“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.’
‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’
The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God’” (Luke 1:26-35 NIV).
Most people would lock in on the fact that Mary was a virgin. That is important, but it is still just part of the story. Why did God come to a backwater tiny town in Galilee that never appeared in any writings before? Why did God entrust His coming to a couple of women? Yes, that sounds sexist, but it was a sexist time. Why did God come as a baby, in a nowhere place, to a no-one girl, in a nobody family? Yes, Mary was a virgin, but that is only part of it. Yes, it was a miracle, but so was God the Creator becoming flesh and dwelling with us.
Women were in essence property in those days. We see this in the scripture, when Joseph “decided”.
Nazareth had never before appeared in any Jewish or non-Jewish writings. It was in all purposes not even on the map. “What good can come from Nazareth?”
Joseph’s family may have been in the line of David, but Joseph was a poor carpenter; a line of nobodies.
So why this place and why these people? Have you ever wondered why the resurrection news was entrusted to two women? Sounds familiar, because so was His birth. Mary and Elizabeth are the main characters in Jesus’ birth and the men are secondary. The same in His resurrection. Jesus came from Nazareth and mostly stayed in the back waters of Galilee during His ministry. He cured the unclean, ate with sinners and even taught Samaritans. Why?
He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary, so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say the Godhead and manhood, are thus united in one person very God and very man, and He lived among us. The Lord of lords, King of kings, the King of an upside-down Kingdom. Meaning the weak are strong, the marginalized are exulted to high places, and He did nothing that was expected. He came to us as a weak dependent baby, not a warrior king, to a virgin girl who had no rights, in a place no-one would have expected, fully man and fully God in one and yet a vulnerable baby.
No answers today, just questions. We seem to usually lock in on the obvious like the miracle of the virgin birth. Today, however I would like you to ask the harder questions.
Why to a virgin girl of about 13-14 who in those days was a nobody?
Why in a nowhere town that nothing good came from?
Why did the God of all creation come as a vulnerable baby?
Why did He come at all?
What is all of this saying about Him and His Kingdom?