The Announcement to Mary | Devotional
For with God nothing will be impossible.
When we first meet Mary in Luke’s gospel, it is on the occasion when an archangel appeared to her suddenly and without fanfare to disclose to her God’s wonderful plan.
Scripture says, simply, “The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1:26–27).
At the time of the Annunciation, Mary was probably still a teenager. It was customary for girls in that culture to be betrothed while they were still as young as thirteen years of age.
Marriages were ordinarily arranged by the bridegroom or his parents through the girl’s father. Mary was betrothed to Joseph, about whom we know next to nothing—except that he was a carpenter (Mark 6:3) and a righteous man (Matt. 1:19).
Scripture is very clear in teaching that Mary was still a virgin when Jesus was miraculously conceived in her womb. Luke 1:27 twice calls her a virgin, using a Greek term that allows for no subtle nuance of meaning.
The clear claim of Scripture, and Mary’s own testimony, is that she had never been physically intimate with any man.
Her betrothal to Joseph was a legal engagement known as kiddushin, which in that culture typically lasted a full year. Kiddushin was legally as binding as marriage itself.
The couple were deemed husband and wife, and only a legal divorce could dissolve the marriage contract (Matt. 1:19). But during this time, the couple lived separately from each other and had no physical relations whatsoever.
John MacArthur is a profound teacher of the word of God, a zealous preacher of Christian doctrine, a renowned writer and speaker, and Pastor and Teacher at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California