1. In verses 28 and 30, Gabriel tells Mary that God favors her. What can we tell about Mary that would cause God to favor her?
Mary is humble, trusting, and obedient. When she accepts the task God has given her, she’s simply acting according to her nature. She was a true servant of God before and after Gabriel appeared to her.
2. Mary’s Son would be adopted by Joseph, a descendant of King David, meaning He would be the legal heir to the throne of Israel. But He wasn’t Joseph’s biological Son. The Child was miraculously conceived in Mary through the power of God. Why is it important for the Child to be, literally, the Son of God?
John 5:16-18 - So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute Him. In His defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill Him; not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
A son in that culture typically carried on his father’s work, just as Jesus carried on God’s work. And a son is equal to his father in that they hold the same position. John Doe, Jr. will one day take the place of John Doe, Sr. Even while they’re both alive, both are Mr. Doe. They’re the same in that regard. In regard to the Trinity, God’s Son is the same as God in His Divine attributes.
If Jesus did not share God’s infinite nature, He couldn’t take the punishment for an infinite number of sins. As a perfect man, He would be able to take the punishment for one person’s sins only.
3. In verse 37, Gabriel says “For no word from God will ever fail.” What comfort can we take from this statement?
All of God’s promises will come true. Even in our own lives, if God communicates something to us, it will happen. God is never wrong. Nothing can stop God’s plan.
4. In verses 39-45, we read that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke prophetically about matters she had no prior knowledge of. She acknowledges Mary’s pregnancy (which she probably didn’t know about before Mary’s visit) and acknowledges Mary’s Baby as her Lord. What does this show us about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
The Spirit can reveal things to us that we would not know without His inspiration.
1 Corinthians 12:8 - To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit
5. Mary’s song begins on a personal note, but then she starts talking about God removing rulers from their thrones and sending the rich away empty to lift up the poor and feed the hungry. Why do these things have to do with her Son?
Like Elizabeth, Mary is prophesying. She’s foreseeing what her Son will do when He reigns as King. She may not have known that this would not be fulfilled until Christ’s second coming.
6. In verses 59-63, Elizabeth and Zechariah confirm their son’s name to be John, which means God is Gracious. How is God’s grace shown in the life of John?
God was gracious to Zechariah and Elizabeth in giving them a child, but He is also showing His grace in using John to call people back to Himself. Any time God reaches out to us, it’s an expression of grace. We don’t deserve for God to call us to repentance or offer us forgiveness, but He’s gracious, so He does.