(26) And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, (27) To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.Luke 1:26-27
As we continue in our study of the Gospel of Luke, we move into a second narrative in the first chapter. Much like the first, it is an accounting of the angel Gabriel announcing a birth. The author is not without a theological perspective. He is giving a true accounting of the actual events of Jesus life, but He is doing so because the message of the redemption of mankind through the person of Jesus Christ is of paramount importance.
In this story we see some truths about redemption that apply to our lives today as well. The first truth is that God initiated the plan of salvation. Certainly, these verses are not the only places where we see this truth, but we can see it clearly here in verses 26 and 27.
The words “the sixth month” give us a clue as to the timing of this second announcement. It is in the six month of the pregnancy of Elizabeth. Luke gives us specifics here. Notice what Luke says happened. The angel Gabriel was sent from God. The angel is not sharing his own plan or his own message. The angel was commissioned with the message of God to a specific area, city, and woman.
Two details point to the fact that God is initiating and owning this plan of redemption.
First, God chose a woman who was engaged to be married to Joseph, a man “of the house of David”. The Old Testament made it clear that when the Messiah comes, he would be in David’s line. We will talk more about that later in the passage.
Second, God chose a woman who was a virgin. She was unmarried and had not ever “known a man”. God chose this to be an identification of the Messiah when he came as well. The most specific prophecy about this is found in Isaiah 7:14.
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
The name “Immanuel” literally means “with us (is) God”. Hundreds of years before this moment, God foretold that a virgin would conceive and bring forth a son. Now He is sending the angel Gabriel, initiating this part of the plan of redemption, because He is the One who owns this plan.
God’s love for us is an initiating love. 1 John tells us about this truth when it says:
We love him, because he first loved us.1 John 4:19
God entered our history through prophecy, and by giving us revealed signs, so that His plan of redemption would not only happen but be identifiable and revealed to the world. We have the opportunity for redemption because He put this plan into motion. This demands our obedience, gratefulness, and worship!
Take a few moments to thank God for initiating His plan of redemption for you!