very important. Mary wasn’t given the choice to name the child she going to give birth to, but His name was already chosen by God. The name of the Messiah had its roots in the Old Testament, the original Hebrew term is a term that refers to God being deliverance or salvation. The Lord Jesus’ name announces that He brings the promise of salvation to mankind. Jesus was meant to be a deliverer, a rescuer, a savior. In addition to the obvious meaning “one who provides salvation”, the word Savior often includes the related meanings of “Deliverer”, “Protector” or “Preserver”.
Luke 1:32 – 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. As the Son of God, Jesus would be equal with God the Father. Mary may not have grasped the idea o Jesus’ deity at that moment, but she surely understood the significance of inheriting the throne of King David. Jesus fulfilled and will fulfill God’s promise to David concerning an unending dynasty (And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever – 2nd Samuel 7:16). This is the promise God gave to David, spoken through prophecy by the prophet Nathan. Jesus would have the human nature of His mother, and the sinless and divine nature of His Father.
Luke 1:33 – And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. These words could only mean that Gabriel was describing Jesus as Israel’s promised Messiah (Christ), or Anointed One. The Jewish people of Mary’s day knew of Daniel’s prophecy and from that prophetic timetable, they knew that the Messiah’s coming was near. Jesus’ kingdom would be forever, there would be no end, His kingdom would be for eternal.
Luke 1:34 – Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Mary received all that the angel was telling her, but she came to the realization, how was this going to happen since she had not been engaged sexually with a man. The angel Gabriel didn’t offer a biological explanation for there was no natural explanation for a supernatural miracle. She didn’t have a question of unbelief, but rather a desire to understand and get an answer she needed for the situation. Mary’s question also gives us an example, that we can ask God for answers for certain situations, and then there are times He will not give an answer, that’s when we have to trust Him and know that He has our best interest at heart.
Luke 1:35 – And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost 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. This is a direct declaration of Jesus’ divine conception. The child’s conception means He is uniquely set apart, He’s both human and divine, He’s King of King, the Lord of Host, the Lamb of God. Mary was favored and chosen by God to give birth to the Son of God supernaturally. This miraculous event had been foretold by the Prophet Isaiah (Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel – Isaiah 7:14).
Luke 1:36- And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. God through Gabriel , told Mary a secret that she could not have known other than by Him. Her relative Elisabeth was six months’ pregnant even though she was thought to be barren. Knowing this should have given Mary a peace, knowing the power of God that would occur in her life.
Luke 1:37 – For with God nothing shall be impossible. The angel was giving Mary reassurance of what was impossible with man is possible with God.
Luke 1:38 – And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Gabriel assured Mary that the pregnancy would occur, it would not be a normal one. Although naturally impossible, God demonstrated His supernatural power. He would do something beyond explanation or reason. Mary stated her willingness to be the vessel to bring Jesus into the world, and then Gabriel left Mary. His coming was to give the message God had given him to give to Mary, once he finished his assignment, he left.