Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: We rejoice in a God who surprises.


Luke 1:46-55

S: Prayer

Th: We have reason to rejoice!


?: What? What was she surprised by?

KW: Decisions

TS: We will find in Mary’s psalm (known as the Magnificat) three decisions by God that reflect an element of surprise.

The ____ decision is…

I. FAVOR (48-50)

II. FAIRNESS (51-53)


Version: ESV

RMBC 08 Dec 02 AM


ILL Notebook: Surprise (accident victim)

Cindy Wynn’s sister-in-law worked as a nursing instructor at the local hospital. And so, she had enlisted the aid of her husband (Cindy’s brother), Tom, for a community disaster drill. On the appointed day Tom climbed into an ambu-lance, got his instructions, then waited while fellow volunteers gave him a grisly make-over. His "victim costume" included torn clothes, assorted cuts and a mask that made his eyes look swollen shut. Para-medics then set out for the staged scene.

After a few minutes of driving, they sounded the siren, and Tom knew it was show time. When the ambulance stopped and the driver threw its doors open, Tom gave a most convincing performance as an accident victim, staggering, scream-ing and waving his arms wildly.

He was surprised to hear thunderous laughter all around him. Removing the mask from his eyes, he saw he was back home — surrounded by 150 friends and family wishing him a happy 50th birthday.

Do you like surprises?

Well, surprises like the one we just described, we all enjoy.

We like it when someone goes out of their way to surprise us.

It makes us feel special, appreciated and wanted.

You know, there are many reactions to the unexpected.

When someone pops out of a dark room, we are scared.

When we suddenly come across someone we haven’t seen in years, we are stunned.

And when someone gives us good news we weren’t anticipating, we laugh.


1. Last week, we observed that Zechariah was shocked by an angelic visitor.

During a once in a lifetime opportunity to serve in the temple, he has a once in a lifetime type of encounter.

As he pours the incense over the hot coals, and the cloudy haze rises, he finds an unexpected visitor.


It’s Gabriel!

While Zechariah is serving the Lord in the temple, he actually hears from Him.

And though that sounds like something that should be natural, when it actually happens, he is shocked.

But he is not the only one to be surprised.

His wife would also be shocked with the news Gabriel told him.

For they were about to have a baby.


2. Elizabeth had to be a bit flabbergasted at the thought of being pregnant at her age.

Yes, she was finally going to have a son.

Now, this was a bit on the weird side, because it wasn’t normal to have children at her age.

But she is not the only one to be surprised.

She had a cousin, Mary, that also was getting some pretty shocking news.

3. Mary also received an angelic visitor with impossible news.

Mary is also visited by Gabriel who tells her that she is highly favored.

And, as a result, she is going to have a son who is to be named “Y’shua” (we know Him as Jesus).

This son is going to possess the throne of David and reign over the house of Jacob forever.

His kingdom will be an eternal kingdom.

Now that does sound like good news.

She is going to become pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit.

But here is the rub – she is engaged to be married to Joseph.

She hasn’t been fooling around with him or anyone else.

So, if she is going to be pregnant, this is not going to look too good.

How would you react to such news?

I know how I would react…

“Lord, this is rather inconvenient at this time.”

“We have no insurance.”

“As you know, Lord, Joseph and I are not fully married yet, and he is not going to be real happy about this.”

“Lord, the community is not likely to see this as a positive thing…they will probably be lining up the stones.”

“Lord, can I get a second opinion?

Well, that is how you and I might respond to this surprising news.

But Mary’s response is much different.

4. Mary reacts with worship (46-47).

She is a remarkable young girl, for she understands.

God is about to change the course of history.

So, when she meets up with her elder cousin, she breaks out in song!

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…”

This is an outburst of praise that has taken four days to formulate as Mary traveled to see her pregnant cousin.

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