Summary: This is the 2nd sermon in the series "Christmas Surprises". This sermon is about Mary’s reaction to the news of her pregnancy.
Sunday Evening November 25, 2001 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: Christmas Surprises [#2]
A PREGNANT VIRGIN?
This morning we looked at 4 bad girls of the Bible that were relatives of our Savior. Tonight I want us to look at yet another Christmas Surprise.
In school I learned about a type of word combination. It is called an oxymoron. An oxymoron is a combination of contradictory words. Our title tonight is an oxymoron. “A Pregnant Virgin”. A virgin can’t be pregnant, or can she?
The Story (Luke 1:26-33)
Imagine the shock. An angel appears to you and says that the Lord favors you and is with you. This in itself makes this story hard for many to believe. Angels don’t just appear to someone, especially to a woman in this time and Jewish culture. Mary was not a wealthy woman nor was she an influential person. Why did God choose her?
The angel tells her that she is going to have a baby. Now this is not going to be just any kid. This is going to be the Messiah, the Son of God. I am sure by this point that Mary is so overwhelmed that she is not sure what to believe. Now Mary knew about the prophesied Messiah, but I am sure she was shocked that it was her that would give birth to Him.
There was a little boy that came home from Sunday School and his mother asked him what he had learned. The little boy said that they learned about this man named Moses that was leading some people away from the Egyptians and the Egyptians were chasing them. As they were being chased, they came to a huge river and so Moses had his men build a bridge and then all of the people crossed over. As soon as they crossed over, Moses called an air strike in and the planes blew up the bridge so that the Egyptians could not capture them. The mother asked her son, “Are you sure that is what your teacher taught you?” The little boy said, “No, that’s not what she said, but you would never believe the story she told us”.
The Shock (Luke 1:34-45)
Like this little boy said, “No one will ever believe this story”. I am sure that is one of the first things that pop up in Mary’s mind. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to figure out that a virgin cannot get pregnant. I can imagine Mary at that moment thinking, “What is Joseph going to say? What is going to happen to me? They will probably stone me to death.” Mary had every reason to think these things because Jewish Law said that the punishment for adultery was death.
The angel also tells Mary that Elizabeth is pregnant which is another miracle because of Elizabeth’s age. So now we have a pregnant virgin and a barren woman in her old age that is pregnant.
Mary leaves and goes to stay with Elizabeth and in verses 41-45 we see Elizabeth praising God.
Please notice in verse 38 and verse 45 that Mary commits her life to the Lord as His servant and then Elizabeth states once again that Mary has committed her life to God as His servant. Through all of this Mary is still praising God.
The Song (Luke 1:46-56)
In verses 46-56 we see that Mary sings a song of praise to God. I want to spend a couple of moments identifying several things about this song.
(1) Mary’s psalm of praise reveals a repeated use of the terminology and theology of the Old Testament. Virtually every commentator agrees that Mary’s praise is dripping with Old Testament allusions and references. Mary dwells on the character of God, particularly His grace, which is bestowed on the humble and the oppressed. There is also a distinct parallel with the praise of Hannah in 1 Samuel chapter 2. Some may question how a simple peasant-girl may have such a grasp of the Old Testament. All Israelites from their childhood days knew by heart songs from the Old Testament and often sang them in the home circle and at celebrations. Mary was steeped in the poetical literature of her nation, and accordingly her hymn also bears the unmistakable signs of it.
(2) Mary’s praise begins with her grateful response to the grace God has shown to her, a humble servant of the Lord. In verses 46-49, Mary praises God for His mercy as expressed toward her. She rejoices in God, who is her Savior (verse 47). While this may not refer only to the saving work, which Messiah will come to accomplish, surely it includes it. God looked upon her humble estate with compassion; consequently she will be esteemed blessed by all future generations (verse 48). God’s compassion on her has revealed both His power and His holiness (“Mighty One,” “holy is His name,” v. 49).