MESSIANIC PROPHECIES PT. 3: THE TIME OF MESSIAH’S APPEARANCE

There are two passages in the Hebrew Bible which speak of God doing something amazingly miraculous during the second Temple.

The first comes from the book of Haggai:

“In the seventh [month], on the twenty-first of the month, the word of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet, saying: Say now to Zerubbabel the son of Shaltiel, the governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak the High Priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying: Who among you is left, who saw this house in its former glory? And as you see it now, is it not as nothing in your eyes? And now, be strong, Zerubbabel, says the Lord; and be strong, Joshua the son of Jehozadak the High Priest; and be strong, all the people of the land, says the Lord. And (for I am with you, says the Lord of Hosts) do the thing that I set up with you when you left Egypt. And My spirit stands in your midst; fear not. For so said the Lord of Hosts: [There will rise] another one, and I will shake up the heaven and the earth and the sea and the dry land [for] a little while. And I will shake up all the nations, and they shall come [with] the precious things of all the nations. And I will fill this House with glory, said the Lord of Hosts. The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, says the Lord of Hosts. The glory of this last House shall be greater than the first one, said the Lord of Hosts. And in this place I will grant peace, says the Lord of Hosts.” Haggai 2:1-9 (The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16204#v1)

God announces through the prophet that the second Temple would be more glorious that the first, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., and that he would grant peace within it. The Lord further speaks of the nations bringing their precious things into the Temple, in obvious recognition and honor of the God whose presence dwells therein.   

However, the Hebrew word for precious things may not be a reference to what the nations bring, but rather to the One who brings peace to mankind. Note how the following version renders the underlying Hebrew phrasing:

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired (chemdat) by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” Haggai 2:6-9 NIV

The word chemdat (from the noun chemdah) is used elsewhere in relation to Saul whom God appointed ruler over Israel:

“‘As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire (chemdat) of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?’ Saul answered, ‘But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?’” 1 Samuel 9:20-21 NIV

The plural is also used to describe the prophet Daniel’s status before God:

“And he enabled me to understand, and he spoke with me, and he said, ‘Daniel, now I have come forth to make you skillful in understanding. In the beginning of your supplications, a word came forth, and I have come to tell it, for you have desirable qualities (chamudot); now contemplate the word and understand the vision.’” Daniel 9:22-23 (The Complete Jewish Bible https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16492#v23)

“And he said to me, ‘Daniel, man of desirable qualities (chamudot), contemplate the words I speak to you and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he spoke to me this word, I stood quaking… And he said, ‘Fear not, man of desirable qualities (chamudot); peace be to you, be strong and be strong,” and when he spoke to me, I gained strength, and I said, ‘Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.’” Daniel 10:11, 13 (The Complete Jewish Bible https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16493#v13)

As such, the desire of the nations may not be speaking of items, but of a Person who was to come to dwell in Jerusalem’s holy sanctuary.

One must keep in mind that both the tabernacle and the first Temple were visited by God when he descended in a visible pillar of a cloud to fill his holy sanctuaries with his glory:

And the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Mishkan. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud rested upon it and the glory of the Lord filled the Mishkan. When the cloud rose up from over the Mishkan, the children of Israel set out in all their journeys. But if the cloud did not rise up, they did not set out until the day that it rose. For the cloud of the Lord was upon the Mishkan by day, and there was fire within it at night, before the eyes of the entire house of Israel in all their journeys.” Exodus 40:34-38 (The Complete Jewish Bible https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9901#v34)

“And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy (place), and the cloud filled the house of the Lord. And the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. Then Solomon said, ‘The Lord said that He would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built You a house to dwell in; a settled place for You to dwell in forever.’” 1 Kings 8:10-12 (The Complete Jewish Bible https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15892#v10)

“And when Solomon finished praying, and the fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the House. And the priests could not enter the House of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the House of the Lord. And all the Children of Israel saw the descent of the fire, and the glory of the Lord on the House, and they kneeled on their faces to the ground on the floor, and they prostrated themselves and [said]: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His loving-kindness is eternal.’” 2 Chronicles 7:1-3 (The Complete Jewish Bible https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16556#v1)

Moreover, both sanctuaries contained the stone tablets of the Law written by the finger of God (Cf. Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10), the golden jar of manna, Aaron’s rod which had miraculously budded, and the ark of the covenant/mercy seat:

“Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now. When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning.” Hebrews 9:1-8 NIV

The second Temple contained none of these items, nor did it have God filling it visibly with his glory by descended upon it in a cloud. Therefore, what could possibly make the glory of the second Temple greater than the former?

