Summary: Submission to the Lord’s will is an absolute essential before a Christian can grasp the truths surrounding the Christmas story.
Turn Your Bibles to Luke 1:26-38
Title: Christmas Faith
Theme: The Faith of Mary, Submission to God’s Will
Series: The Cast of Christmas
Listen as I read Luke 1:26-38, “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.’ ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:26-38) Pray!
Introduction: Little information is given about Mary in the Word of God. However, what is said is striking and sets before every Christian a Biblical example of true submissiveness to God’s will. Submission to the Lord’s will is an absolute essential before a Christian can grasp the truths surrounding the Christmas story.
Proposition: I would propose to you that there are several simple truths that the Holy Spirit of Christ would like to place deep within your mind and burn deep within your spiritual heart.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what are those truths and how can they be a blessing to the children of God?
Transitional Sentence: One truth worth grasping this Christmas season is that no matter where you live and no matter what circumstance you find yourself in, the Lord can reach into your life and make you a valuable part of the building of the kingdom of God. Our text says, “God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee.” (Luke 1:26)
There is much that the Holy Spirit of Christ wants you to grasp in today’s message. In this first division of the message He wants you to grasp the significance of Nazareth. This city is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was the home of Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:39) and Nazareth was where the angel announced to the virgin the birth of the Messiah. (Luke 1:26-28) Nazareth is where Jesus grew to manhood (Luke 4:16) and where He began His public ministry in the synagogue. (Matthew 13:54) (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Easton’s Bible Dictionary) Those are powerful truths to cling to.
Unfortunately, Nazareth around the time of the birth of Christ had established a rather poor reputation in morals and religion. (The New International Dictionary of the Bible) This why we read of Nathaniel of whom Jesus said, “…[was] a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false,” saying this, “Can anything good come from [Nazareth]?” (John 1:47,46)
Many Christian historians tell us that by the time of the birth of Christ, Nazareth had become an unimportant town. (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) Nazareth and the people living in her were despised by Romans and Jews. Nazareth of Galilee bordered Gentile and heathen nations and those living in her were considered a conquered people. (The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible)
Evidence of the citizen’s spiritual condition in Nazareth is found in their treatment of Christ during His ministry. The Bible says that He returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:14) The Bible says after Jesus was finished teaching in the Synagogue on a Sabbath day, after reading from the Book if Isaiah, “[The people] spoke well of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips…” But, then they begin to question, “…Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4: 16-22) After Jesus had spoken more to them they “…drove Him out of town, and took Him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.” (Luke 4:29) It was because of their lack of belief that Jesus could not do many miracles in Nazareth. (Matthew 13:58)