The angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus.
It was a period of time with extraordinary happenings. The angel Gabriel had appeared to Zacharias in the temple in Jerusalem a few months previously, predicting the birth of the child he had prayed for. His son, John the Baptist, was to be the forerunner of the promised Redeemer. Now Gabriel appeared again, this time in Nazareth, a city in Galilee. God had sent him to the virgin Mary. “Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you,” was his greeting. It gained her trust after her initial consternation, which was understandable since a high angel and dignitary from God had entered the house.
The angel’s message went beyond all imagination and even the bounds of creation. The Son he announced would not be from her forthcoming marriage to her fiance Joseph. That she understood at once. So she asked, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” The angel answered, “The Holy Ghost will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you, therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:34.35).
Zacharias had doubtfully inquired, “How shall I know this?” (v.18). Mary, however, accepted the annunciation of the Redeemer by faith. She placed herself at God’s disposal saying, “Behold, the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be according to your word” (v.38).
Image: By El Greco – , Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27348