Luke 1:37
For with God nothing shall be impossible.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1:26-38 We have here an account of the mother of our Lord; though we are not to pray to her, yet we ought to praise God for her. Christ must be born miraculously. The angel's address means only, Hail, thou that art the especially chosen and favoured of the Most High, to attain the honour Jewish mothers have so long desired. This wondrous salutation and appearance troubled Mary. The angel then assured her that she had found favour with God, and would become the mother of a son whose name she should call Jesus, the Son of the Highest, one in a nature and perfection with the Lord God. JESUS! the name that refreshes the fainting spirits of humbled sinners; sweet to speak and sweet to hear, Jesus, a Saviour! We know not his riches and our own poverty, therefore we run not to him; we perceive not that we are lost and perishing, therefore a Saviour is a word of little relish. Were we convinced of the huge mass of guilt that lies upon us, and the wrath that hangs over us for it, ready to fall upon us, it would be our continual thought, Is the Saviour mine? And that we might find him so, we should trample on all that hinders our way to him. Mary's reply to the angel was the language of faith and humble admiration, and she asked no sign for the confirming her faith. Without controversy, great was the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh, 1Ti 3:16. Christ's human nature must be produced so, as it was fit that should be which was to be taken into union with the Divine nature. And we must, as Mary here, guide our desires by the word of God. In all conflicts, let us remember that with God nothing is impossible; and as we read and hear his promises, let us turn them into prayers, Behold the willing servant of the Lord; let it be unto me according to thy word.Thy cousin Elizabeth ... - The case of Elizabeth is mentioned to inspire Mary with confidence, and to assure her that what was now promised would be fulfilled. It was almost as improbable that Elizabeth should have a child at her time of life, as it was that Mary should under the circumstances promised. 37. For, &c.—referring to what was said by the angel to Abraham in like case (Ge 18:14), to strengthen her faith. See Poole on "Luke 1:36" For with God nothing shall be impossible. That is consistent with his nature and perfections, with his counsels, purposes, and promises: every thing that he has said, purposed, or promised, he is able to do, and will; every word that he has spoken, every thing predicted by his prophets, or declared by his angels, and particularly this of a virgin's conceiving and bearing a Son: so that the angel not only answers her question, how this should be, but confirms her faith in it; partly by the instance of her cousin Elisabeth, and partly by observing the infinite omnipotence of God. For with God nothing shall be impossible.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 1:37. ἀδυνατήσει: the verb means, in classic Greek, to be weak, of persons. In Sept[5] and N. T. (here and in Matthew 17:20) it means to be impossible, of things. Commentators differ as to whether we should render: no word of God shall be weak, inoperative, or no thing, with, on the part of, God, shall be impossible.—ῥῆμα = דָּבָר may be rendered either word or thing. The reading παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ ([6] [7] [8]) seems to demand the former of the two translations. Field, Otium Nor., discusses this passage. Adopting the above reading, and adhering to the sense of ἀδυνατ. in reference to things, he translates: “for from God no word (or no thing) shall be impossible”.

[5] Septuagint.

[6] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[7] Codex Bezae

[8] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.

Some recent critics find in this section two different views of the birth of Jesus, one implying natural paternity, the other supernatural causality, the former being the view in the original document, the other introduced by the evangelist, the former Jewish in its tendency of thought, the latter heathen-Christian. The subject is discussed by Hillmann in Jahrb. für prot. Theol., 1891, and Usener, Religions-geschictliche Untersuchungen, 1888. J. Weiss, in his ed. of Meyer, p. 303, note, seems inclined to favour this view, and to see in Luke 1:31-33 the one version, and in Luke 1:34-35 the other, due to Lk. Against this view vide Feine, Vork. Überlief.37. nothing] Rather, no word. For the thought see Genesis 18:14; Matthew 19:26. “There is nothing too hard for thee,” Jeremiah 32:17.Luke 1:37. Πᾶν ῥῆμα, every word [thing]) As to things contradictory in the very terms, whether such are possible to happen, is not a subject which need be disputed; for they do not constitute a word [in the sense ῥῆμα, verbum, is here used, a true word or thing]: nor does a thing done and undone, i.e. true and false [a word verified and then falsified], constitute a word; for repentance of His deed or promise does not apply to God: Genesis 18:14, μὴ ἀδυνατεῖ παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ ῥῆμα; Is any word impossible with God? (Surely not.)With God nothing shall be impossible (σὐκ ἀδυνατήσει παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ πᾶν ῥῆμα)

Ῥῆμα, word, as distinguished from λόγος, word, in classical Greek, signifies a constituent part of a speech or writing, as distinguished from the contents as a whole. Thus it may be either a word or a saying. Sometimes a phrase, as opposed to ὄνομα, a single word. The distinction in the New Testament is not sharp throughout. It is maintained that ῥῆμα in the New Testament, like the Hebrew gabar, stands sometimes for the subject-matter of the word; the thing, as in this passage. But there are only two other passages in the New Testament where this meaning is at all admissible, though the word occurs seventy times. These are Luke 2:15; Acts 5:32. "Kept all these things" (Luke 2:19), should clearly be sayings, as the A. V. itself has rendered it in the almost identical passage, Luke 2:51. In Acts 5:32, Rev. gives sayings in margin. In Luke 2:15, though A. V. and Rev. render thing, the sense is evidently saying, as appears both from the connection with the angelic message and from the following words, which has come to pass: the saying which has become a fact. The Rev. rendering of this passage is, therefore, right, though a little stilted: No word of God shall be void of power; for the A. V. errs in joining οὐκ and πᾶν, not every, and translating nothing. The two do not belong together. The statement is, Every (πᾶν) word of God shall not (οὐκ) be powerless. The A. V. also follows the reading, παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ, with God; but all the later texts read παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ, from God, which fixes the meaning beyond question.

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