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December 12, 2020 1:00 pm
You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the is there something here for me.
I mean it's just words printed on paper right well it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than a join us for the next half hour, as we explore God's word together as we learn how to explore it on our own.
As we ask God to meet us there in its pages welcome to more than well along Dorothy Jim just delighted your back with us as we take a look at the the unknown background of the Christmas story all right. Well about all I mean the stuff about being born in a manger in the Wiseman stuff like that ever knows that but a lot of the stuff if you're not a real, if you are on the Bible. What this might miss especially talk about last week audio test okay and is very inside look at the conversation with Mary the mother of Jesus came to her and said you're the one who will bear the sun right and keep in mind here that Mary just a normal person.
She's a young girl. She's very young, maybe as young as 14 in the category of being a young virgin and for many of us, we think you know what is God thinking entrusting this whole plan to a teenage girl right. But this does not as much risk you are on God's part. As you might think and see that is so need to set up a context is what we want to spend our time on mostly. Here is what she says in response. Yes, it's great thing that she says it's considered kind of like a song kind of minutes for the prophetic. But it's her response to God after God comes and breaks the news to about what's going happen to work and it were to go through the context of what happened there in heaven.
She come to know that she was going to have Jesus and all that kind of stuff and will help you understand much much better. Why did she says what she says so working to pick up the story in Luke one we have to last week he could read and do that Western verse 26, which is where Gabriel comes and meets with Mary and breaks the new you know this.
It's very familiar if you've ever watched the Charlie Brown Christmas moment when Linus takes the stage and this story here we go. Luke 126 now in six months. That's a six month of Elizabeth see the angel Gabriel sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man his name was Joseph, of the descendents of David.
Just like we talked about last week, and the virgin's name was Mary and she was a virgin, just got your stuff is coming and he said to her, hell, favored one, the Lord is with you, and she was greatly troubled with this pondering what kind of salutation is might be thinker. She's like okay she's not afraid she doesn't fall on her face.
The way people often do when suddenly confronted with any she could've blurted out something really stupid ready but she doesn't see you. You are the one in whom God's favor, rest, 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 name him Jesus and he will be great and will be called the son of the most high, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end. It sounds like Gabriel was reading the Old Testament sound like he was just reading that we talked about last week. Just check them all off on the list. Here's the guy and Mary said to the angel well how can this be, since I'm a virgin it's a logical question for a 14-year-old girl – teenager angel answered and said to her, the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you and for that reason, the holy offspring shall be called the son of God, and behold even your relative has also conceived a son in her old age and she was called Aaron is now in her sixth month thing will be impossible with God. And Mary said behold the bondslave of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word and the angel departed from her. So again you virgin issue a lot people say well just be gentlemen, but she was having a problem with the fact that she was right. Jesus, I never been with a man not to be with a man right so central to Gabriel's argument is what anything is possible to demonstrate that_that he says now your your relative Elizabeth was an old woman and recognized as parent six on another impossible situation. Elizabeth child was conceived in the normal human way. Mary's child will be another thing entirely. Exactly. Exactly. Find out more about that but but that should give her enough enough evidence in the sense to kind of go with the program here. You know Elizabeth is pregnant that's highly unlikely the gate. Gabriel says restaurants astonishing. I think it is. I am the Lord's servant be it done to me as you have said she didn't have a clue what she was signing up for at this point she just know she was saying yes to the God she had believed all her life and we know from the New Testament that one who believes God is reckoned as righteousness because that's exactly what Abraham did, so she she accepted the program and she she bought into it and this is this is not a small thing is most of us would balk at the whole thing like I don't think so, since this is not so and man. By the way to, there's a social ostracizing issue going on here. She bears a child and she's not married share all of that had had yet it was going to certainly as from the time he was and she was going to have to face up to herself unfaithfulness and illegitimacy of her child all his life really that was going to come back to hunt Jesus as an adult, but that's what she's heading into now and she says yes with pick up a story so you do what she says in response. So you know. Sure enough, she wants to find out if her cousin's pregnant right that's okay. Let's check up on you if this really is happening. You will read you read 39 now at this time Mary Rosen went with haste to the hill country to a city and Judah entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth networking Adela Zacharias's story next week when we talk about the birth of John the Baptist, but she has heard the angel has told her your aging relative Elizabeth is six months along, and so here we go.
