And the angel said unto her, “Fear not, Mary: for you have found favour with God. And behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call His name JESUS – He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”
Luke 1 v 30 – 33
The first thing we note about this declaration by the angel to Mary is that the birth of JESUS will fulfil the prophetic word. Seven hundred years earlier, the prophet Isaiah had written about a coming King who would be both a ‘child born’ and a ‘Son given’.
For unto us a Child is Born, unto us a Son is Given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder … of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth, even for ever.
Isaiah 9 v 6 – 7
The Child Born
The first part of the angelic message tells of the child to be born. He would be born of Mary, from her womb – truly human – and therefore her child. And as Mary was of the royal line of David (see Luke 3), the angel could speak of the child sitting upon ‘the throne of His father David‘ without Mary blinking an eyelid. Like all children, Mary’s child would be named, and a child of such significance would have a significant name – Jesus, meaning ‘he saves’.
The Son Given
The second part of the announcement, however, takes us further and higher: ‘He shall be called the Son of the Highest’. Reading on in Luke chapter one a few more verses, the angel Gabriel explains the incarnation further to Mary by saying ‘the power of the Highest shall overshadow you’. It is clear ‘the Highest’ refers to God alone, the angel declaring the child Jesus to be the Son of God.
As the Son of the Highest, Jesus did not begin to exist when Mary came to be with child, but rather has an eternal existence. It is indeed a mystery that God would become ‘manifest in flesh’ (1 Timothy 3 v 16) and not just reveal His glory. If the latter, all of us would perish, for no man can see God and live, but it is His desire that all should be saved. So, to this end, God graciously gave His Son to us, as one of us, though without sin.
As the eternal Son and perfect man, given for us, even unto death, Jesus Christ is now ‘able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him’ (Hebrews 7 v 5).
The Eternal King
Since His death and resurrection, the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus has won many hearts to Him. Little by little, one hard heart at a time is being redeemed, regenerated and recreated until the day comes when Christ will come in His glory to take ‘the throne of His father David’.
As a child born and man grown, there would be no future hope – no eternal kingdom. But as the Son given, eternal and divine, Jesus Christ will indeed rule over a kingdom of which there shall be no end. The child born, and Son given, will have become the eternal King.