Summary: “For nothing will be impossible with God”. And Mary said, “Behold I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word”. (Luke 1:37-38)
The spirit of Christmas is all around us. You can hardly go out these days unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time in both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. There are decorations on some streets and in most homes. Most people claim there is no money in the system but everyone is out shopping, and even when it is only for the purpose of window shopping you end up buying something. A lot of money has been spent on food, drinks, clothes and various gifts. Many people, however, spend no time thinking about the reason for the celebration nor the person they are celebrating. They are celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ without Him. They are giving out gifts but forget about the precious gift God has given them. The events leading to the birth of Christ experienced by Mary should help us bring back the focus of the celebration on the person we are celebrating, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Step One: God speaks for our benefit
a) God speaks to reveal His will
God is speaking to us during this festive season and when He speaks to us it is for our benefit. He speaks to us to reveal His will concerning what He has entrusted to us. He speaks to us to reveal that the second Adam came to restore what the first Adam gave away. In Adam “All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23) but in Christ we are made the righteousness of God.
b) God speaks to reveal His nature
God is love and He speaks to us to reveal His nature. His love is unconditional. “He loved us and chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world”. (Eph. 1:4) He speaks to us to reveal He is righteous and just and that a just God cannot overlook sin and must punish the guilty.
c) God speaks to reveal His purpose
God speaks to reveal His purpose. We can delay His purpose but God will always fulfil it. Sin delayed His purpose. According to the Scriptures “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne” (Psalm 89:14) and these cannot be compromised.
When Adam sinned, God revealed His way to redeem man when He proclaimed that He would put enmity between devil and the woman and their offspring and that the seed of the woman would bruise his head. (Gen. 3:15) Since that time Satan, in his attempt to hinder his defeat, killed all those he perceived would destroy him. The result was the first murder when he instigated Cain to kill his brother Abel. These killings continued till when Jesus was born and in his attempt, instigated Herod to kill all the young children in the town of Bethlehem. At God’s appointed time the devil was powerless as he had to deal with God Himself.
The way to redeem man without compromising the righteousness and justice of God was the sacrifice of a man without blemish “for the wages of sin is death”.
Step Two: God gave man dominion
a) God works with man
After creating the world God gave man dominion over it. In honouring His word God would not do anything on earth without a man to work with. That is why we should value our prayers and pray always. To deal with sin God needed a perfect man.
b) God became man
Since all have sinned God had to become man so that His righteousness and justice is not compromised. The only way for man to enter the world legally was through a woman and for a man to be born without the sin nature required a virgin birth.
c) God chose Mary
At God’s appointed time God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary to announce what was about to happen. A young girl engaged to be married was to become the mother of God.
It was humanly impossible for a woman who had known no man to bear a child. Mary did not doubt what the angel had said but wanted to know how it would be possible. The angel Gabriel then told that it would be God’s supernatural ability that would make everything possible. Mary believed and accepted to be the mother of the Messiah knowing the implications of her acceptance. She could be disgraced and accused of adultery and even stoned to death. This is in contrast with what happened in the case of Zechariah and her cousin Elisabeth. Because Zechariah doubted what the angel said about Elisabeth having a child by asking for a sign he was made dumb.
Application: God works with those who accept to work with Him. Without our acceptance God will not work with us. God chose Mary because she accepted to give birth to the Messiah.