Share This Episode
Insight for Living Chuck Swindoll Logo

When an Angel Spoke to Mary, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
December 22, 2022 7:05 am

When an Angel Spoke to Mary, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 755 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

December 22, 2022 7:05 am

When Angels Spoke


More than 2,000 years ago, a young Jewish woman conceived a child who would radically change the course of history. The celebration of his birth is known around the world as Christmas.

In fact, his story is so familiar to us that we sometimes miss the magnitude. So today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll takes us back to that scene in order to recreate the moment when an angel spoke to Mary. Before we get started, let's enjoy this Christmas favorite performed by the Stonebriar Community Church Choir and Orchestra. Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns The bread their songs employ What gifts have come up to save them From sinful songs of joy, from sinful songs of joy We hear, we hear the sounding joy Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light What gifts have come up to save them From sinful songs of joy, from sinful songs of joy Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light What gifts have come up to save them From sinful songs of joy, from sinful songs of joy Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o'er all the earth Hark, the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King We sing of them, we write them into our songs. Virtually every one of the carols we sing include those intriguing creatures we know simply as angels. If you looked closely on the platform, you notice in a niche on your left back toward the rear, you'll see, well, at least someone's idea of an angel in some shape with wings, as always it seems. And over in front of the pipes on your right, you'll see another, well, a replica of somebody's idea of angels.

But I've never met too many people who've ever seen one. Artists have these marvelous imaginations and, like Raphael, always paint them with halos and a glow about them, though we never read of either one in the scriptures. In fact, part of the issue of angels and understanding them is dealing with a lot of the false information that accompanies them. Like, they're not dainty little fairies. They aren't wood nymphs or water sprites. They certainly are chubby little cherubs with pink cheeks and tiny wings and looking for people in love so they can shoot their cupid arrows at them.

That's all fantasy. It's all a myth because they are magnificent, sometimes fierce, on occasion filled with compassion, and they rescue us. The psalmist says in Psalm 91, 11, he commanded them to give us protection so that the angels were given charge over us.

We grow in our understanding. People tell us there are guardian angels, probably so, not just for children. Cynthia and I were laughing this morning as we thought of our four while growing up and how busy the guardian angels were in their lives. Our last two needed several ranks of angels to assist them.

They were busy, but it's far more serious than that. Angels comes from a word, angelos, out of the Greek New Testament, which simply means messenger. They're that, but they're more than that. In fact, some are named Gabriel, Michael the archangel, Lucifer, son of the morning, who fell and dragged with him a third of the heavenly hosts who changed from angels to demons. That's another subject for another time. They seem to be in groups, cherubim, who fled the throne of God, seraphim with their six wings, with two they cover their faces, with two they cover their feet, and with two filled with eyes, they fly. Like I say, they are intriguing creatures. But to the point, what was sent from the presence of God, his name was Angelos Gabriel, the angel Gabriel. He did what angels do.

Here's a simple little formula. They show up, they step up, they speak up, then they scoot. No reason to hang around and have a piece of pie and a cup of coffee. You're not into that. You wish you could have time with them, and they aren't like the FedEx driver or the guy that drives a brown truck and delivers a UPS package, rings a bell, and then gets out of the way. They don't bring something.

They deliver something far more significant than what is tangible, and that's God's message. Gabriel was sent from God to the town of Nazareth, sort of a backwater village on the, on the fringe of the Roman Empire. Not a place you'd write home about.

Matter of fact, you and I would probably refer to it as more of a dump. Had a red light district. Not far away, about four miles, was the Roman garrison at Cephalus. And when the soldiers went on liberty, probably came to Nazareth to buy cheap wine and cheaper women. So it didn't have a good reputation. In fact, one of the men who was later called to follow Jesus was informed that he was from Nazareth. He said, well, can anything good come out of Nazareth? Well, one young teenager did, somewhere between 13 and 15 years of age. She was still a virgin, though engaged to be married to Joseph, a pure man who loved the fact that he was marrying a parthenos, a virgin.

