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  The Great Bible Story #88
Announcing Jesus

Jacob Ninan
When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, the angel Gabriel appeared to her relative Mary who was in Nazareth in the region of Galilee. Mary was a virgin, engaged to be married to Joseph, a carpenter. Both of them were from the family of David. Gabriel told her that God was going to do a miracle and she was going to give birth to a baby boy. She was to name Him Jesus (meaning God saves) because He was going to save His people from their sins. He would also be a King forever. Mary's immediate question was how this could happen because she was a virgin. Gabriel did not rebuke her as he did to Zacharias because she was only an inexperienced young girl while he was a knowledgeable priest. The angel explained that this conception was going to be supernatural, a work of the Holy Spirit. He told her everything was possible with God, and asked her to think about what God had done for her relative Elizabeth in her old age. Mary humbled herself before God and said she was willing to let Him have all His way with her.

Mary immediately rushed to Elizabeth with the news, and when Elizabeth heard Mary's voice, the baby in her womb leaped, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary described her great joy in being given this unusual privilege by God and praised God.

When Mary went and shared this news with Joseph, he was a bit sceptical. But he was a good man and he thought he would slowly separate from Mary without too much noise. As he was thinking about it, an angel appeared in his dream and told him not to be afraid, but that the Child who was conceived in her was from God. Joseph accepted this, and postponed their wedding till the Child was born.

At this time Caesar Augustus, the emperor of Rome, made a decree that all people should go back to their ancestral town for a census to be taken by tribe. Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem the birthplace of David. This fulfilled the prophecy about Jesus being born in Bethlehem. When they reached there it became time for Mary to deliver, but they could find no place for them to stay because of the rush. Finally an innkeeper allowed them to stay with the animals. When the baby Jesus was born, Mary covered Him with warm cloth and placed Him in a manger!

The manner of His birth was in line with the way He had humbled Himself, coming down from heaven to take His place as a man, a servant of all, from where He finally took the deepest place of taking our sins on Him.

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Comfort & Counsel