North Anderson Baptist Church
On the Way to Bethlehem - “The Annunciation” Mary and Gabriel
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Today we begin a new series called “On the Way to Bethlehem.” We will be looking at the events in the lives of people who played a significant part in the Christmas story. Next week will will look at the encounter of Mary with her cousin Elizabeth. But today we will begin with the story of Mary as Gabriel, the angel of God, comes to her and reveals God’s plans for her life and the rest of the world.

Let’s listen to the text from Luke 1:26-38.
Gabriel was the announcer in this real pageant that would change the world! Maybe to note about angelic visits would be good. Angels are messengers and servants of the MOST HIGH GOD. They exist to be obedient to God Almighty and do His bidding as they bring God’s messages and revelations to humanity. Angels also exist to be guides and protectors of God’s children. Their activity has been primarily connected to Jesus: His birth, temptation, resurrection and second coming.
God made it clear to Gabriel that he would be the one to announce the coming of Christ, the Son of God. Gabriel also appeared to Zechariah and told him that his wife would give birth to a son and they would name him John. Gabriel told Zechariah that John would be the one to make the way for the Messiah, the coming of the Christ. Not only did Gabriel announce the coming of Jesus but a host of angels made known to the shepherds when Jesus was born and that they would find Him in Bethlehem, He who would bring peace to the world and salvation to all, The Christ!
1) The Announcement vv. 26-29

First, let’s look at what “In the sixth month” means. When you go back to the earlier verses in Luke 1:11-25, you will see the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. I mentioned this earlier about Gabriel and Zechariah and that his wife Elizabeth would have a baby. Mary’s encounter then with Gabriel is six months after Elizabeth became pregnant.

We come to notice that angels don’t make announcements to humans on their own, but that they are “sent” by God. The angel Gabriel was sent from the throne on high by God Himself to the town of Nazareth to tell a young virgin by the name of Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of God. This event was to change the course of history forever. Mary was the chosen one and even though she was young, probably mid-teens, and poor, she would become the richest woman on earth, not in money but in the blessings from the Lord. Mary was probably barely educated because girls in the Jewish society did not have regular schooling like the boys. Regardless, Mary was to be the mother of the Son of God.

Notice by the way, how God’s Word is very precise. The writer Luke even told that Nazareth, from where Mary lived, was a town in Galilee. And then the Word of God clearly let’s you know that virgin Mary was pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of King David.

What about this greeting that Gabriel brings to Mary, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you,” what do you make of this, what does it mean? First, don’t you think Mary would have acted like the rest of mankind if an angel came to them? The Word of God doesn’t say anything about her being surprised, but she was confused or “greatly” troubled because she couldn’t figure out why an angel would greet her. Gabriel, the angel, greets her and says she is “highly favored.” Mary, hearing the greeting didn’t give any response to the greeting, but just wondered in her heart about it and the presence of an angel.
2) The Son of the Most High vv. 30-33

We hear the angel tell her not to be afraid, so he must have sensed that there was some fear in her even before he told her why he came. So Gabriel says to Mary
“Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God.”
But then Gabriel tells Mary why he came and what she is in for. How could she take all that in at once! First, just to hear that she would be with child was enough. That would frighten any young lady. And then in verses 32 and 33 she hears what is going on and why. There is going to be a child but not just any, the baby, a boy, to be named Jesus, is to be the Son of the Most High God!!!! Wow, can you imagine what was going through her mind then? “If that wasn’t enough, this child will be a descendant of King David.” “Do you realize,” I bet she thought, “this is going to be the one and only Messiah that everyone has been saying was to come soon!!!” “My child, Jesus, will reign forever and ever!”

Whatever was happening it was going to change her life forever. But then she had to think how can all of this happen to me?
Think for a second, when God does come to us, in whatever way He chooses, it will change our lives too. God generally creates in us a time of crisis when He reveals Himself and His will to us. It becomes a time to believe Him or not to believe Him, a time to be obedient to what He says or not to believe. You will have to express faith in what He says or refuse to trust His Word and lose out on all the blessings and the favor of the Lord. Are you prepared to respond to the revelation of God to you?
3. The Impossible Made Possible vv. 34-38

What a conversation between a teenage girl and one of the most holy beings in all the universe, Gabriel, the archangel. Mary, knowing who she is and knowing the facts of life, asks Gabriel a most logical question, “How will this be since I am a virgin?” Some people might think this is doubting but in reality it is just looking at the facts. The angel recognizes that an explanation is to be needed.
Being a virgin, Mary is saying that she has never had sexual relationships with any man, and that includes Joseph with whom she is pledged to be married. Even though they were pledged to be married, in that day they did not have sexual relationships with one another until the marriage had been completed.

{Let me share an aside with you. In the Biblical times, even though a couple is engaged they were not to have sexual relations with one another. That is the way God would have it and that is the way the Word of God was taught to the children of Israel, in their day. We teach it here at NABC too but the world does not go by the Bible and its standards; but the people today, young and old, do not follow the dictates of the Word of God, they do what they want to do or what is right in their sight.}

Gabriel begins to tell her how this “miracle” will happen to her. “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Gabriel, knowing that there may be a need for further proof of what he is telling Mary, he goes on to tell of the miracle that happened to her cousin Elizabeth just six months ago. 36 “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.”
That must have been astonishing to Mary. But listen to what she has to say to Angel Gabriel, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” With that said Gabriel left her.

I have been thinking for several weeks about this and it is amazing to me after hearing what Gabriel said to her about the baby and that she was “favored and honored” by God, what would she think everyone would else say? If she was to be “favored and honored” when she heard about having the Son of God as her child, she must have thought about how hard it would be to convince everyone that the Child was from God. What would Joseph think of her? Her mom and dad and family and friends, would they believe her? Everyone talked about the Messiah coming but surely no one would think that a poor and young maiden like her would be chosen of God. When would the “favor and honor” come to her? She would have to wait a long time before that would be evident to more than she and Joseph. They would always know; then when the child arrived they would be showered with joy from the Lord and others.

What was most important for us to see and for her to display was her obedience to the Word of God and belief that God could do the impossible. But God!!!, who was rich in grace and hope reminded Mary that God was able to do the impossible and provide for her need no matter what. Mary’s obedience was to be used of God as she willing surrender to be a vessel for the Lord by faith. Her faith stands as a testimony to us when there is a need for a miracle and the impossible to be done for the glory of God.
It’s Not Always Easy

It’s not always easy to smile and be nice,
When we are called to sacrifice.
It’s not always easy to put others first,
Especially when tired and feeling our worst.
It’s not always easy to do the Father’s will.
It wasn’t so easy to climb Calvary’s hill.
But we as His children, should learn to obey;
Not seeking our own but seeking His way.
It’s not always easy to fight the good fight.
But it is always good and it is always right!

Glenda Fulton Davis, From video, “The Harvest”, by Chuck King

Are you obedient to God even if it meant death? This is a familiar story to most of us, but have we thought how it might be if we were called on by God to do something that might cost us our life? Mary knew the punishment for adultery and that it might very well be applied to her in this case. But she trusted God for the privilege to have His child and to bring forth the “real gospel” into this world.


Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby