Summary: A sermon on the ordinary things of Luke 1:26-38 (Some material adapted from a sermon by John MacArthur)
Have children come up front. Go through “You Shall Call His Name Jesus” from Sermons4Kids
Nobody wants to be ordinary. To be ordinary is to have no exceptional ability; to be average.
No one wants to be average, right? No one wants to be of average height or make average money. No one wants to date an average girl or guy or drive an average car. Most of the time we want something that makes us stand out from the crowd. We want to feel a notch better.
In reality most of us are average. Most of us do not stand out from the crowd in either good or bad ways. That is what average means.
Thesis: Let’s talk about the ordinary things from this text and then what makes it not just ordinary but extraordinary.
The town of Nazareth is ordinary
A couple of thousand people at the most.
Nazareth was an ordinary or average village in Galilee. It wasn't the seat of anything. It wasn't an important place at all. All of the major trade routes missed Nazareth. It was about 70 miles north of Jerusalem depending on what point in Jerusalem we begin, which was quite a ways if walking. It still is fifteen miles west of the north tip of the Sea of Galilee and about twenty-two miles from the Mediterranean. So somewhere in the middle between the tip of the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean sits this town.
John MacArthur- It's amazing to go there. I've been there many times. And it's remarkable for its plainness. When I have a vision of Nazareth in my mind, I see rough little bumpy streets, this is modern Nazareth, with people working on cars stuck half way out in the street from little garages. It's just a plain place.
John 1:46- "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked.
The situation was ordinary
Mary was pledged to be married or betrothed to a man named Joseph.
B. According to Roman law the minimum age for girls to be engaged and married was twelve. That's right, twelve. For boys, whom we all know develop slower, it was fourteen. Augustus, the emperor, had set the minimum age for engagement at 10. And Jewish practice basically followed that. Girls were engaged around twelve or thirteen and married after the engagement or the betrothal was over. The reason they did this it was to guarantee their virginity. As soon as they had reached puberty they would be engaged and then soon marry.
This engagement is not the same as our engagement. Betrothal was a binding, legal relationship and it was arranged by the parents. It was a legal document, parents agreed that their children would marry and it occurred soon after puberty. There was no sexual relationship during the period of betrothal which usually lasted a year. The couple did not live together, but only death or divorce could sever the contract. And if the man died, the betrothed girl would be considered a widow.
During the year of betrothal the girl would prove her faithfulness by not giving herself to anyone else. She would prove her purity. And during that same year the boy would prepare a home for her, a place for her, usually with an addition to his father's house.