Summary: Some tend to over emphasize Mary; while others tend to nearly dismiss her. What can we learn from Scriptures that show us the heart of Mary? Mary is indeed a good example for us to follow.
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
And our memory refresher verses for today are …
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ISV)
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. But when you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
Please open your Bibles to Luke 1:5-20 and 1:26-38
Last week when the Needhams (theneedhams.com) were here for a concert they sang a song that has become very popular at Christmastime called “Mary Did You Know?”
To me one of the most astonishing lines in the song is when it this question to Mary, “Mary did you know … when you kiss your little Baby, you’ve kissed the face of God?”
Can you even imagine that????
I remember the first time that I realized that that actual event had actually happened. And not just once but multiple times!
We can wrap our minds around kissing the face of a baby, but when you realize the enormity of fact that although Jesus was indeed a human child He was and is fully God just as much as He was and is fully human.
What a question. Actually what a series of question are asked in that song!
Some people over the years have bestowed upon Mary powers that are nearly godlike. And, if she did actually have godlike powers that song would be ridiculous.
One of the attributes of God is that He is omniscient, He knows everything.
Now, we know that Mary is not omniscient. How do we know that? We know that because her very first words in the Holy Scriptures are, “How will this be ….?”
I have often been fascinated by similar situations in the Bible that have different reactions. For instance, both Abraham and Sarah laughed when they were told that Sarah would bear a child in her old age but only Sarah was asked, “Why did you laugh?”
Something similar happens when Gabriel announces to Zechariah that he will have a son and when Gabriel announces to Mary that she, too, will give birth to a Son.
The first thing we will do today is compare two similar passages with two similar conversations. The first conversation is between Gabriel and Zechariah and the second is between Gabriel and Mary.
First we see Zechariah. Zechariah is a Jewish priest. He is a holy man.
He is an elderly man and his wife is barren which was a disgrace in that society.
Actually, the Bible says that both Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, “… were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.” - Luke 1:6
So, let’s go ahead and read Luke 1:5-20 for the first conversation …
Here we see a message being delivered to Zechariah by the angel Gabriel.
Next we see a similar interaction between Mary and the angel Gabriel …
Read Luke 1:26-38
In both of these passages the angel Gabriel gives amazing news of seemingly impossible future events to Zechariah the elderly Jewish priest and Mary the young virgin girl.
Zechariah response to the news is, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” - Luke 1:18
And, Mary, on the other hand, asks, “How will this be since I am a virgin?” - Luke 1:34
What is the difference in these two responses and why did the angel Gabriel respond differently in each case?
What is Zechariah doing when he asks the question; “How can I be sure of this?”
Zechariah is questioning the certainty of the prophecy; is this really true???
How can I be sure!
What is Mary doing when she asks, “How will this be since I am a virgin?”
Notice the difference? Zechariah asks, “How can I be sure?” and Mary asks, “How WILL this be?” NOT, “How can this be?”
Mary has already concluded that it WILL take place.
She just cannot understand how it WILL be possible given the circumstances?
Now, we know that both of these prophecies were true because they both were fulfilled.
This is not to throw any bad light on Zechariah at all! The Lord considered him to be blameless and righteous. I think we can all admit to having doubts from time to time when it comes to trusting the Lord.
But, what would it have really been like to walk through Mary’s life?