Never intimately knew a man. So when Gabriel was sent from God to Nazareth, he was told to find the virgin, engaged to Joseph. And a little later in the, in the narrative, he's given her name, Mary. But he's told the quality that attracts the Lord to her, and that is she's a parthenos. We've become so familiar with the story that we toss these words around like they mean little to the virgin Mary from whom the child Jesus was born.

Well, how else could God have brought someone on this earth without a sin nature if it had not been through the genius of a virgin birth? Never happened before, will never happen again, which confused Mary. Angelos Gabriel said to her, I come from God, greetings favored one. If you look closely in the original, you'll see tucked away in the word favored is the Greek word grace. God's showing grace to you, Mary. It's not that you're all that significant, but your virginity is essential. Mary's confused.

She doesn't understand why grace is being shown to her, probably thought me of all people. Young teenager, listen to this. You will become pregnant. You will have a son. You're to name him Jesus. Jesus. She remembers her teaching, the teaching that was poured into her in the synagogue school about the Messiah.

Jesus would come. And now she hears you will be the vehicle, your womb, preserved in purity, will bear the child. She she doesn't get it.

In fact, if we were to respond today, like probably a teenager would respond, she'd have three responses. Wow. Now? How? What's going to happen?

I'm a virgin. You seem to forget. Oh, no. It's remembered. It's essential. You see, Mary, the Holy Spirit will come upon you. The power of God shall overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be utterly holy.

That's it. You see, Gabriel was equipped not only with information where to go and to whom to speak. He was also told how it would happen because angels wouldn't normally know that.

They're curious about a lot of things. And so he comes equipped with everything, including the information Mary needs. And when she hears it, there's no argument. There's no struggle there.

There's no discussion. She says, I get this. I'm the Lord's servant. May it be as you have said. May everything come to pass. I'm willing.

And then you know what happens. Whoosh! He's gone. Scripture says he disappeared. She's gone. He's gone.

She's there. By the way, think about that. It was all done in private. We have a record of it. It's been read for centuries. But when it first happened, there was no sky writing so that all people in Nazareth could read it. It was her word against the world.

And what a price that was. First with her parents that night at supper. Mom and Dad, I'm pregnant. But their heads are reeling.

Think if you were the parents. She says to them, the Holy Spirit will come upon me. And the Lord will overshadow all of it. And the Holy One born will be the Son of God.

Then the grandparents. We don't read about that dialogue. And then Joseph. Joseph at first couldn't believe it. Decided to put her away quietly.

We'll look at that next time. Because an angel plays a role in his life. And then, could I add, the whole world of their day would sneer. Read John 8 41 when Jesus is now an adult and ministering. And they're arguing with him about his identity. And they say to him, we're not of illegitimate birth. We know who our father is. See, he lived with that. He bore all of that on our behalf. God stepped in time and did what only God could do. A miracle.

And he brought the baby to us from a virgin's womb. One final thought. It would be easy to be envious of angels. I remember growing up thinking it would be great to be one.

I'd like to fly around and deliver messages and do amazing things. But you know, I was just reading in 1 Peter 1 12 which says they peer with interest into the gospel story. Because Jesus didn't die for angels. They don't have souls.

They have wills. So they obey or disobey, but they're not able to be saved. That's reserved for us sinners as we are.

Years ago a song was written, it was 1894 as a matter of fact, that the composer wrote of all of this. Holy, holy, holy is what the angels sing. And I expect to help them make the courts of heaven ring. But when I sing redemption's story, they will fold their wings. For angels never felt the joy that my salvation brings. Has salvation come to you? Are you entering this Christmas season singing about Christ and angels and the Lord and a virgin birth and all that without knowing the Savior?

No wonder it's just another season. Let's take care of that right now. Bow with me, will you? Just for a moment, close your eyes. Wherever you are right now, just close your eyes. You who are watching online, just close your eyes.

Think. Has Christ come into your life? Was there ever a time when you said, Yes, Lord, I long to have forgiveness and a purpose for living and a reason to go on and sins forgiven and a home in heaven.