In verse 41 and it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting that baby leapt in her.
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she cried out with a loud voice and said blessed among women, are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb and how is it happened to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me for behold many years of your greeting reached when the sound of your greeting reached my ears.
The baby leaped in my womb for joy, and blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what the Lord had spoken to her while wow and Mary has names anything as far as all discussed and you know actually from earlier in Luke that John the Baptist says would be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb, so this is a really interesting thing happening here that Elizabeth at six months along out for those of you who have carried babies in your womb, you know by six months that little baby is active, punching you chicken poking around and went to Susan. Mary comes in the door and Mary is just barely pregnant right right might not even have shown up on a pregnancy test yet right that the baby that Elizabeth is carrying leaps and jumps and kicks in all directions. He is dancing in celebration of this recognition womb to womb of the one that Mary is carrying this some astonishing things astonishing, its histology is quoted a lot. We talk about people who are pro-life and say this passage tends to give the indication that there's some kind of confidence in the and especially being filled with the spirit of conscience conscious awareness so there's more going on than just blobs of cells are. Here's here's a womb to womb thing and so Elizabeth cries at the last are you so that there's words for blessing here in this passage, and so want to just put this on the table right up front. This first one when Elizabeth cries at Blessed are you Greek word Neil and Gail from which we get eulogy means to speak well of someone or to say, good words of someone so she sang know you are blast your I'm speaking well of you because you believe the Lord but later on when she says in verse 45. Last is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment. This is a totally different word. This is the word in the car he asked, which means to be filled up with the character or the fullness of God to be fully justified in God, and it has no bearing on circumstances at all. Right, it's a completely independent quality that is being satisfied in enough nests of God and indwelt with him seems to be tied with her belief, her belief yes absolutely is connected to belief to believe in God will do what he said he would do she believe would be a fulfillment of what the Lord that's faith to believe God will be reckoned as righteousness as the New Testament says about Abraham and actually that's what the old 16 in Romans talks about it's all about right. That's where we get our position so you don't.
Mary has said yes to the Lord because she believed him and embarked on this journey can literally being filled up with God in a very concrete material way, that baby grows in her womb. I remember contemplating this deeply when I was pregnant for the first time election the second time, but the first time that would produce a living child, and was pregnant at Christmas time and had just begun to be aware of the fluttering of that baby in the womb I just was astonished at the depth of the motion that was brought forward with that that carrying a life within me and about to to produce this life that I didn't do anything except provide a space for right okay okay will so now we're at the point were Mary, we finally are some words on Mary's mouth and what comes out of Mary's mouth right here is is not really Mary's words a minute sure Mary's well. He says he's crying out it's mixed together with their I say like a prophetic understanding from God. She speaks like to say that she speaks will never be a great writer.
Well yeah, but the spirit has touched her emotionally as well as spiritually, and she is just overwhelmed with the affirmation that Elizabeth is pregnant because God said she would be and has recognized that Mary is pregnant because Scott said she would be an God is doing what they culturally had been expecting all their lives mean every young Jewish girl was hoping that she would be the mother of Messiah right right and so for Mary to be the one who is selected by God, and she believes she sees her pregnant cousin and all the places pieces fall in place and now she's and now she just delights used explodes in praise.
Let's just read it and then because I'm I'm doing all the reading make the commentary my soul exalts the Lord in my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for he has looked on humblest date of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.
That is, that Makar yes filled up with the fullness of God.
For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name and his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humblest date he has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his offspring forever. While some words the part about the baby.
Isn't that interesting to say thank you Lord for this baby know all about what God has already accomplished yeah and if you if you stand back and look at this you realize that the first half of the verses. She talked about herself in the Lord and what the Lord is doing through her, and then somewhere there things switch switches and she takes a view of the entire earth of the world and all the peoples in the room around 50 to the end and so that's where action she's talking about the baby what's going on to suggest is understood well from generation to generation. Vision enhancing down from father to son. His mercy is for those who fear him, and so she goes on after that point, talks about what's going to happen in terms of the reception of this baby in the world and what what God is about large-scale but we forget that. Let's go back to beginning his S meal from 46 to 50. She ties herself into what's going on and it's very personal and it's it's worth understanding exactly what she's going through emotionally.
