2/18 Luke 1:32-33

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."

These are the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary, describing the Son that would be conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary's womb. The long chain of promises about a coming Savior goes all the way back to Eve: The seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). The seed of Abraham would bless the world (Genesis 22:18). Then the promise went down his lineage to Isaac and then to his son, Jacob. The promise seemed to fade for generations until King David. Then the promise was renewed with more details. This coming King of David's lineage would reign forever (Acts 2:30). The prophets confirmed that this would surely come to pass, but added that this One would be called Mighty God and Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6-7)!

The promised Messiah was a very earnest hope in the time when Gabriel made the announcement. Women would pray to be the mother of the One that was to come. Mary would have understood the words of Gabriel to mean that she was to be the mother of this special child. She and her betrothed were both of the house of David. Just exactly how the promise would come to pass was a mystery. Few understood that the Messiah would be a deliverer from sin, and that the deliverance from earthly oppression would come much later (Zechariah 3:9).

When Jesus was crucified, we wonder what Mary thought of the promise then. At the Resurrection she must have thought it was surely the time to set up His earthly kingdom? And we, too, wonder how long it will be before the earthly kingdom is established and sin is no more. Those in Christ have entered the kingdom, for He reigns in our hearts. Yet we long for His earthly reign, when injustice will cease and all will know Him.

Prayer: Come, Lord Jesus! Cause all oppression to cease. Reign in righteousness over all the earth. Reign in my heart today.