Today, we light the Green, Black, Blue and Gold Candles. The Green Candle represents life and all that Father God created in Christ, Good and Whole. The Black Candle represents the Evil and Corruption of Sin that entered our World through our rebellion. The Blue candle represents the Hope that comes from the Promises of a future Savior and King. The Gold candle represents the birth of the long expected King and Savior.
“… and you shall call his name Jesus. 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, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Six months after his message to Zechariah, Gabriel is sent to deliver another message – a wonderful message without precedent:
1:26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 1:27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 1:28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 1:29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
1:30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 1:31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 1:32 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, 1:33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
1:34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 1:35 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. 1:36 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. 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 1:38 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 receives a message that is incredible and without precedent – nothing that had happened in Israel’s history could have prepared Mary for what Gabriel tells her.
First, Mary is told she will be the mother of the long expected King – the Son of David. Both Mary and her betrothed Joseph were from the line of David. Immediately, we think of all the promises given to David that were yet to be fulfilled.
Mary and Joseph are also in Nazareth, in Galilee – Galilee of the Nations. This is the region that Isaiah had foretold would see a “a great light” and that a child would be born, a son would be given who would bear the names of God. This son would inherit the Throne of David and reign in a Kingdom of peace that would never end. The time of fulfillment had come and Mary would be the mother of the Messiah – the Anointed King.
Mary asks, “How can this be….” Mary is not yet married and she has never been with a man so how can she have a child? In his fear and doubt, Zechariah asked, “How can I know?” Mary simply asks, “How can this happen?” A fair question.
But the answer is beyond belief.
Gabriel tells Mary that her son will not have a human father. Instead, “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” (Luke 1:35).
Gabriel’s message seems impossible – how can this be? But he assures Mary that nothing is impossible with God.
Mary’s response is also incredible: “Let it be done to me according to your word.” She accepts Gabriel’s message immediately and without reservation. A young girl, perhaps 14 or 15 years old, responds to the Lord’s word in complete and total faith. This faith shames Zechariah’s doubt. The priest, a man who had spent his lifetime in service to God, should have known better, should have responded with even more faith than Mary. And yet, he doubts. Again we see that outward appearance – what man sees – is not what God judges by. He sees the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
Mary had “found favor with God.” In days of old, the Davidic kings were referred to as “the son of God” in a figurative, representative sense. Mary’s son would literally be the Son of God. He would be holy – unique, set apart, like no other human who has ever existed.
And He would be named Jesus – Joshua, Yeshua – “the Lord Saves.”
The King is Coming!