Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias, had been regarded as barren but had conceived a child and was six months pregnant when the angel appeared to Mary.
"Now in (Elizabeth's) sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth.
To a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary.
And he came in unto her, and said, Hail thou art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee.
But she was greatly troubled at the saying and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this might be, and the angel said unto her,
Fear not Mary for thou hast found favour with God: And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son and shall call his name Jesus.
He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (1:32-33)"
At first, we are told that Mary could not understand the angel's greeting for, unlike Zacharias, she had made no supplication to God. She was nevertheless informed that she had found favour. Luke testifies that, at this time, Mary was still a virgin. However, it is of critical importance to realise that there had, as yet, been no conception.
That Jesus was not conceived until some indeterminate time AFTER the angel's departure is confirmed in 2:21.
"When eight days were fulfulled for circumcising him, his name was called Jesus, which was so called by the angel BEFORE he was conceived in the womb."
Luke, writing these words to Theophilus, having no personal knowledge but having traced the course of all things accurately from the first (1:3) nevertheless was able to specify a time in which the conception took place. Had it been a virgin conception, he could not have been so specific.
There was an occasion when, at the age of 12, Jesus strayed from his parents and was found three days later talking to the teachers in the Jerusalem Temple.
"And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I sought thee sorrowing.
And he said unto them. Knew ye not that I must be in my father's house? AND THEY UNDERSTOOD NOT THE SAYING WHICH HE SPOKE UNTO THEM." (Luke 2:48-50)
Thus, Mary, who supposedly had undergone a virgin conception, did not know what Jesus was talking about when he called YHWH his father. Perhaps because the early church was male-dominated, it seems to have completely escaped attention that Mary was the ONLY person who could possibly know the truth!
to be continued...