Written by Stephen J. Tracey
I understand that Mary was confused and perplexed. I doubt she was often greeted, in glowing terms, by an angel. “And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you’ ” (Luke 1:28). It’s not an everyday greeting.
No wonder “she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be” (v. 29).
Then the heart of the matter is declared:
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, 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.” (vv. 30–33)
Now that is heady stuff—a son, Jesus, great, Son of the Most High, throne of David, reigning, an unending kingdom. At last the great work of slaying Satan and sin and death was to take place. The time had come. The kingdom had come. Messiah was here; King Jesus was stepping into Mary’s life, and stepping into the world.
Then the hard news. An outside power, albeit that of the Holy Spirit, is going to come upon her and she will conceive a child. The angel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (v. 35). There is something intense in those words. One might even say threatening. Clearly her life will never be the same again. She is going to be overshadowed.