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May 21, 2021 12:00 am
The gospel is the great I frankly love that Gabriel was going to wing his way past all the well-connected that's all the movers and shakers in this world, beyond all the pomp and circumstance to find his way to someone will understand immediately that she is unworthy, which is exactly how you came to faith in Christ unworthy need be nothing to offer God but an open yesterday's broadcast. We learn about the dramatic encounter between Zechariah the priest and the angel Gabriel.
In Luke one today.
Stephen David continues through the early chapters of Luke's gospel Gabriel has another important message to deliver this time it's a message to a young virgin woman named Mary Gabriel's news will dramatically change this girl's life forever. Today Stephen explores the moment when Mary learns that she will be the mother of the Messiah. Hers is a story of submission that we can learn from today. Let's get started.
If you can write one word is a caption over the opening section in the Gospel of Luke the first 25 verses we explored at our last study together you could write the word certainty. Now the next 25 verses you could caption it with one word surrender now are introduced to the remarkable testimony of this young teenage girl named Mary were not exactly sure how old she is.
Most scholars put her somewhere between the ages of 14 and 16, Luke gives us Mary's status in life. Beginning in verse 26 of Luke chapter 1 there in a six month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name which was Joe's that that means the betrothal ceremony is already taken place in the net betrothal ceremony, the bridegroom and his family would give to the father of the bride the money to cover all the expenses. I think that's a brilliant idea by the way, that's biblical right here that's already taken place and and now were told that his name is Joseph. He's of the house of David and the virgin's name was Mary. She's from the town of Nazareth. Let's stop for a moment and set the scene. Archaeological evidence suggests that for centuries no more than 200 Jewish people inhabited this little village farming tending their herds and as the Roman Empire began to expand and tighten their grip on Israel. They transform this little village into a garrison and army base, so to speak with as many as 24,000 soldiers living here at any given time.
Nazareth think of it this way is on the wrong side of the tracks was in the godliness place to grow up and Luke seems to highlight on purpose. The virginity of Mary. He tells us twice here in case you missed it the first time that she was a virgin. Many reasons for that importance.
He's going to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah that original conceive and bear a son is a 714. Luke is saying here than Theophilus let me set the record straight because you've heard all the gossip to since I really happen. Lucas had plenty of opportunities traveling with the apostle Paul meeting eyewitness accounts, no doubt having interviews and conversations with Mary herself given perhaps directly from her superintended by the spirit of God as he writes inspired text. These prenatal details and post natal details that only Luke has including this unusual encounter with an angel named Gabriel that no Luke also records here. You notice in verse 27 she's engaged to Joseph. He's a direct descendent of the royal line of David, which at this point is somewhat laughable. These anything here and look royal by any means.
He's gonna with Mary each out this existence as he builds with wood and stone fairly poor early sources tell us that neither Joseph family nor Mary's had any wealth or social standing.
A little later on in the temple when they bring Jesus to dedicate them if you don't have enough money for a land you bring up to Jenin.
That's what they brought this impoverished couple. Joseph is a handyman. Early accounts tell us to make plows and tools for the farmers and the herdsmen living in and around Nazareth. One author writes that Mary's life was destined to be an impoverished quiet life on the outskirts of Nazareth, she would marry humbly give birth. Perhaps the numerous poor children never travel farther than a few miles from her home in one day die like thousands of others before her in Nazareth, but nobody in a nothing town out in the middle of nowhere. But isn't that the gospel isn't that great. I frankly love that Gabriel was going to wing his way past all the well-connected that's all the movers and shakers in the in this world, beyond all the pomp and circumstance to find his way to someone will understand immediately that she is unworthy, which is exactly how you came to faith in Christ unworthy need be nothing to offer God but an open heart that Gabriel shows up, he's been busy getting if you been with us he's he's flying all over the place. Verse 28. The came to her and said, greetings O favored one, the Lord is with you, but she was greatly troubled at the saying and try to discern what sort of greeting this might be in the angel said to her, do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God, not his encounters created all kinds of confusion and even theological error, so Gabriel isn't showing up here Luke chapter 1 to tell Mary that she is already full of grace sets up for translation from the Latin Bible which the Catholic Church is you of the verb in the Greek language is a passive verb which means she is the recipient of grace. Gabriel is saying you are the recipient of great grace from God.
Why because she needed it, just like you need it and I made it.
She will bear the Messiah who will die for her sins and yours and mine that was move on. Gabriel delivers to her. The surprising news. Look at verse 31 and behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
You will be great.
He 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 for Israel forever, and all of his kingdom there will be no end.
Gabriel just sort of backs up the truck and he unloads. In fact, he delivers eight predictions or prophecies, so to speak here, you will conceive in your womb, you will bear a son, you will name him Jesus. He will be great.
