Summary: As we read this account I want to set before you 1. A Chosen Woman; 2 An Astonishing Announcement; and 3. An Unbelievable Explanation. 4. A Humble Submission
Christmas 2006 200658.ser
“A Woman Blessed”
CLBC 9 December 2006 a.m.
Theme: Complete submission or surrender
Passage: Lu. 1: 26 - 38
So who was this Mary who appears on the pages of scripture as the mother of the Lord Jesus? Really we know very little about her. You might say that she was a relatively unknown person who is suddenly thrust into the foreground of one of the two most important events the world has ever known.
Now although the person was not known, it is not as though the event was not known. From the fall of our first parents, there had been the prophecy about the seed of the woman who would bruise the had of Satan. Isaiah had given his famous prophecy of a virgin who would call her son Emmanuel,”God with us.” And indeed two separate genealogies had been carefully preserved, one given in Matthew’s account and another in Lule’s. It has been suggested that one is the family record of Joseph and the other of Mary. And now the ‘fullness of time’ had come, when all of the prophesies would begin to be fulfilled.
As we read this account I want to set before you 1. A Chosen Woman; 2 An Astonishing Announcement; and 3. An Unbelievable Explanation. 4. A Humble Submission
Luke 1:26 “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.”
1. A Chosen woman:
Although she was not known to man, she was known to God. He knew who she was. He knew where she was, in the town of Nazareth. He knew her exact circumstance: her espousal to Joseph a direct descendent of King David.
And so, in the councils of heaven the commission was given to the angel Gabriel to pay a visit to this young woman to bring God’s message to his chosen instrument.
a. a pure woman
v.27 - a virgin - she herself explains the meaning of the word in verse 34, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" Joseph at first had second thoughts until it was made plain to him that Mary was not compromised; that her conception was a supernatural act of God.
She was betrothed to Joseph - it appears that betrothal in Israel was stronger than engagement in our culture. Betrothal seems to imply Joseph’s care for her until they could be married, it was not a licence for sex before marriage.
They needed to be secure in the knowledge of her purity and the supernatural nature of her pregnancy in the months that followed as they faced the slander and innuendo of small town gossip and bigotry. As Philip Yancey says in “The Jesus I never knew”, “small towns do not treat kindly young boys who grow up with questionable paternity.” p. 32
b. a favoured woman
28 “And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"
The words highly favoured is actually one word from the family of words for rejoicing, joy, grace and speaks of one upon whom favour is bestowed.
None of us could receive anything from the Lord if He did not choose to bestow His favour upon un and extend His grace to us. There was nothing in Mary, and there is nothing in us to cause God to be merciful or gracious to us. He chose to be favourable to this young woman. He chose to be with her, and He chose to bless her from among all the women. I am sure that she was a most exceptional young woman, but if she was, it was because God had prepared her to be an exceptional young woman.
She was also
c. a troubled young woman
Lu 1:29 “But when she saw [him], she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.”
There is no wonder she was troubled, for she was experiencing one of those very rare occasions of seeing a visitor from the world of glory.
Quite apart from the one delivering the message, she didn’t understand the message. She was a humble young woman and she could not comprehend such a thing as God selecting her or calling her blessed, or highly favoured.
What a disservice has been done to her by making her into something she is not.
“Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death.