Summary: In our series “The Birth Narratives” we are taking note of how each of the Gospel’s introduces the person of Jesus differently. Luke begins his gospel by recording the angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth.
Christmas Series – 2014
The Birth Narratives
Sermon # 5
“The Announcement of the King.”
Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Monetarily the way we as American’s cele-brate Christmas is expensive. Everything from buying gifts to meeting the December social obligations can all lead to January “sticker shock” and depression. Physical stress is also present because Christmas seems to be a time of non-stop activity. And then there is the emotion- al stress – loneliness and loss seems more pronounced at Christmas than at any other time of the year.
It is hard to imagine anyone more stressed by Christmas than the young woman we are going to meet this morning in Luke chapter one (vv. 26-38). This young woman received perhaps one of the greatest surprises in history, a surprise that turned her world and ours upside down. We are going to look at her response to that surprise, which came in the form of a question, a question that has been a part of the Christ-mas story for over 2,000 years.
In our series “The Birth Narratives” we are taking note of how each of the Gospel’s introduces the person of Jesus differently. Matthew introduces Jesus by giving his genealogy. John take the reader to eternity past so that no one comes to the erroneous conclusion that the life of Jesus began at His birth in human form at Bethlehem. Mark begins his gospel by presenting Jesus credentials through the character witnesses of, John the Baptist, God the Father, and Satan the tempter. Luke also has the genealogy of Jesus but traced through His mother’s line. Luke begins his gospel by recording the angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth.
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, (27) to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. (28) And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (29) But when she saw him. she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. (30) Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (31) And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. (32) He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. (33) And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (34) Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (35) And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will over-shadow you; there-fore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. (36) Now indeed, Elizabeth your rela-tive has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. (37) For with God nothing will be impossible.”(38) Then Mary said, “Behold the maid-servant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”
Let me give you a concise run down on what we know about Mary from Luke’s gospel? Here is a brief list: First, her father’s name was (Eli – Lk. 3:23). Second, she had a relative (cousin according to KJV – Lk. 1:36) named Elizabeth. Third, she is young. Fourth, she is poor. Fifth, she is a woman of faith. Sixth, she is engaged to be married. That’s it. But today’s text has some extraordinary things to teach us about who God chose to be the earthly mother of His Son.
First, God Often Chooses To Use Those That The World Would Reject. (1:26-28)
The story begins in verse twenty-six, “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, (27) to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. (28) And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
When the story opens Mary is “betrothed” or “pledged” to Joseph. That meant that she had formally agreed to marry him but the “wedding” had not yet taken place. Between the “betrothal” and the “wedding feast” was a period usually lasting six months to a year. During that period the couple was considered to be married and was called husband and wife, but they did not live together and did not consummate their mar-riage physically.