Another inspired emissary provides the answer:

“Behold I send My angel, and he will clear a way before Me. And suddenly, the Lord (ha Adon) Whom you seek will come to His Temple. And behold! The angel of the covenant, whom you desire, is coming, says the Lord of Hosts. Now who can abide the day of his coming, and who will stand when he appears, for it is like fire that refines and like fullers’ soap. And he shall sit refining and purifying silver, and he shall purify the children of Levi. And he shall purge them as gold and as silver, and they shall be offering up an offering to the Lord with righteousness. And then the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasant to the Lord, as in the days of old and former years. And I will approach you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely; and also against those who withhold the wages of the day laborers, of the widow and fatherless, and those who pervert [the rights of] the stranger, [and those who] fear Me not, says the Lord of Hosts.” Malachi 3:1-5 (The Complete Jewish Bible https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16221#v1)

We know that the Temple mentioned here can only be the second one, since the prophet wrote during the 5th century B.C. period:

But first, we must put the passage in context. After defeating Babylon, the Persians had allowed the exiled Jewish people to return to Judah. But the population was under the control of a Persian governor (Mal 1:8). The temple had been rebuilt (515 BC) and worship established (Mal 1:6-11; 2:1-3; 3:1, 10), but the initial excitement and enthusiasm of the returnees had waned. The social and religious problems Malachi addressed reflect the situation portrayed in Ezr 9 and 10 and Neh 5 and 13, suggesting dates not long before Ezra’s return (c. 460 BC) or Nehemiah’s second term as governor (Neh 13:6-7; c. 435 BC). Linguistic data favors the earlier date.3 (E. Ray Clendenen, “Malachi 3:1; 4:1-5: The Messiah as Messenger of the Lord,” in The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecies: Studies and Expositions of the Messiah in the Old Testament, eds. Michael Rydelnik & Edwin Blum [Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 2019], p. 1328; bold emphasis mine)

As such, Malachi is plainly stating that God will send a herald to prepare for the coming of the Lord to his very own Temple in Jerusalem. This Lord happens to be the divine Angel of the covenant himself that appears all throughout the Hebrew Bible (Cf. Genesis 16:7-14; 31:10-13; 48:15-16; Exodus 3:1-5; 14:19-20; 23:20-23; 33:1-3; Numbers 20:14-16; 22:22-23, 32-33; Judges 2:1-5; 6:11-24; 13:3-24; Zechariah 1:7-14; 3:1-7; 12:8).

The phrase “the Lord” (ha Adon) is used elsewhere only in relation to Yahweh:

“‘Therefore,’ says the Master (ha Adon), the Lord of Hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, ‘Oh, I will console Myself from My adversaries, and I will avenge Myself of My foes.’” Isaiah 1:24 (The Complete Jewish Bible https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15932#v24)

“For, behold, the Master (ha Adon), the Lord of Hosts removes from Jerusalem and from Judah a support and a stay, every support of bread and every support of water;” Isaiah 3:1 (The Complete Jewish Bible https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15934#v1) Cf. 10:16, 33; 19:4; Exod. 23:17; 34:23; Deut. 10:17

And the Hebrew Bible is quite emphatic; the Temple is built for God to dwell in, not for man:

“Then King David said to the entire assembly, ‘My son Solomon, whom God alone has chosen, is young and tender, and the work is great, for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God.’” 1 Chronicles 29:1 (The Complete Jewish Bible https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16549#v1)

Hence, the prophecy is clearly announcing that God himself (and not a created agent) would soon make an appearance at the second Temple to judge his people, specifically his priests, in order to refine and purge them for/from their transgressions.

In other words, the desire of the nations whom Israel longed for is none other than Yahweh God Almighty!

We can now appreciate the sense in which the glory of the second Temple would surpass that of the former house. After all, what could be greater than God appearing in Jerusalem to physically dwell among his people for a season?

This coming would be different from the way God appeared temporarily in a cloud to fill his house. Instead, the prophecy assumes that God would visibly come to the earth to live in the midst of his people, much like the herald that God sends to prepare his way would visibly, physically be dwelling among the people.

Noted Jewish Christian apologist Dr. Michael L. Brown helps put these prophecies in perspective:

In addition to this, the Lord declared in Haggai 2:9 that in the Second Temple he would grant peace. However, while there were several peaceful eras during the days of that Temple, its overall history was marked by war and turmoil, much more so than the First Temple.13 How then was this Temple to be specially marked by “peace,” and, more important, how was its glory to surpass the glory of the First Temple? To answer these questions, we turn to the next piece of prophetic evidence, coming from the Book of Malachi, written somewhere around 400 B.C.E. (i.e., less than 150 years after the rebuilding of the Second Temple). Here we have a more explicit statement: There was to be a divine visitation at the Second Temple—and for many of our people it would be bad news, not good news, a time of judgment rather than joy.

We see from this passage that the Lord (in Hebrew, haʾadon, always used with reference to God in the Hebrew Bible when it has the definite article),14 preceded by his messenger, would visit the Second Temple, purifying some of his people and bringing judgment on others. That is to say, there would be a divine visitation of great import that would occur in the days of the Second Temple. How are these verses to be understood?

