Daily Archive for December 17th, 2015

Mary and the Angel

Mary was probably about 14 years old when she gave birth to Jesus. At that time, this was a very common age for young women to be engaged and get married. So Jesus,the Son of God, was the son of a teenage mother. Joseph was probably slightly older. Joseph and Mary were a very ordinary couple. They would have been quite poor. Joseph was a carpenter. Both Joseph and Mary were descendants of King David. Nazareth, the town where they both lived, was a small hill town.

The angel Gabriel, who visited Mary, is God’s chief messenger and only appears to very important people in the Bible. The first words that Gabriel spoke to Mary were “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” These are very important words. ‘Highly favoured’ means that God’s holy grace was upon Mary and was a special blessing from God – something that would have never normally been said to a peasant girl like Mary! She would have been very scared by this and that is why Gabriel told her not to be afraid. The name Jesus was a very common name in Israel at that time.  The name Jesus means ‘Saviour’ and has a very important meaning in the story. Mary would have been very surprised when the Gabriel told her that the Holy Spirit would be on her, because in the old Jewish stories, only the very important people had the Holy Spirit come into them. She might not have even believed that all this was going to truly happen, so she went to see her cousin Elizabeth, who Gabriel said was about to have a baby. She did this even before she told Joseph about Gabriel and Jesus.