So what can you pick a motion is going through. Well she's my soul magnifies I feel like a magnifying glass. God is made large through me. My spirit is rejoicing in God my Savior. Well, you know, we refer to the baby she would bear as our Savior that she so God is my Savior. And sometimes we don't think about the fact that Mary also needed to Savior and she's amazed by the fact that he has looked on someone like her who was in a humble state, which means she's, she's his only person is nobody she is not royalty at all on you would expect the Messiah to come out of some kind of royalty email. She has a bloodline to David, but she also did lots of people. She's like an open so that this great king is going to come from.
He looked on my humble state and an and now for all generations. After this the looked at me and say your blessed your blessed in the sense that you have said yes to the Lord. He is enough.
I will literally be filled with him exactly I Mickey echoes back to what Elizabeth is saying that she's blessed because he believed what's going right and she and she not just believed and gave mental assent, she said okay let's do it right in. Amazing that God comes to her and and essentially asks for her consent right right he he says you are the one that the Lord has looked on and said there's the girl but but she must then take that step of faith to respond and say oh okay be done to me what you said.
I'll go through this. Yeah.
And I have to imagine all that we don't have any cases of this that this is this is the quote.
The excuse she gave when people would say what you're not married but your pregnant. Now this is something God's doing and this is explicitly what God is saying something I'm doing and Gabriel's told her that and I'm sure she probably got shoe she received responses from other people laugh at her.
Thanks, just make us up or something but it is quite explicit here, God wants her in wowing with say a girl who came to us and said what God did this, would say well you're a little nuts. Let's put you in a mess, but I was just thinking of going to Keppra in the dark only through this. She just felt pregnant without a man right home was supposed to explain this but now got to bring the whole story well. She clearly understands me and Gabriel had literally repeated to her the whole covenant with David later you will bear the son he will be great. She'll be called the son of the most high, the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever and his kingdom will have no end. While Mary took that understood that properly. By the way, she just explodes in praise and says this is something God has done and always intended to do to bring about the salvation of his people being with them and forgiving and somehow she sang yourself and I'm part of this plan. I brought into the center as I am nowhere back with the truth. God wants me involved in the mighty one has done great things done great Stan has done has done it you notice when we read it. All of those past tenses. He has shown strength, he has brought down the mighty he has exalted those of humblest date he has filled the hungry he sent away the rich empty-handed. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, God has already done it as part of the remembrance, the, the observation of what he had promised to do his coming out Israel and in fact it's a Bible study skill.
If you see future events recited in the past tense right in the pageant get your attention that you get your attention that you're actually getting a perspective from heaven because God is timeless and for him. Everything already has happened, so he speaks in the past tense because he sees in the future and everything's already there. Are you this this happened here. It'll happen again we hear Zechariah you're starting to see a window into God's view of what's going on here because everything is completed already, even though Mary just barely pregnant so you can increase will then shoot she rolls into a general sense about what this baby will be and what he'll do when you get into like 50 you know his mercy is for those who fear him from generation.
Generally, this kind of a multigenerational ongoing benefit from those who fear him, we should talk about that fearing fear is that rain comes up proper reverencing references listed is it's the same word that we use for that trembling fear, but but it has the implication I I am profoundly respectful exactly this mighty one yeah I'm not foot with about this some mindful about respecting this so then she goes on to talk about the effect of what this mighty one who's on the throne of David is really a fascinating thing you know 51 shown strength with his arm and scatter the prayer of the thoughts of their hearts, and you know when you see strength of the armistice really smite that that's mine. That's the might say this one who's going to be born is going to be this might arm of the Lord.
