Summary: This message examines Jesus’ through the eyes of Mary.
Would you for a few moments consider one of the greatest mysteries of the incarnation? How could the unlimited power of the God who created the universe be packed into the limitations of a human body? To complicate things a little more, “How could that unlimited power be packed inside a human embryo inside the womb of a teenage girl?” This very question is exactly what is being wrestled with by a teenage girl named Mary. How would you feel if you were told that you were going to be the mother of the Son of God? Millions of Roman Catholics through the ages have given Mary the distinction of being the mother of God. Most Protestants have gone the other way and virtually ignored her contribution. Today I want you to put yourself in the place of this young mother to be. We are going to listen to her reactions and try to see the different emotions that she was dealing with. Through Mary’s eyes, we will begin to see Jesus with greater clarity.
I. An announcement with some extremely high stakes.
A. Mary understands both the glory and the risk of Gabriel’s announcement.
1. It is one thing for an older couple to conceive and have a child after menopause; it is something entirely different when a young woman in the middle of her engagement turns up pregnant.
2. In the ancient world engagement and marriage was a two step process.
a. The engagement involved a witnessed agreement to marry and the settling on the bridal price.
b. A year later the actual marriage ceremony would take place and the husband then could take his new bride home.
3. The engagement was a binding legal agreement and could only be broken through the granting of a divorce.
4. Mary’s age is not stated but at the time she received Gabriel’s announcement she would have been between the ages of 13 and 15 according to ancient customs.
5. Luke makes it very clear in our passage that Mary is still a virgin.
6. For just a moment consider this, “If a young girl claiming to be a virgin turned up pregnant, how would you react?”
7. Maybe now we can understand just how high the stakes were for Mary.
8. Mary accepts God’s plan for her at the risk of divorce, social ostracism and possible execution. Mary receives within her body the plan and power of God.
9. All of sudden God has stepped into Mary’s life and brought her into His service and she obediently accepted.
B. Elizabeth’s son was to be the one preparing the way for the Lord but Mary’s son was going to be the long awaited Messiah.
1. Luke paints a significant portrait of Mary’s character. She is seen as a model believer, taking God at His word as well as being a faithful follower.
2. However, do not take this that Mary’s faith came easy. Remember she asked, “How could this be because I am still a virgin.”
3. Gabriel makes it clear that there is tangible proof of the fact that God is working. Her cousin Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy.
4. John was the prophet like Elijah that would precede the coming of the Messiah.
5. The virgin birth is what sets Jesus’ birth apart from John’s. The way Jesus was conceived made Him totally unique.
6. Not only was Jesus going to be great like John, He would be known as the Son of the Most High God.
II. Two confessions that testify to an unexpected truth.
A. Luke’s narrative now takes an unexpected turn as the two unexpected mothers meet together.
1. Mary very hurriedly obeys Gabriel and journeys to the hill country of Judea to visit with Elizabeth and see the sign that she has been told of.
2. This journey would have been between 80 and 100 miles and would have taken Mary about three or four days.
3. The odds are pretty good that Mary arrived on Elizabeth’s door step quite unexpectedly.
4. Mary stays with Elizabeth until she gives birth to John.
5. An important event takes place as Mary and Elizabeth meet, the child in Elizabeth’s womb literally jumps for joy.
B. In response to her baby’s reaction Elizabeth filled with Holy Spirit makes a very profound confession.
1. The reaction of Elizabeth’s still three month premature baby clues her in that God is doing something special.
2. Elizabeth is humbled by the fact that she not only gets to participate in God’s plan but she is able to witness Him at work.
3. Elizabeth proclaims Mary as being blessed among women.
a. Mary is blessed because God has chosen her to bear His Son.
b. Mary is blessed because she has accepted God’s Word.