He will be the son of the most high reference to to God Elohim, he will sit on the front of his forefather David. He will reign over Israel and his kingdom will have no end.
I get this the first five prophecies will come true. The birth of Christ in the country with his birth. She conceives she bears a son she named him Jesus said he was he's great. He is the son of the most high. The last three have not yet come to pass.
They haven't been fulfilled yet.
He isn't sitting on his forefather David thrown is not raining yet over Israel and his kingdom will not know when it is that you say it's true, but that literal kingdom will begin let know and so that that these last ones have not yet come true.
But all of them are literal promises, essentially restating these last three God's promise to David will be called Davidic covenant. Beloved, I don't want to bore you here, but then there is no reason for anybody to say you know the first five games for the next three aren't really that literally not worry about this is the reason many covenant theologians could say well the first five to be taken literally.
But there's no need to believe that a literal throne will exist or that a literal nation Israel will be reconstituted. The churches taken their place it there, done. There's no you can't do that. You can't draw. Why is it we can take first five and dumped the last three all eight of these have or will come to pass.
Literally if you think about it. These eight prophecies take us from the moment of Mary's pregnancy and it begins and it takes us all the way into the eternal glory of heaven. I mean talk about our sweep of of history and and the future he just kind of unloads the wagon with this incredible sleep now. 2000 years long. Still going, but I love Mary's response in verse 34.
How will this be, since I'm a virgin.
In other words, she hasn't heard a word. Gabriel is said that the prediction number one. Never mind the eternal reign, the coming kingdom, the reconstitution of Israel go back and start with that number one that I hear you correctly conceive in my womb, and that she just got shut down there because I happen, listen, she gets it.
She doesn't say, well, you know, Joseph and I are getting married within the year, so we yet will have a child on no she gets it.
She understands that she is going to conceive before marrying.
While yet a virgin and she wants to understand how does this work Gabriel has obviously been prepped for this pop quiz. So he says in verse 35. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will over shadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy called holy son of God and of the word for over shadow is the same word used to refurbish refer to the Shekinah glory cloud resting on the early Old Testament Tabernacle in Exodus chapter 40. The Greek translation of the Old Testament. Matthew, Mark and Luke all use the same word to describe the, the cloud of God's glory, his presence, covering the Mount of Transfiguration were before the death of Jesus. He is shown to be brilliantly white bright shining there on that on that mountain. Matthew 17 Mark nine and Luke nine so Mary what he saying is your womb is going to become the holy of holy's where God's presence by means of his spirit is going to miraculously bring your a by his power to life.
We will circumvent the fallen nature of Adam will will will circumvent sperm which passes down that fallen nature, but you having come from that egg will be fully human flesh and blood and is all happening in your womb by the overshadowing power of the Holy Spirit you think. Well, that explains it look.
Don't kid yourself.
We just discussed, something we can believe by faith that we don't understand it, we don't understand Gabriel.
I think picks up on this with Mary and he adds this comment and were not sure if Gabriel is speaking on his own initiative, which would be fine. The would be wrong.
But he says is true or if he's told to deliver this to her, but it's as if in his parting comment. He says listen Mary looked out at verse 37. Nothing will be impossible with God. What you think he saying that I think is because Mary standing there thinking this is impossible with God. This will be impossible and notice of surrender.
Verse 38 and Mary said, behold, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word and the angel departed. I am the servant the delay. I am the bondservant. I am willingly giving my life to my master for the bondservant did I love my master I wanted to serve him for my entire life at you I would you notice she did not say let it be done to me because I have peace about it. Let it be done to me because I I put out the fleece and it was wet, let it be done to me because I think I'm ready for it. We got nor did she say you don't let it be done to me as soon as God gives me get off you more details and lays out the facts and answer the questions. In addition to how and gives me some reassurances.
No, I am the Lord, servant, he can do with me what he wants. I belong to him. His wish is my command reminded me of that young lady have often uses illustration to attend a conference for young adults. They were challenged to devote their lives to honor the Lord no matter what, and she stood up in one meeting and gave her own personal testimony, and she held up a blank sheet of paper and she said to her friends. This is the will of God for my life. It's blank, but I've already signed my name at the bottom work and fill it out, follow through? She signs her name is or with permanent marker Lord you fill it in a follow-through. Now if you go back to verse 36 you notice Gabriel drop some information about Mary's cousin Elizabeth expecting a baby. He didn't drop that in by accident. Lord wanted her to know that God knew that Mary at this moment just having received this news need somebody to talk to somebody that would understand somebody's life was also turned upside down somebody. You also might be expecting a rather unexpected baby somebody who's also believe her story, then an angel by the name of Gabriel just came to see me believe that. I mean, Mary's world is about to come unglued and her family is going to be embarrassed her father's can be shamed if the rabbis are going to be infuriated. She might even be in danger. And last but not least, her fiancÚ using an unbeliever who in the world is going to understand her situation believe this crazy story. I know Elizabeth woman in her 80s expecting and her husband who's had a conversation with Gabriel good verse 39.
