Christmas Series: The Birth of Jesus Foretold

Christmas Series

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

 

Luke 1:26-38 (ESV) ~ In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to 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 to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 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. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

 

One of the biggest points of the Birth of Christ being foretold, is the point of Mary being submissive to the Will of God. Submissiveness to God is an absolute essential for every believer.

 

  • Purity ~ Verse 27 talks about the purity of Mary
    • God is looking for pure women and men to use in the ministry of the gospel and in meeting the desperate needs of the world.
    • Mary and Joseph were both godly, so godly that God could choose them to be the parents of His Son. It was impossible that God would have chosen immoral man and woman to bear and raise His Son, not when He had the power to control the events.
  • Grace ~ Called and Favored by God
    • Luke 1:28 (ESV) ~ And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
    • She was to be highly favored by God. Note the angel did not immediately tell Mary how she was to be favored by God, that she was God’s choice to bear and to be the mother of the Messiah. That came later in the conversation. The angel had to give her time to adjust to the shock of his spectacular appearance. For right now, he simply announced that she was to be highly favored by God—a unique privilege.
    • The Lord was also with Mary. She did not walk through life alone. God was with her. Mary’s life had pleased God to the point that He could favor her and be with her. She allowed God to walk with her and look after her life, so God was able to be with her. This means that God…
      • Had been with her (past)
      • Was with her (present)
      • Would be with her (future)
    • Mary was to be blessed among women. It should be noted that this clause is not in the oldest and best manuscripts. Nevertheless, the point is made in Luke 1:48. Mary was to be blessed and to be called blessed by men of all generations
  • Humility ~ Mary was very human
    • Luke 1:29-30 (ESV) ~ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
    • Mary was “troubled at his saying,” at what the angel told her. It was the message that caused her to be troubled, the fact that…
      • She was highly favored
      • The Lord was with her
      • She was blessed among women
    • Since Christ has come, every person can now …
      • Be highly favored by God
      • Have the Lord’s presence
      • Be blessed among all others
    • Mary was troubled because she did not understand how God could so greatly favor a person like herself. She never expected to be greatly favored by Him. This was deep humility.
  • Unbelievable Faith ~ Mary was expected to believe the miraculous, but she was puzzled.
    • Luke 1:34-35 (ESV) ~ And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 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.
    • She was not doubting or distrusting the message. She was not asking for some sign or proof like Zacharias. She was simply asking for more information.
    • Believers are to believe the miraculous.
  • Faith ~ Mary was encouraged to believe that “with God nothing is impossible”.
    • Luke 1:36-37 (ESV) ~ And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
    • God encouraged Mary with two impossible facts:
      • The news that her sister Elizabeth, who was beyond child-bearing age, had conceived a son in her old age and was now six months pregnant. The fact that God could take her sister in her old age and cause her to conceive demonstrated God’s power. Visiting Elizabeth would encourage Mary.
      • With men much is impossible. To say that all things are possible with men is far from the truth. When Mary heard and meditated upon the simple statement, “With God all things are possible,” she was bound to be encouraged. The statement was simple and striking. It could be easily remembered and understood.
    • Surrender ~ Mary was submissive. Her response was immediate and brief, only one short sentence, yet it was striking and meaningful.
      • Luke 1:38 (ESV) ~ And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
      • The word “handmaid” (doulē PWS: 1848) means slave-girl. Mary was saying that she was a bond-slave, willing to sell herself out completely to God. She would possess herself no longer, but would give herself completely to God.
      • God’s Word was her will. She surrendered totally to obey God. She would serve as He willed, being completely obedient and fulfilling His purpose entirely. She would act “according to Thy Word.”
 
Pastor Andy Lambert

Leave a Reply