Summary: Today, many Christians struggle with submitting and yielding to the will of God for their lives. Through Mary’s courage, we find what can happen when we believe and follow God’s Word.
This morning, we are continuing in our series entitled, "What We Have Learned From the Christmas Story." Today’s message is the third in this series that will take us up to Christmas. In the first message, God revealed to us His sovereignty in Matthew 1:18-25. The second message brought to light another participant in God’s plan - Joseph, and we saw how Joseph was God’s man for God’s time.
Now we come to the first chapter of Luke and see another important participant in this drama. We see the mother of our Lord. We see Mary. Let’s turn in our Bibles to Luke 1:26. This morning, by the help of the Lord, I’d like to preach a message entitled, "Mary: Pure, Prepared, and Privileged."
We are told in Revelation 13:8 that the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. So we understand that God has always possessed a plan to redeem fallen humanity. The plan, however, was very specific, and it is here that I would like to begin.
I. Mary Was a Chosen Vessel
Since before the foundation of the world, Mary was to be the chosen vessel to bring our Savior into this world. But why did God choose Mary? Why not someone else? I believe that God’s Word sheds light on why Mary was chosen.
First, Mary was chosen because of her purity. The Scriptures explain to us that the angel Gabriel was sent to the city of Nazareth during the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. The purpose of this trip we are told is so that Gabriel can relate God’s plan to a virgin named Mary. This virgin was espoused to a man from the lineage of David named Joseph.
Hundreds of years before, the prophet Isaiah foretold of this event when he stated, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Is. 7:14). The event also marked the soon coming fulfillment of the promise of Genesis 3:15, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Some today attempt to discount the validity of this point saying that the word "virgin" only refers to a young woman. Others feel that Mary being a virgin is not of great importance. Both views are incorrect. God promised that the Savior of the world would come through the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15) without the aid of a human male. Why? Because all humans are sinners (Rom. 3:23). According to Romans 5:12, their sinful nature is passed on through the seed of the man. When Adam sinned in the garden, he became a sinner. From that point on, just as the man’s human nature is passed on to his offspring, so also is his sinful nature. God’s plan to send a Savior into the world involved Him sending a pure Savior that did not inherit the sinful nature of humanity, but rather only inheriting a physical body and a human nature. God accomplished this through the virgin birth of Jesus.
Secondly, I believe that Mary was chosen because of her passion. Often, when we ask someone to complete an assignment, or as a pastor, if I ask someone for help in regards to the functioning of the church and it’s ministries, the reaction is not always positive. For some, it’s like pulling teeth to get them involved in the work of God. Many use excuses, some gripe, and others just plain say no. But not Mary. When she was told of God what her assignment was, she immediately acquiesced and excitedly went and told Elizabeth. Would to God that we would have the excitement and passion that Mary possessed when God moves us to action. It is little wonder that submissive Mary who stated, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word," would bare a Son who would state, "take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."
Thirdly, I believe that Mary was chosen because of her preparation. Mary was raised under God’s Word. Most scholars believe Mary to be only 14-15 years old at this time, but in the Magnificat, we read of Mary praying much in the same manner as Hannah when she praised God for Samuel. She also quoted many of the Psalms in her song to the Lord. This allows us to understand that Mary was well versed in the Word of God. We need that same commitment to understanding the Word of God. In Hosea, we hear God state that His people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. We need to be well read in the Word in order to be ready when God calls us to action. The Christian life is not a playground but a battlefield.