Summary: The extraordinary happened to Mary. Are we ready to experience the extraordinary as well?
First Baptist Church
December 23, 2001
Have you ever had a simple, ordinary day; and something
extraordinary happens? You didn’t expect it, you didn’t plan for
it, in fact, you may not have even wanted it. Sometimes we aren’t
too sure what to make of these events. Maybe it’s a friend who
helps you out when you’re in need, or someone delivers a meal at
just the right moment, or it could be any of 100’s of ways that we
help one another.
Today I want to focus on what happens when the REALLY
EXTRAORDINARY happens in our lives. It occurs when GOD
ENTERS our world. What do we do when that happens? We
can learn a great deal from the life of Mary, especially as she has
an encounter, an extraordinary encounter with the angel, Gabriel.
We don’t know where Mary was or what she was doing when
the Gabriel came to visit her, but we can imagine what that
conversation would have been like —
Into her relatively uncomplicated life comes someone with wings.
Just like the shepherds, Mary becomes afraid. After all, it’s not
an everyday occurrence to have a conversation with an angel.
Gabriel tells Mary she has found favor, "divine favor" with God.
After Mary calms down, Gabriel wastes no time telling her His
good news — "Hey Mary, guess what? You’re going to have a
baby. As a matter of fact, you’re going to have a son, and you’ll
name him Jesus. He will be great, the Son of the Most High.
And the Lord God will give Him the throne of David, forever;
and His kingdom will never end."
Can you imagine receiving that message? Remember, Mary
wasn’t a mature college graduate, she was only a teenager,
probably between 13 to 16 years old. That was the typical age to
get married. And she was engaged to a carpenter named
At this point, Mary may have interrupted Gabriel and said, "Hey
Gabriel, there’s just one small problem, isn’t it true that this great
and wondrous act can’t be accomplished alone." And Gabriel
would agree. And Mary would say, "Then it isn’t going to
happen because I’m a virgin." Now, Gabriel’s response had to
absolutely floor Mary, "Oh, did I forget to mention the child’s
father will be God."
I’m not sure if Mary was smiling or scared out of her mind. She
might have thought she was on the ancient version of "Candid
Camera." But Gabriel’s response in Verse 37, is one of the great
Bible promises. He says, "For nothing is impossible with God."
Isn’t that a great statement? Nothing, nothing is impossible with
God. I like it. That’s one of those statements you have to love.
Mary’s the child of a religious family, engaged to a respectable
member of the community and now she learns she is going to
become pregnant. And the Father is none other than the Holy
But who’s going to believe her story? Her parents? Joseph?
Her friends? She walks into the house and tells her parents,
"Mom, Dad, you may not believe this, but I’m going to have a
baby." Mom’s and dad’s how would you react? Maybe you’re
not too happy about it, but Mary says, "don’t worry, it’ll be okay
because the daddy is God!" Now I’m sure that each parent here
would believe your teen aged daughter if she told you that. Am I
right, should I ask for a show of hands?
Do you see what Mary was up against? Now add to her burden
that being engaged in that society was far more binding than our
modern engagement. Only divorce could break an engagement.
Even though they were not yet married, if either Mary or Joseph
was unfaithful to the other, it would have been adultery,
punishable by death by stoning.
And now she’s pregnant. Talk about a monkey wrench thrown
into the plans! I mean, what would your fiancee say if you came
to him with some story about an angel appearing to you, and
miraculous conception. "There was no man, honey, honest, God
did it." ‘Yea, sure.’
Joseph was going to do the honorable thing for Mary, he was
going to quietly divorce her. He must have cared greatly for her,
because he wanted to be kind to her. Ultimately, Joseph has an
encounter with an angel and comes to accept Mary’s story. And
we know the end of the story . . . they go to Bethlehem and have
We think things get convoluted and complicated, busy and
stressful in our lives! Imagine this is suddenly given to you in the
middle of some weekday afternoon while you’re peeling onions,
or whatever you’re doing.
The wonderful part of the story, is Mary’s response to the angel’s