Summary: When we look at Mary and the birth of Jesus we see a struggle of being pregnant and no one believing her. Why did the angel only tell her? Wouldn't a family meeting with all the parties be more appropriate? We will see that God's gifts have thorns!
God’s Gifts Have Thorns
Matthew1:18-25 and Luke1:26-56 & 2:1-39
Today is Sunday, December 24, 2017. A day known around the world in many different languages as Christmas Eve. This is an exciting time of the year! There are those that love the holiday but hate what this day represents. There are Muslims that refuse to go to the company Christmas Party, because Christmas is a Christian holiday. Atheists love Christmas, but they demand we say happy holidays instead of merry Christmas because they hate the thought of a Christ. Then there are also some Christians that hate this holiday because of some of the pagan rituals, like the Christmas tree and the knowledge that Christ would not have been born during this time of the year. Of, course there are many that love to rejoice in celebration of the birth of their king, even if the day is unknown.
I love the holiday, because no matter if you hate Christ or love him as your savior and king, the world knows. The world knows! It is an annual reminder that there is a King, there is God With Us! What an exciting time of the year, where the world is confronted with the reality of Jesus of Nazareth. And what an opportunity we have to share the Good News of Jesus.
So today, I want us to look at Mary as we look into this incredible history, where God came down and began dwelling with us. Turn with me to Luke 1 and we will start in verse 26.
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
39 Now [ac]at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”
46 And Mary said:
“My soul exalts the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 “For He has had regard for the humble state of His[ah]bondslave;
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
49 “For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
50 “And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who fear Him.
51 “He has done mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
52 “He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.
53 “He has filled the hungry with good things;
And sent away the rich empty-handed.
54 “He has given help to Israel His servant,