I'd love that and thousands of other things that you've promised us. Please come into my life, Christ. I accept you as my savior. I take the gift that you have given me, O God. And then this Christmas, thank him as never before for the greatest gift of all.

Let's pray. Father, thank you for that that that holy night, that special moment when there was a gush of birth and a miracle landed on straw. Thank you for Jesus, who would grow up loving us and willing to die for us.

That we might know the life that only he can give. We are grateful. And this Christmas season, accept our thanks in his name.

We pray. Everyone said, Amen. And the glory, the glory of our Lord, and the glory, the glory of our Lord shall be revealed. The glory, the glory of our Lord shall be revealed.

And the glory, the glory of our Lord shall be revealed. And all flesh shall see it together. And all blood shall see it together. And all flesh shall see it together. And all blood shall see it together.

And all glory, the glory of our Lord shall see it together. And all blood shall see it together. And all flesh shall see it together. And all blood shall see it together. And all blood shall see it together. And all glory, the glory of our Lord shall see it together. And all glory, the glory of our Lord shall see it together. And all blood shall see it together.

And all blood shall see it together. We are so grateful to the Stonebriar Community Church Choir and Orchestra for this wonderful celebration in song. In case you joined us late in this program, you're listening to a special edition of Insight for Living. On today's broadcast, you're hearing the second of five programs devoted to a special Christmas series from Chuck Swindoll.

Today's message featured the historic moment when an angel spoke to Mary. Chuck is in the studio to deliver a few closing thoughts in just a moment. But first, if you'd like to learn more about Chuck or this ministry, visit us online at And then let me extend a word of thanks to all those who support Insight for Living.

You are truly making a difference with your generous donations. As an example, here's a note from a young lady who said, I grew up listening to Insight for Living in the background as my mom listened. Chuck was just another guy on the radio. I grew up in the church and went to a Christian school. But I started to turn away from God in my early 20s, assuming that I didn't need him. Then she shared about her broken marriage. She said, that was my wake up call. I knew I needed God. And then she added, through Insight for Living, God has shown me time and time again that he has such a perfect plan for my life and my marriage that I can and should fully rely on him. Well, when you contribute to Insight for Living, you are playing a significant role in bringing light and hope to those who are searching.

Thanks so much for making these moments possible. Here's Chuck. God does not need your money. Let me say that again. God does not need your money. What an amazing set of six words, huh? Have you ever stopped to think about it? Our God, great and mighty, doesn't have any needs. His resources are not only unlimited, they're infinite. Psalm 50 verse 1 makes it very clear, the Lord, the Mighty One, is God. In this same passage, God says, for all the world is mine and everything in it.

In fact, I own the cattle on a thousand hills. So, if God doesn't need your money, what does he expect from you? Well, in Psalm 50 we read, make thankfulness your sacrifice. God said, giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. Letting go of our own resources is an expression of gratitude to the Lord our God. You see, God is after your heart, not your purse, not your wallet.

Remember, he doesn't need your money. Well, for this reason and more, I'm boldly inviting you to join God in his master plan to make disciples of all the nations. We are partners with the Almighty, and it's a privilege to cooperate with his son Jesus in this way. So, as we wrap up another year of ministry together, can I count on you to join us? At Insight for Living Ministries, we remain fully devoted to our singular goal, which is to make disciples of Jesus Christ in all 195 countries of the world. So, let's do this together.

That's the ticket. Let's do it together. Let's give generously from our hearts that are filled with thanksgiving.

I have every confidence that God will receive our collective gifts to make disciples of Jesus Christ here in your community, in our country, and even around the world in every country. Thank you so much for responding, and thank you for doing so today. And here's how to get in touch. First, you can call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888, or it might be quicker to go online to slash donate. Once again, the phone number to dial if you're listening in the U.S., 800-772-8888. Thank you so much for your generous gifts. We look forward to connecting with you soon. I'm Bill Meyer inviting you to hear Chuck Swindoll describe the epic moment when an angel spoke to Joseph. That's Friday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, When an Angel Spoke to Mary, was copyrighted in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-21 14:13:12 / 2022-12-21 14:20:54 / 8

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime