Advent Devotional: Week 1, Part 3

By Bruce Benedict & Elliot Grudem  /  

week one of advent

Background #3 – Mary and the Virgin Birth of a Boy Named Jesus.

When the angel Gabriel appeared in Nazareth, to the home of the woman who promised to marry Joseph (who was a descendant of David and Jesse), Mary was not expecting the visitor. The house was not cleaned nor a meal prepared. And she certainly didn’t know how she was to bear a child who would take the throne of David! She was confused and troubled. Despite the unbelievable words of the angel, Mary submitted to God’s wondrous plan for her life.

Isaiah 7:14
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.

Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 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. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 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.

Shedding some light...

Have your parents ever asked you to do something that didn’t make sense? Have you ever been asked to believe something unbelievable? This takes a great amount of truth and faith. In this passage we see that God tells Mary she will do something that won’t make sense and will have to believe something unbelievable. Because Mary loves God and trusts in his Word to her, she allows God to shape her life according to his plan. What do you think is the most unbelievable thing the angel told Mary? What part of the passage gives you hope?

Children’s Prayer

Dear God, the story of Jesus and his family is amazing! Angels visited them. Angels told them some pretty amazing things. Yet they believed the unbelievable because they believed you. Thank you that Jesus’ mother and father were so faithful in their love for you. Help us to love you and obey you by obeying our mother and father when they ask us to do things that honor you—even though we don’t always understand the reasons they ask us to obey.

Adults’ Prayer

Father, help us believe that nothing is impossible with you. Help us submit to you. Help us obey you. Let the way you fulfilled your promises in the past bolster our faith. Let us long for you to fulfill your promises in the future. And let us rest in the present, trusting in you and you alone.

Advent Singing: Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond All Splendor

Advent Devotional Guide Download

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Compilation and Text
Bruce Benedict

Elliot Grudem

Ladye Jane Vickers

Amelia Reynolds

PO Box 10095 | Raleigh, NC 27605
919-546-0515 |