Monday, October 19, 2009

10/19- Luke 1:26-33 The Anunciation

(Anunciation Leonardo Da Vinci))

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

Luke 1:26-33
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

Calvin abridged: It is a wondrous part of the divine purpose that God decides to make the beginning of the herald more illustrious than that of his own Son, The prophecy about John was published in the temple and universally known; but Christ is promised to a virgin in an obscure town in Judea and is hidden in the breast of the young woman. God chose a virgin betrothed to a man so that his son might be supposed to be the son of Joseph until it was discovered by many that he was the son of God. 28- “Greetings you who are highly favored” [Catholic version- “Hail Mary full of grace”]- A conviction of the Divine grace or goodness is the entrance of faith, and the angel observes this order, then he enlarges her faith to receive and incomprehensible mystery. The Greek work here (kecharitomene) denotes the undeserved favor of God (cf. Eph. 1:6). “The Lord is with you”- To those on whom he has once bestowed his love God shows himself gracious and kind (Ps. 103:4). “Found favor with God” [blessed among women]- Blessing is a proof of Divine kindness. The word doesn’t mean “worthy of praise” but “happy.” This is similar to Paul’s greetings of grace and peace (Rom. 1:7; Eph. 1:2) . This implies that we will be truly happy and rich when we are beloved by God. If Mary’s favor and grace come from the undeserved love of God, and flow from Divine kindness, then should we seek from her what she derives from another? 29- “Mary was greatly troubled”- She was not agitated by the presence of the angel as much as by his address. Mary did not lose her composure for she was considering the meaning of the salutation. This example reminds us, that we ought not to be careless observers of the work of God, and that our consideration of them should be regulated by fear and reverence. 30- “You have found favor” could be translated you have received mercy. 31- “you shall conceive” – the angel adapts his words to Isaiah’s prophecy (7:14). The word conceive sets aside the idea (promoted by Marcion and Manachaeus) that Jesus was merely a phantom. “name Jesus” Matthew adds that Jesus means “to save his people from their sins” (1:21). It is the same as the Hebrew Joshua. The name itself is not magic, as if in its very syllables majesty resided, but that the highest authority- to which the whole world should submit. 32-“He shall be great”- The angel said the same thing about John the Baptist, yet that did not make him equal to Christ. Angels and kings are sometimes given the title “great” in scripture, but they are great in comparison with other humans, whereas the Son of God is great in comparison to all (Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:5). “Son of the Most High”- Christ is the Only Begotten Son. Our adopted sonship (in which we may call God ‘Abba Father’ Rom. 8:15; Ga. 4:6) is derived from his real sonship. “Throne of his father David”- Whenever the prophets talked about the restoration of the people they talked about the throne of David being restored (Jer. 30:9; Ezek. 34:24; 37:24; Hosea 3:5; Amos 9:11). The angels was thus speaking of the revival of the people of God. 33- “And he shall reign” God speaks of Christ’s reign over all the earth beginning with the house of Jacob. His throne was erected among the people of Israel, that he might from there subdue the whole world. “Forever- without end”- It was frequently predicted that David would always have a son on the throne. The angel points out that the glory of David and Solomon will be restored or even exceeded (Ps. 72:5,17). Its true perpetuity relates to the glory to come. So we too will reign forever with him when we gather together in heaven.

Thoughts: The angel came with astonishing news, to a humble maid. Mary’s response shows how humbled she was by this. It is her pure trust and humility and wonderful response that we should imitate. In our world of celebrities flaunting their looks, their cars, their houses, their fame, we should remember Mary- whose fame will outlast any rock star or TV star. The greatest among us would do well to imitate Mary’s humility and trust in God’s unmerited favor (grace). She is full of unmerited favor (grace), and we should seek the same. What does it take to restore the Church to its rightful place? It takes the centrality of Jesus. He is the King, and the farther we move from Him, the farther we move from the restoration of David’s throne. Our being children of God is derived from His being the Son of God.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you choose the humble. Help us to humble ourselves in your sight that you may lift us up.

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