According to the famous medieval Jewish commentaries of Radak (David Kimchi) and Metsudat David, “the Lord” refers to none other than “King Messiah.” However, neither of these commentators took sufficient note of the fact that the Messiah was to come to the Temple that stood in Malachi’s day (and note also that it is called “his Temple”—pointing clearly to the divine nature of the “Lord” spoken of here). I ask you, did this happen? If it did, then the Messiah must have come before the Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E.; if not, God’s Word has failed.15

After reviewing the prophecy we just read from Haggai 2, we can now put two big pieces of the puzzle together: The glory of the Second Temple would be greater than the glory of the First Temple because the Lord himself—in the person of the Messiah16—would visit the Second Temple! And in this place he would grant peace because the Messiah, called “the Prince of Peace,” would come there in person and open the way for peace and reconciliation between God and man.17

14 Outside of Malachi 3:1, the phrase is always hâʾadon yhwh; see Exod. 23:17; 34:23; Deut. 10:17; Isa. 1:24; 3:1; 10:16, 33; 19:4. For the usage in Malachi 3:1, cf. Andrew E. Hill, Malachi (New York: Doubleday, 1998), 268.

15 It is ludicrous to argue that the coming of the Lord to his Temple did not refer to the Second Temple but rather to a Temple that is yet to be built, now twenty-four hundred years after Malachi’s words. There was, quite obviously, no way that the prophet himself would have conceived of such a thought, and the entire context of the Book of Malachi makes it clear that there was to be a time of divine judgment and visitation for the people who worshiped and served at the Second Temple. In fact, it is surprising that it even took four hundred years for this word to be fulfilled, since the coming of the messenger of the covenant was said to be imminent (cf. the NJPSV’s “he is already coming”). It is also worth pointing out that Radak believed that this messenger who prepares the way of the Lord was either the Messiah or Elijah (in the former case, meaning that both figures are one and the same), whereas Metsudat David states only that it is Elijah (but in v. 1, Radak felt that it was a heavenly messenger, as in Exod. 23:25). According to Ibn Ezra, the messenger of v. 1a might refer to Messiah Ben Joseph, but the ʾadon in v. 1b did not refer to Yahweh but to the aforementioned messenger of the covenant. For the New Testament application of these verses and concepts, cf. especially Mat. 11:10; Mark 1:2–3; and cf. Mat. 3:10–12 with Mal. 3:1–4. According to Moses Maimonides, the words “he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” describe the work of the Messiah; see his Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot Melakhim 12:3.

16 For those who find references to the divine nature of the Messiah to be crass or “un-Jewish,” I would point out that either the Messiah was a divine man who brought the presence of God to earth two thousand years ago and who will return with divine glory in the near future, or else Yahweh himself had to literally visit the Second Temple (according to Malachi 3) and will have to literally return and stand on the Mount of Olives in the future (according to Zechariah 14). In light of our forthcoming discussion (see vol. 2, 3.1–3.4, 3.22), only the former option (viz., the divine nature of the Messiah) is possible. See also John J. Collins, “Jewish Monotheism and Christian Theology,” in Aspects of Monotheism: How God Is One, ed. Hershel Shanks and Jack Meinhart (Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeological Society, 1997), 81–105. (Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus [Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI 2000], Volume 1. General and Historical Objections, Historical Objections, 2.1. If Jesus is really the Messiah, why isn’t there peace on earth?; bold emphasis mine)

FULFILLMENT

According to the inspired Christian Scriptures, John the Baptist was the messenger of Malachi 3:1 whom God sent to prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus:

“The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way’— ‘a voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”’ And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Mark 1:1-4 NIV

“Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’” Matthew 11:9-10 NIV

This means that Jesus is the very Lord who was supposed to appear in his own Temple!

Christ is also said to be the eternal Word of God, being truly God in essence, the One whom God appointed to create and give life to all creation. This Word then took on a flesh body, which has now become the physical Temple that he resides in forever, through which he manifested his glory:

“In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men…  The true light, coming into the world, gives light to every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him; but the world did not know Him…  And the Word became flesh and tabernacled (eskenosen) among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-4, 9-10, 14 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

“After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!’ His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ The Jews then responded to him, ‘What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ They replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.” John 2:12-22 NIV

The verb for tabernacled, eskeonosen, comes from skene which is the word used throughout the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible for the Old Testament tent/tabernacle of meeting.  And similar to what took place at the completion of the tabernacle/Temple, God’s cloud visibly descended upon Christ and three of his disciples on the mount where the Lord was transfigured before his apostles, revealing to them his true inner abiding divine nature which was being veiled by his human flesh:

“And he said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.’ After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!’” Mark 9:1-7 – Cf. Matthew 16:28-17:5; Luke 9:27-35 NIV

“For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18 NIV

It was during Christ’s tabernacling in the flesh that God granted his everlasting peace to all who would believe in Christ, and deemed all those who refused to trust in his beloved Son as being worthy of condemnation:   

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.’” Luke 19:41-44 NIV

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18 NIV

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:8-11 NIV

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:11-22 NIV

Therefore, what could be greater in glory than God becoming a Man in order to become our Redeemer, and appearing as a physical human being throughout the land of Israel and in his very own Temple for a period of time?  

“who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.” Romans 9:4-5 New King James Version (NKJV)

“Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.’ And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ And again he says, ‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’ Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:11-18 NIV

In other words, what made the second Temple more glorious than the first is the fact that God appeared there as an actual flesh and blood human being, having taken to himself a physical body which he created from the consecrated womb of the blessed virgin Mary:

“and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah. This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” Matthew 1:16-25

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:26-35 NIV

This is the glory which makes everything else pale in comparison!  

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