Summary: This sermon looks at the cost of the real gift of Christmas.
How Much Does The Gift Cost?
December 15, 2003
I. A lot of the time when we think about Christmas we think about the benefits, but very rarely do we think about the cost.
A. Bring teenagers forward. I think that it is a good idea to show a picture if you want someone to get a real idea of what you are talking about. Right now you are looking at a picture of what Joseph and Mary might have looked like.
B. It is pretty much accepted by most people who study such things that Mary was around Thirteen or Fourteen years old when she became the mother of the savior of the world.
C. It was a pretty common practice for girls in that time to be married around the age of 12 or 13. Lest any of you teenagers get any ideas the culture of that time was very different than ours is today, and just because Mary did it doesn’t mean that it is a good idea for you.
D. Most girls were married to men who were older than they were, because to be married a man had to be established in a trade, that enabled him be able to support a family, before the parents would consent to the marriage.
II. What do you think the costs of being Jesus’ mother were to Mary?
A. Well, first off it could have cost her husband, because Mary and Joseph were engaged, at the time that the Holy Spirit came upon her and she became pregnant with Jesus.
B. It was a hard thing for Joseph to accept. And can you blame him? How would react if the girl that you were engaged to came to you and told you that she was pregnant with the son of God, and you knew that there was no way that the child could be yours?
(Mat 1:18 - 20 NIV) This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
C. If Joseph had not listened to God it could have cost Mary her husband, and I am sure that it did cost her the anxiety of wondering what Joseph was going to do, and what he was thinking about her.
D. It could have also cost her life. It was the custom in that day if a young girl had sex before marriage that she was to be burned to death or stoned to death.
1. The reason that Joseph was going to break his marriage commitment to Mary privately was, if he had made it a public divorce the result would have been that Mary would have been killed.
2. And don’t for one minute think that Mary was not thinking about that when the Angel told her that she was going to become pregnant with the Son of God.
E. If Joseph had divorced her even privately, it would have been possible that she would have been killed when it was determined that she was pregnant, and even if she had not been killed it would be very likely that there would not have been another man that would have married her.
1. She could have been shunned by her family, and there was only one job usually available to a girl who no one would marry, and that was a prostitute.
2. Also the greatest shame for a Jewish girl or woman was not to be able to bare children for a husband. So Mary had a lot at stake.
F. What do you think it cost Mary to watch as her son was ridiculed by the people who called themselves her friends?
1. It was the very people of the community Mary lived in that first apposed Jesus.
(Luke 4:16 NIV) He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.
2. When we drop down a few verses we see how the people reacted to Him.
(Luke 4:29 NIV) They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.