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The Heritage of Jesus

March 12, 2017 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series: Luke

Topic: The Christian Walk Verse: Luke 1:26–1:31

Luke 1:26-35

Theme: Jesus is the only One who qualifies genetically, legally, and spiritually to redeem us from our sin.

I. The Physical Heritage of Jesus – Luke 1:26-31


  • As the divine record of Jesus’ birth is provided by the detail-oriented author, Luke, he sets the context for us: “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth.”
  • Jesus’ mother is carefully described:
  1. She is naïve (in a proper way) woman – “… to a virgin …” [παρθένος]
  2. She is a normal woman – “… engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David;” (1) “engaged” [μνηστεύω] – the Perf. Part. Demonstrates that this had taken place sometime before and was not in force. (2) The Jewish custom was that a young woman would be “betrothed” between the ages of 12-14 and was publicly committed to a bridegroom who would wait approximately 1 year to come and take his wife and consummate the union. (3) This was a time when the purity of the woman would be proven.
  3. She is a named woman – “… and the virgin’s name was Mary ”
  4. She is described as a godly woman whose moral and spiritual character is beyond reproach.
  • However, she is not sinless: “And coming in, he said to her, ‘Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.’”
  1. “Favored one” [χαριτόω] literally means “full of grace” or “blessed with grace” which describes a person who enjoys the unmerited favor from God.
  2. The only other time this term is used in Scripture refers to the benefits of God’s grace to bring a sinner to a place of acceptance before Him – cp. Ephesians 1:6
  3. In addition, her own confessions reveal that she was not under a delusion of sinlessness – cp. Luke 1:47; Mark 3:31-35
  4. “… the Lord is with you” – given the disgrace that she would have to endure for what Gabriel was about to tell her, the assurance of the Lord’s presence, help, protection, and approval was provided to her to fortify her.
  5. Her confusion demonstrates that she was unaware of any difference between herself and the rest of the maidens in Israel – “But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.” (1) “perplexed” [διαταράσσω] – describes her as confused and unable to reconcile what was being said, likely because of her awareness of her own unworthiness before God. (2) “pondering” [διελογίζετο] – the imperfect tense indicates that she was bouncing possibilities around in her mind – arguing with herself as to what was being said, fearful of various ways that this was a time of judgment.
  6. The exhortation by Gabriel also indicates the common response to the heavenly messenger from sinful men or women – “The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’” (1) “found favor” [εὑρίσκω] – the Aorist Act. Ind. shows that this is an accomplishment - that she had sought to gain the goodwill of God toward her – a blessing that only is secured by faith – cp. Hebrews 11:6 (2) Again, this demonstrates that Mary understood her need for the grace of God to redeem her from her sin.
  • Because of God’s grace extended to her, Mary is selected by God to be the one to receive the privilege to bear the Messiah – “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son …”
  • Of great issue is the right that she possesses to be the instrument through which the Messiah can become flesh as a descendent of David – cp. Luke 3:23ff
  • It is clearly stated in v. 31a that Jesus was born of the woman – He took upon Himself flesh and blood – cp. Galatians 4:4
  • The significance of this conception in the womb of a virgin is great:
  1. It fulfills the prophecy of Genesis 3:15
  2. It qualifies the Lord Jesus as the only One qualified to stand in our place before the justice of God and taking upon Himself the price for our sin.


  • The embodiment of incarnation of the Son of God was not without a specific purpose – it was necessary to qualify Him to redeem men – cp. Hebrews 2:14-15
  • This is what the angel reveals to Mary – that the distinct purpose and privilege of this child is that He would be the Savior – “… and you shall call Him Jesus.”
  • “Jesus” [Ἰησοῦς] is from the Greek form of Jeshua – meaning “Jehovah is Salvation,” or “Salvation is from Jehovah.”
  • This is the unique prerogative of this child to save us from our sins – cp. Matthew 1:21.

II. The Legal Heritage of Jesus – Luke 1:32-33


  • Although Jesus possessed the right physically to rule through His mother Mary, the Jewish mind prioritized the legal right from the father.
  • Consequently, the genealogy of Joseph is provided in Matthew – a Gospel written to the Jew.
  • However, the true paternal right of royalty is identified here: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” – surpassing any other possible claim to royal prerogative:
  1. In Semitic thought, the phrase “son of …” was often used as a reference to someone who possessed “his father’s” qualities.
  2. Illustrations: “son of destruction” or “son of wickedness” or “sons of thunder.”
  • The term “Most High” [ὕψιστος] is often the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for God “El Elyon” and depicts the greatness in comparison with all others, thus “He will be great …”
  • The right to rule comes directly from God – “… and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father, David.”
  1. This is the fulfillment of the most profound prophecies of the Scriptures – cp. 2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16
  2. Clearly Jesus’ role as Messiah is in view here – Luke 1:69; 2:4, 11; Acts 2:30
  • Thus, not only because He was the physical descendant of David through Mary, and not only because He is the legal descendant of David through Joseph, but God has given Him the right to rule.


  • In light of this prerogative, the Angel indicates that the throne of David (through both Mary and Joseph) was legally capable of being inhabited by Jesus alone.
  • Jesus’ legal right to rule is declared unequivocally as a permanent right that fulfills all the promises to the people of God: “… and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
  • This proclamation uses a “traditional” term to designate Israel: “house of Jacob” – cp. Isaiah 48:1
  • The emphasis on the eternal rule of Christ Jesus is a prophesied aspect of the Kingdom of God – cp. Psalm 89:29; Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 7:13-14
  • Thus, despite the reality of Christ Jesus being seated at the right hand of the Father, He has not yet been seated upon the throne of David on the earth – an event that we eagerly await.

III. The Divine Heritage of Jesus – Luke 1:34-35


  • Mary reveals her great faith, yet immense confusion because of her knowledge of the process of procreation.
  • Being the godly woman she was, she knew Isaiah 7:14 – that this special child would be born of a virgin – but, she asks: “How can [lit. “will”] these things be, since I am a virgin [lit. “know not a man”]?”
  • Gabriel then states that the way by which this conception would occur would be through miraculous overshadowing of God’s power – “The angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you …’”
  • The conception will be a result of the power of God’s Spirit.


  • The result of this miracle would be that the holy Offspring would be called the “Son of God” – “… and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the son of God.”
  • This expression reveals that Jesus was of the same essence as God, one in nature with His Father in heaven – John 1:18; Hebrews 1:1-2
  • Thus, Jesus was God in whom there is no sin – cp. 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5.

More in Luke

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Responding Properly to the Truth

February 25, 2018

Somebody Call 9-1-1

February 18, 2018

The Authority of Christ to Forgive Sins