What would you do if an angel suddenly appeared and began talking with you? You would certainly be startled and maybe even speechless. Well I’m going to talk about a time when that really happened. Angel… that’s our word for today.
Mary of Nazareth was going about her daily routine when suddenly the angel Gabriel appeared and said, “Greetings, favored one… the Lord is with you.” Wow! That must have been an amazing experience. The account in Luke says that she was afraid and very troubled by what he was saying to her. That she was going to conceive in her womb and bring forth a son.
But then she began to respond to the angel by asking a question. In Luke 1:34 it says, “Then said Mary unto the angel
… How shall this be seeing I know not a man?” Mary began to interact with the angel by quizzing him on the exact meaning of what was being said.
The word angel is an English transliteration of the Greek word angelos, which essentially means “a messenger.” Angelos, therefore, can refer to anyone who brings a message – including a human person. Well, here the messenger is an angel from God and, specifically, the angel Gabriel. You see, angels never speak for themselves. They are messengers who speak for God.
It was really God who was informing Mary that she had been chosen to give birth to the Messiah. It was God who had conceived the incredible plan of a virgin birth, that a simple jewish maiden would be impregnated by the Holy Spirit without ever having known a man. It was God’s plan.
When Mary questioned the angel, she was simply questioning the messenger. Now you know the real meaning of the word.
Hey, angels really do exist – they are special messengers of God. ■