He will act exactly act and bring justice. 52 talks more about position when you know people. We pride of prideful people because they elevate themselves to a life well brought down those minds from their thrones and exalted people like me of humble state will we know when Jesus was teaching that the kingdom we say the kingdom is upside down and inside out from the way you think it is right, the last of the first the first will be last. The mighty will be brought low. Those who are self-satisfied satisfied in their riches will be scattered so you know he's going to turn everything upside down which is which is part of his genius abusing someone like Mary who is nobody right nobody ranked that someone with great regal kind of bona fides. It's amazing and and then not only will he in might and in position change of internally upside down.
I love 53 he's filled the hungry with good things filled the hungry, and he had and the rich he sent away empty so those who are kind of self-sufficient, self-reliant, you know, working on their own riches. He's gonna send them away empty. This can be empty, but those who are needy filled the Beatitudes. It does doesn't it. Blessed are the poor and blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied and from a kingly perspective. This is a great thing because 51 and 52 are all about might and power and turning on his head and stuff like that. I hope our King is a nice guy and he is and 53 he feels en route to King can feed him.
We saw the life of Jesus as the friend John that after Jesus had fed the 5000. They followed say where we need this got me to make the sky King because he can give us a free lunch bagels for breakfast exactly so so that's not a bad thing, but it is nice to know that this King was on this forever throwing someone who really cares about feeding cares about her needs and that's what that's what such a great contrast with the might and the strength of his arm. He's not only strong in his arm and he puts down tyrants, but he also is concerned with their needs is what a great contrast but if you're full up yourself and self-satisfied, you know, if that's what you think strength is and that's all you can get.
You will be sent away empty proved to be empty. If you rely on yourself alone and all you have is yourself. Good luck with you and any kind of closes all out this wonderful statement of faithfulness, wonder about this faithfulness.
God's faithfulness to Israel promises through David into all of that he helped his servant Israel and written and in remembrance of his didn't forget them. He didn't forget the mantra people at the time was saying what what that Messiah thing well freeze remembrance of his mercy shows up over and over again in different forms in the Old Testament God we call God to remember your loving kindness to Israel right because our circumstances are telling us something else.
Remember, so we have to leaning forward in the present what we know, was already tried and proven true to us and it should occupy up front of her mind as well as her current so it's absolutely evident that God has remembered he has Messiah is about to be in the result of a promise that he spoke to her father. She says I 55. This is this is been, and we've all been waiting that he's promised to our fathers and to Abraham and his offspring forever. Right. This is the fulfillment of all these problems. Great statement of of the faithfulness of this got King and also as well.
This is the fulfillment of all that just really. It's just amazing that Mary this 14-year-old girl. She's clearly steeped in the Scriptures.
She knows these things. God didn't just zap words in her head. She never heard but that all of the connections are being suddenly made and affirmed and brought into and understand she's getting a big deal. This is yes seeing it from a on eternal perspective. God is doing what he has always said he would do and can you believe it is involving me.
He's involving me. Someone from a very humble state is involving me which is kind of good news for us because it involves us to wow that's astonishing and and Paul goes on says God uses weak things to fund compound the mic and the powerful. So this is exactly what is going to marry her and she's she's worshiped. She's got overwhelmed and enter pouring out this praise is just is just astonishing. Well really it's not fixed on her circumstances at all. It is fixed on God's faithfulness and his word and his promises covenant. His presence is eternity. All these things have come to a point focus in this one spot with Gabriel talking to her and she said okay I'm in here we go, and that is been affirmed for her to find this incredible encounter with her relative babies are leaping in the womb, and that the praise is just pouring out great circumstance. I always would've been like to be a fly on the wall which is talking to Joseph about all this.
Yet we find out from the story that it maybe didn't go so well for Joseph as well so he gives everyone the same. Listen next time really come back were going to move to the father John the Baptist which you think is a strange connection for Christmas. Oh, it's so important is probably for me, the most important passage Christmas is what Christ so that passage actually sandwiches this one so right that we get the introduction to Zacharias and then this time with Mary and then the mesh of the story with Zacharias was going to that one.
That's where you'll find it. Would love to have you come back next week into this astonishing thing from Zacharias on Jim Dorothy Hammer wonderful this Christmas and see you next.