In those days men. Mary arose and went in haste into the hill country to a town in Judah and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth and when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leapt in her womb that are verse 44. Elizabeth says for the hold and the sound of your greeting came to my ears. The baby in my womb leaped for joy. This is again a sermon. Don't miss the implications are a baby in the womb.
Responding to the direction of the Holy Spirit at this point little baby John is about 9 inches long, weighing less than 2 pounds. He now surges up word experiencing demonstrating emotion, joy, happiness at the sound of Mary's voice.
This is a spirit induced prophetic moment. This is this is John the Baptist's first act of an Old Testament prophet in the womb is in the presence of the son of God, which indicates then Mary is now conceived by the Holy Spirit and the Spirit is going to guide her and that's because of all the prophetic allusion she's gonna make a she begins to sing. She praises God for her salvation. Verse 47. She thanks God for choosing someone like her.
Verse 40 she's not in their global Gabriel.
I've been expecting you. Having lived a perfect life. No cat shows me.
Mary praises God for his unfailing has said that Old Testament covenant and mercy. Verse 50. Mary sings the God of his future victory. This is prophetic is vindication over the nations.
Verse 52 she praises God for his faithfulness to Israel and she refers to their national inheritance. Literal physical inheritance. This is a loaded with nothing less really than the surrender of Mary to the will and to the word and to the word of God's is remarkable. Lewton wraps up this whirlwind seen by providing really a summary statement verse 56. It reads and Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home that would indicate now that the John has been born. She no doubt has been a wonderful assistance to Elizabeth. Probably learning a few things along the way which would be very helpful as she prepares to deliver her baby all by yourself with a little help from Joseph while there are people waiting back in Nazareth. There are conversations that have to be held. There are some explanations that need to be given before we leave the scene today.
Let me make at least two applications. There are so many will boil it down to two. First of all surrendering to God does not eliminate complications. It may very well increase you might notice if you go back and more carefully read the lyrics of her song. Mary sings nothing about solution. Back in Nazareth doesn't resolve the conversations that she's going to be forced to have when she returns to her village as an unmarried girl having not having consummated the betrothal. With Joseph clearly showing clearly showing now she's carrying a child so quick answer here and keep in mind when we go through this narrative and part of our problem is if you're older and the faith you've heard it over and over again, I'm really kinda glad they were not even going to get in the loop. Chapter 2 until January. We have strangers. I can it be to talk with the birth of Christ in January hospice do that. That's a lot of people out the leapt. We did some looking forward to. We just we just forget that we know the four-story, we know how complicated her life is going to become three times in quick succession. They have to move Joseph S. Try to find work for the first three years of Jesus's birth parent hiding in Egypt thank the Lord for his timing in bringing the Magi because they're gonna need to live off that goal. There there running for their lives there there trying to outrun Herod who is trying to find their baby and kill him there. There world is upset. Mary is literally surrendering giving away any normal life. Any normal marriage.
Any normal homestead. She's been planning since the betrothal forget that she she is accepting here the complications of this assignment and her life will be complicated until the day she dies surrendering to God's word does not eliminate complications. It may very well increase one more surrendering to God's will doesn't require experience. It simply invites us to be. She's young, poor, inexperienced, is there anybody more unlikely and that for Joseph as well. God wasn't looking for experience God was looking for willingness readiness obedience. Mary said essentially what all of us need to say fresh today. Lord, I am your bondservant.
I willingly giving my body and my mind and my heart and my aspirations and my plans and my dreams to you.
Here's the blank sheet of paper. I've already signed it. You fill in.
So II think of it this way, enclosing that Mary essentially says to the Gabriel wing your way back back to the universe beyond all the galaxies into that glorious throne room, you're accustomed to deliver a message can be very simple.
I accept I surrender to my safe God, I'm so glad you joined us today. Stephen Devi is our Bible teacher, and he's working his way through the first three chapters of Luke in this series called good news of great joy. We have a companion study guide that goes along with this series. In addition to giving you the manuscript that Stephen prepared when delivering this message.
The study guide also has some discussion questions, they can form the basis of a small group discussion. Or perhaps you can use it as a family around the dinner table. It's absolutely free and available for you to access any time. Our website is wisdom online.org. Thanks for being with us today. Be sure and join us next time right here on wisdom for the heart is