What does Luke 1:35 mean?
ESV: And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy — the Son of God.
NIV: 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.
NASB: The angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; for that reason also the holy Child will be called the Son of God.
CSB: The angel replied to her: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
NLT: The angel replied, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.
KJV: And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
NKJV: And the angel answered and said to her, “ The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
Verse Commentary:
When Gabriel told Zechariah, an aging priest, that he and his wife would conceive, the priest reacted with doubt (Luke 1:13, 18). He was unsure if the angel's message was true. In response, Gabriel temporarily struck the man mute (Luke 1:19–20). Six months later, Gabriel has delivered an even more amazing message, this time to a young woman named Mary (Luke 1:26–28). The priest's son would be an important herald of the Messiah (Luke 1:16–17). Mary, however, will give birth to the actual Son of God, Jesus: the Messiah Himself (Luke 1:31–33).

Mary's response is like Zechariah's in that it comes in the form of a question. Unlike Zechariah, she does not doubt "if" Gabriel's words are true. Instead, she wonders "how" they will be fulfilled (Luke 1:35). And so, Gabriel reacts with more information, rather than a rebuke.

When Adam sinned (Genesis 3:9–12), he brought a "sin nature" to humanity, which was passed down to all of Adam's children (Romans 5:12, 17–18). Jesus' conception by the Holy Spirit, rather than by a human father, accomplishes two purposes. It makes Jesus free from sin that all fathers pass to their children. It also fulfills prophecy that the Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). This means Jesus will quite literally be the "Son of God" (Luke 1:32; 22:70; John 3:16; Matthew 14:33). He will be born holy, lacking any sin at all, and remain that way forever (Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

It would be easy to forget that Mary's unexpected pregnancy, during her betrothal to Joseph (Luke 1:26), would have created a social dilemma. Joseph, for his part, was inclined to break the planned wedding when he learned she was expecting a child not his own (Matthew 1:19–20). Even when Jesus is an adult, rumors about His birth will be used as insults by His enemies (John 8:19, 41). The news that she would conceive as an unmarried woman implied a burden of its own. And yet, Mary will respond with joyful obedience (Luke 1:38).
Verse Context:
Luke 1:26–38 relates how a virgin learned she would miraculously bear the Son of God. The angel Gabriel comes to Mary, who is engaged to a man named Joseph. Gabriel tells Mary that she will bear a son, to be named Jesus. He will be the Promised One long awaited by the people of Israel. Since Mary has never been intimate with a man, God will miraculously conceive the child. Gabriel is the same angel who predicted the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:13), and he informs Mary about this happy occurrence for her relative, Elizabeth. Mary responds in submissive faith. A parallel account is found in Matthew 1:18–25.
Chapter Summary:
The angel Gabriel predicts two miraculous births. The first is a son born to Zechariah and Elizabeth: an older, childless priest and his wife. Because Zechariah initially doubts this message, he is temporarily made unable to speak. Their child will be known as John the Baptist, a powerful herald of the Messiah. The Promised One whom John will proclaim is the second birth predicted by Gabriel. He tells an engaged virgin, Mary, that God will miraculously conceive His Son in her. The two women meet and rejoice over their blessings. John's arrival sets the stage for Luke's familiar account of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Chapter Context:
Luke was a travelling companion of the apostle Paul (Acts 16:10); his book of Acts is a direct "sequel" to the gospel of Luke (Acts 1:1–3). Those two books make up more than a quarter of the New Testament. Luke begins by explaining how his orderly approach is meant to inspire confidence in Christian faith. His work is based on eyewitness interviews and other evidence. The first chapter details the miraculous conceptions of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. Chapter 2 continues with Jesus' birth.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
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