1. Archangel Gabriel visited Mary in the sixth Jewish month 

We have been investigating the identity of the members of the God family as revealed through the Birth of Jesus our Savior and Lord.  Archangel Gabriel told me that Mary knew the prophecy about the birth of the Messiah by a Virgin. He therefore had also asked me to write about this.

Archangel Gabriel visited Mary in the sixth Jewish month of the year. This is equivalent Gregorian September and means that Jesus’ birth was June of the next year.  Earth citizens always mess up God’s calendar. There is no way Lord Jesus could have been born in December if the June was the sixth Jewish month.

God chose the  sixth Jewish month to implant Jesus into Mary’s womb. This is because the sixth month matched the creation day of  the first Adam. Now God was sending the second, sinless Adam who would deliver us from the curse of sin.

Thankfully, Jesus is not mean and prefers that we celebrate His birth. After all, He was the most important baby who was ever born! However, think of the impact on the world if His birthday celebration had coincided with the Jewish  feast in the month of June.

2. Hail, thou that art highly favoured

Mary was highly favored in the heavens by God, the angels and the saints. This was brought out by Archangel Gabriel greeting her with the word Hail.  The word Hail  is a greeting which could be given to an enemy or friend. However, Archangel Gabriel did not give Mary an ordinary greeting. This greeting was more than just  “hello Mary”:

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name [was] Mary

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women (Lk 1: 26 – 29).

The Greek word for Hail is associated with rejoicing, gladness, joyfulness. By adding  “thou that art highly favored”,  we see that God rejoiced to see Mary and to bring her the news that she would be the mother of the Messiah.

Does God rejoice over humans? Yes. Prophet Zephaniah reveals that God rejoices over us when we please Him:

 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3: 17).

3. …thou that art highly favoured

The Father then said words that astounded Mary – you are highly favoured.   Highly is an adverb which means to “a high degree, extremely” (dictionary.com).  After 400 years of apparent silence, God spoke first to a Priest, then to a young woman.

Priest Zacharias was jaded and weary with the Priesthood, going through the motions.  Scriptures describe him and Elizabeth as righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless (Luke 1: 6).

Archangel Gabriel revealed Himself to Priest Zacharias  while the people were outside praying at the time of incense, significant of prayers going to the Throne of  God (Rev 8: 3 – 5. Meantime, Priest Zacharias was inside the Holy Place offering incense and praying for a child (Lk 1: 10 – 12).  God responds to our prayers, so keep praying!

However, there is a marked difference between Archangel Gabriel’s revelation to Zacharias and that to Mary. She was not even from the Tribe of Levi, she was from the Tribe of David.  Like her forefather David, Mary had somehow found favor with God (Acts 7: 45b & 46b).

This is an important lesson for the Church to learn! Favor is dependent on relationship and not position or titles.

The angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured  (Charitoō/G5487) , the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women  (Luke 1: 26)

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made (Charitoō/G5487) us accepted (Charitoō/G5487) in the beloved  (Eph 1: 6).

Charitoō (G5487) is the Greek word used for favoured and it is also found in Ephesians 1: 6 where it is rendered “he hath made … accepted”  in the beloved  Let us explore Charis (G5485), the root word for favored (Charitoō/G5487), since it  may help us to understand why Mary and no one else was selected to be the Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

More next time on Charis (G5485). 

Blessings and peace to you.