We are going to focus on just one verse in this passage, the greeting from the angel Gabriel. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28). What is the significance of how the angel greets Mary?
First, Mary is given special, divine favor from God. The root of the word favor is often translated in the New Testament as grace. God gave Mary special grace for the task that was ahead of her. Mary was not a dispenser of grace, as some would believe, but rather she was shown special favor by God for the task for which God had chosen her, bearing the Son of God. This had nothing to do with anything in her that set her apart. She was a humble girl, from an unimportant place, yet God chose her for this important role and gave her grace to perform it.
Second, God not only chose her, he granted his presence with her in a special way. He promised to be with her. That’s the promise of all of Scripture, that God would be with us. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us) (Matthew 1:23). God’s plan from the beginning of time until the end of time is to be with us. He is the good news, and his presence is all that we need.
We can all have God’s grace and his presence with us, through the sending of the Holy Spirit, just as God showed his grace and presence to Mary. That’s the promise of Jesus, given by God. We can experience his new birth in our lives and his presence with us, always, by faith. What an indescribable gift!