Gabriel: “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Luke 1:36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.

Gabriel knows that Elizabeth and Mary are related family. Imagine being Mary, this being knows a lot about her circumstances.

Mary Elizabeth

So what relation is Mary to Elizabeth? The Greek word for “relative” is συγγενής/suggenes. The term is defined or translated as a relation; a relative or kinsman by multiple concordances. The King James Version is the only translation that utilizes the term “cousin” which may not be accurate. All other translations and even the King James Version typically uses the term “relative” or “kinsman” in the 12 times the term συγγενής/suggenes is used in the New Testament. We don’t know specifically the exact relation of Elizabeth and Mary. But we do know they are related. The two women have a history and they know each other.

Luke 1:39-40 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

Elizabeth is described as being in “old age” and “barren.”

She is γῆρας/géras or old. This is the only time the term is used in the New Testament. In English, we get the word geriatric from the Greek.

Elizabeth is also “barren” or στεῖρος/steiros. The translators are kind. The word sterile could also apply. In other words, Elizabeth is a sterile, old, geriatric woman.

Zechariah is no spring chicken himself. Zechariah knows he is old too.

Luke 1:18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

As a reminder, this is not the first time God oversees a geriatric woman getting pregnant and giving birth.

Genesis 17:15-19 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.

~

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Ultimately, Mary responds to the grace afforded to her by Gabriel. She believes God’s messenger. And she chooses to tell Gabriel…

Behold or ἰδού/idou. Mary has turned the tables on Gabriel. Now, she is telling Gabriel to pay attention to her! Gabriel, you listen to me!

Mary proclaims to be a “servant” or a δούλη/doule. This is a female slave or bond maid. She is submitting her will to God and His plan. She is choosing to be a slave to God.

Mary is asking for Gabriel’s message to become her reality; let it be to me according to your word.

Gabriel believes Mary. And the angel departed from her.

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