Summary: We do not know what Mary may have taught Jesus in his childhood. But there are three things she can teach US. This sermon examines three truths about God and His dealings with us from Luke 1.
A Mary Christmas
December 13, 2015
A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adapted from from two sermons by the same title by T. Michael Crews and Jonathan McLeod on SermonCentral.com.
TEXT: Luke 1:26-38 (TO BE READ LATER)
Mothers can teach us a lot if we’ll listen to them.
Illus. – I read recently a posting titled “11 Things Our Moms Taught Us”, some of which are the following wise truths from moms:
• It’s not the end of the world.
• If you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all.
• Time heals all wounds
• You should always leave everything better than you found it.
• Don’t take things for granted.
• Don’t overdo your makeup!
• Watching too much TV will damage your eyes.
I’m sure we all have our own list, but there’s no doubt about it, one of the reasons God has moms on this earth is to teach our kids lessons for life.
Now here’s a question you might have never considered: What did Jesus’ mother teach Him? Actually, no one knows the answer to that question. We know that Jesus grew up as any other child, for the Bible tells us that he grew in stature and wisdom just like any other child. The Bible doesn’t tell us what Mary may have taught Jesus, but what I want us to see is what Mary teaches US.
Today I want us to look at three lessons we can learn from, the mother of Jesus Christ, which are found in Luke 1:26-38. (OPEN IN PRAYER)
I. MARY TEACHES US IN VERSES 26-27 THAT NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, GOD CAN USE YOU. – “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
Illus. – Do you remember the last time you filled out a job application? You had to give all your personal data, and summarize your background, your education, your experience, and so forth. One question they often ask is, What is it that makes you uniquely qualified for this position? Now, how do you answer that question without coming off as a snob?
Employers assume your AVAILABILITY, but what they really want to find out is 1) your LIABILITIES—what would make you unsuited for the job, and 2) your ABILILITES—what skills and talents will help you do the job.
But God doesn’t operate this way. Mary teaches us that God isn’t as interested in your ABILITY as He is in your AVAILability. No matter who you are, God can use you!
Verses 26-27 paint a picture of an ordinary girl with some serious liabilities:
• She was YOUNG.
Remember that in that day, it was not unusual for girls to be betrothed, as young as 15 years of age (around the time of reaching puberty). Mary could well have been as young as 15 or 16 when Gabriel visited her. You and I might think this girl is too young for God to use her, but apparently God didn’t think so.
• But also, Mary was POOR.
We read in Luke 2:22-24 that Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the temple to be circumcised. To do so, they were required to bring one of two offerings: either a lamb for a burnt offering or if the parents were too poor to bring a lamb, they could instead bring two doves or pigeons for a sin offering. Mary and Joseph brought two doves, indicating they couldn’t afford a lamb. You and I might have thought this family is too poor to provide for Jesus, the King of Heaven, but apparently God didn’t think so.
• Mary was young, and poor…but also she was FROM NAZARETH.
Nazareth was a town with a bad reputation. In John 1:46, when Nathanael learned that Jesus was from Nazareth he said, “…Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”
You and I might have thought No way. No telling what this girl grew up seeing and hearing in a bad town like that. But apparently God didn’t take this into consideration in choosing Mary to be mother to the Son of God.
Mary was young, poor, and from Nazareth—all characteristics that we might have thought would make her seem unusable by God. But God chose Mary for one of the most important jobs He ever asked anyone to do. Through God’s choice of Mary, we see that NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, THE LORD CAN USE YOU.
You might think you’re too young or that you don’t have enough money or talent or training or preparation for God to use you. You might think your background or past mistakes might make it impossible for God to use you.