Too often, we rush and we fail to slow down and consider
the common sense of a Bible passage - in context.
Like a learner in a reading class, let's break down a passage to see if we can comprehend it better.
Luke 1 (NASB):
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee named Nazareth,
- What does Gabriel say to relieve Mary's fear?
- Why is Mary confused?
- Why does the angel address Mary as "favored one"?
- Who "sent" Gabriel?
- Is Joseph's descendancy from David significant?
- What is the significance of Mary being identified as a virgin?
It should be understood that this named angel - Gabriel - is dispatched from Almighty God for the purpose of communicating with Mary. Mary is considered to be favored (or favorite) of God, and there is great care on the author's part to identify Joseph as being in the lineage of David. It almost sounds as if Gabriel is excited as he says, "Greetings, favored one!"
It's difficult to imagine standing in Mary's place. The passage notes that Mary is perplexed and is pondering the angel's greeting when Gabriel instructs her not to be afraid. He tells her she has "found favor" with God, implying that if she was not a favored one, Mary might have a reason to fear.
Matthew's primary readership for his account of the Gospel are the Jews. They would have been aware of Messianic prophecy involving the birth of a coming Savior. Specifically, they should be looking for a virgin birth with the child being an heir to the David's throne. Even though verses 26-30 only tell of the greeting shared between Mary and Gabriel, there is depth here as prophecy is in the process of being fulfilled.