Refs: NIV Bible
L Morris (Tyndale Commentaries) Luke
M Wilcock (The Bible Speaks Today) Luke
B. M. Metzger (Ed) The Oxford Companion to the Bible
Luke’s focus shifts from Jerusalem to Nazareth and the second scene as the story unfolds.
It is now six months since Elizabeth had become pregnant and Gabriel embarks on his second visitation – this time to the future mother of Jesus.
Mary: She is a virgin and in the Jewish tradition betrothed, to the carpenter Joseph who is probably quite a bit older than she is. Betrothal lasted about a year before marriage, it was a binding contract, moreso than engagement in our culture, and could only be dissolved by divorce. She is young, but what age do we think she might be?
As Colin pointed out last week, God hasn’t spoken in 400 years (Mary hasn’t heard what has happened to Zechariah and Elizabeth) but now she is visited by an angel.
If Gabriel’s greeting troubles Mary, do his words of “reassurance” seem likely to lessen her apprehension?
What can we see in the prophesy Gabriel reveals concerning who Mary’s son will be and what He will do?
Is there anything strange in Mary’s response? (How will this be … since I am a virgin?)
How does Mary’s reaction to her impending parenthood differ from Zechariah’s reaction to the news of his?
Mary submits to the will of God – what do you think might be going through her mind as she does so?
Mary has been called “Mother of God”, how do you think we should regard her?
We move to scene 3 – we aren’t exactly sure whereabouts Zechariah and Elizabeth lived but it is certainly out in the sticks! Having learned Elizabeth is already expecting a child Mary determines to visit her – why would she do so, what risk might she run?
The two women meet and Elizabeth is immediately aware of who Mary is and of the importance of the child she will bear.
In each scene the Holy Spirit has been mentioned – doing what?
Mary’s song of praise – The Magnificat.
Mary stays with Elizabeth for three months but seems to leave before the birth of John (the Baptist).
Does anything strike you as odd in this?
What about Joseph? He has only had a passing reference made to him, but let’s look at Matthew 1:18-24 to fill in the gap. I’m not sure at what point the angel visits him, or which angel it, is but he is guided in what he should do. What trait is apparent in Mary and Joseph?
We see two couples into whose lives the supernatural breaks unexpectedly – can it still happen?