Advent Scripture Calendar

23) He will reign over the house of Jacob forever

Rev Henk Poot - 20 December 2021
Monday 20 December  

Luke 1:27-33

‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured!’
Luke 1:28

The encounter of the angel Gabriel with Mary was a favourite subject in art. Just think of the well-known ‘Ave Maria’ (Hail Mary). What few people realise, is that a prophecy from Zephaniah resounds in the background: ‘Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!’ And a bit later: ‘The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.’ (Zephaniah 3:14-15). The word in the ancient Greek translation for ‘rejoice’ (chaire) has changed over time to ‘greetings’.

With these words from Zephaniah, you will clearly realise, that Mary is not just an ordinary young woman from the people of Israel. She is the symbol of Israel. It is Israel that will receive the Son of God and bring forth the Messiah for the rest of the world. This is true of Mary, and it is also true of Jesus. He has everything to do with Israel. He will bring salvation and peace to the world. He will even take away the sin of the world. But He will do it as the King of Israel. Israel has received that grace from God.

Another detail. Perhaps the words of Gabriel about Jesus that should be highlighted, are: ‘The Lord will give Him the throne of His father David’. So, it is not Herod who is on the throne at that moment, a descendant of Esau, but Jesus, a descendant of Jacob, of Israel. And He will be King over Jacob for all eternity. I suspect that not many people will think about the fact that salvation is from the Jews during Christmas. But it is true, and it is not incidental.

We pray for the imminent return of Jesus to Jerusalem to take up the reign in the city of David over the whole world.

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