Key Verse: “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”
MANY CENTURIES PRIOR to the events described in today’s lesson, Isaiah foretold God’s declaration that a virgin would conceive and bear a son who would be called Immanuel. Further details concerning this miraculous birth of Israel’s Messiah, as well as his expansive role in bringing peace, justice, and life to all the willing and obedient members of the human family during his Second Advent, were also recorded aforetime.—Isa. 7:14; 9:6,7
The initial fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy occurred when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, a virgin living in Nazareth, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph. Gabriel proclaimed that Mary was “highly favoured” of God.—Luke 1:26-30
In our Key Verse, Gabriel informs Mary that she would conceive and bring forth a son who would be named Jesus. Gabriel then provided additional information to Mary concerning this miraculous event. “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”—vss. 32,33
Since she was a virgin, Mary was perplexed as to how she could have a child. Gabriel informed her that she would conceive through the power of the Holy Spirit. He also declared that her relative, Elisabeth, had conceived a son “in her old age,” and was presently six months into her pregnancy.—vss. 34-36
With great joy in her heart, Mary acquiesced in faith to the divine arrangement that she would be the instrument which would result in God’s Son coming to earth in a human form so as to provide a ransom for Adam and the dying race of mankind because of sin. This demonstration of Mary’s faith in God’s ability to accomplish whatever he proposes to do should inspire us as we meditate upon this portion of Scripture—“With God nothing shall be impossible.”—vs. 37
Following our Lord’s birth, ministry, death, and resurrection, faithful followers of Christ during this Gospel Age have received an invitation to participate in the ministry of reconciliation. “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, … and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.(II Cor. 5:18,19) This work will be for the purpose of assisting the willing members of the fallen human race in regaining favor with God and attaining everlasting life on earth.
Peter indicates that as the body of Christ, we have received “exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” If we lay hold upon and apply the import of these promises, the result will exceed anything the human mind can grasp. Although the divine nature has been offered to those who do this, were it not for God’s love and magnificent generosity, none among us, as fallen beings mired in the pit of sin, could possibly entertain such a prospect of future exaltation.—II Pet. 1:2-4
The hope of assisting Christ to eradicate sin during the righteous kingdom reign should encourage us to exercise faith in, and obedience to, the Heavenly Father’s word that all of his purposes will be accomplished.