Summary: If we follow the "grown-up" Jesus... we will be servants of the Lord.
Title: Now That’s a Baby!
Text: Luke 1:26-38
The Big Idea: If we follow the “grown-up” Jesus… we will be servants of the Lord!
Babies… parents are seldom objective about the cuteness of their children. While some argue that there is no such thing as an ugly baby, I think if we are honest, some are less than cute.
I don’t know if you are aware that Jim Ditter was nearly named Theo, short for Theophilus. It is said that when he was born the doctor performing the delivery held him up to the light and said, “Now that’s “theawefulest” looking baby I’ve ever seen. So they nearly named him Theophilus. (That’s for the peanut butter, Jim.)
Most babies are cute. Take for example Adam… our youngest grandson. (And no, I am not objective…)
Project baby slide…
However, not every baby is cute and I was taught in my ministerial training, what to say in the event someone proudly presented me with a truly homely baby. Rather than die of fright or gasp in horror or out right lie, we were told to say, “Now that’s a baby!” “Now that’s a baby” is a true statement that may be said of any baby and if you say it with sufficient enthusiasm a proud parent may presume the best.
Our story today is lifted from Luke 1 where Mary learns that she is going to have a baby… a very special baby. And as the story unfolds we learn that Mary has been chosen to bear the only begotten Son of God, our Lord, Jesus Christ. But there is more to this story than the obvious. I want us to look a bit deeper into the activity of God in the story.
The first thing we learn about the way God works out his plan is to understand that his chosen ones are favored.
1. God’s chosen are favored ones.
The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and said, “Greetings, favored woman!” Luke 1:28a
I suspect Mary blushed at the words of the Angel Gabriel… after all, who was she but a teen-age peasant girl from a little Podunk village in Galilee? There she was, doing whatever she was doing… walking to the village market, preparing a meal, day dreaming about her handsome fiancé, lying on her bed about to drift off into sleep? It was certainly not an everyday thing to have a messenger from God appear and tell her that she was a “favored” woman. I doubt that Mary ever thought of herself as favored or special.
I’ve been reading A Caffeinated Christian. In it the author wrote of his being a still-born baby. The delivery room staff laid him aside and were focusing on saving his mother who was apparently in distress as well. Then someone noticed that a bubble was forming from his lips and they rushed to resuscitate him. So he grew up being told that he was a very special boy and that God must have wonderful things in mind for him because he was left for dead but then miraculously saved. Oh, how special he believed himself to be.
He went through life, even into his adult years, thinking of himself as special… God must have some special mission in life for him.
Then one day he shared his story with a someone who listened carefully then asked, “Do you know what your story means?” “What?” he replied. And the man said, “All it means is that God wanted you to live.”
It was a blunt but powerful message and for the first time in his life, he realized he had thought of himself as someone special while all others were mere commoners with no special distinction or role in God’s scheme of things. He noted that from that moment on he saw every person as special in the eyes of God. (John Fischer, Confessions of a Caffeinated Christian, PP 6-7.)
Paul wrote, “Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ… his unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to him through Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:4-5
All of his chosen are special. All his chosen are favored. Mary was favored in the sense that she was the one who would bear the Son of God.
The second thing we see about the way God works is that he is present and engaged in our lives.
2. God’s presence is promised in Christ.
The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Luke 1:28
Mary was immediately assured that God not only had chosen her for a special role in his Divine plan but that God was also present with her and actively engaged in the plan and the process that stretched out before her.