Summary: Three reasons Christ’s birth should cause us to praise.
The Birth of Christ
Woodlawn Baptist Church
November 13, 2005
Read Luke 1:26-38.
In our last message from Luke 1, I told you that when God invades our lives, He alone chooses the time He will do a thing, the people He through whom He will work, the methods He will use to accomplish His will, and He chooses the purpose for which He will invade our lives. Certainly all of those things are true of our passage today. When God invaded the lives of Mary and Joseph, He did so in an extraordinary way for an extraordinary purpose – to announce the birth of Christ!
The birth of Christ is certainly one of the greatest events in all of history. During our time together this morning I want to give you some reasons you ought to rejoice and praise God concerning what He did then and for what He promised to do in the future. The birth of Christ was an invasion on mankind that should result in spontaneous praise to the Lord of heaven! Here is God fulfilling His promise of a Savior and demonstrating His great love for fallen man! He could have left us in our sin. He could have turned His back on us forever. “But God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…!” However, the announcement God gave Mary should result in more than a response of praise. The announcement did not only concern Christ’s first coming; it also looks ahead to His second coming. So while our passage should result in praise and adoration to God, it should also cause us to be prepared for the Savior’s return.
Christ’s Birth Was Obscure In It’s Origin
Of all the places God could have chosen for an event like this to take place, Nazareth was an unlikely choice. Located about 60 miles north of Jerusalem, Nazareth was a little hick town out in the middle of nowhere. Remember that the people would ask in astonishment, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Surely not! Why not Jerusalem, the center of the Jewish world?
Not only did God choose to give the news in an obscure village, He chose an obscure girl. Verse 27 says that Gabriel came to a virgin by the name of Mary who had been formally engaged to Joseph. Who was Mary? Was she rich and famous? Was she the daughter of kings or queens? She was none of this! She was just a teenage girl who was quietly living out her life, who had expected to marry this common carpenter and enjoy her life in Nazareth.
While Mary may have been obscure humanly speaking, obviously she was not obscure in the eyes of God. Verse 28 says that she was highly favored. Favored is the word for grace. In other words, God bestowed His grace on Mary. He thought very highly of her. I’m reminded of Noah. Remember that Noah found grace in the eyes of God, and here Mary found grace in God’s eyes as well. This has nothing to do with her salvation – but it does indicate that God was very fond of this girl.
I think its worth noting that while Mary should never be elevated so highly as Catholicism has lifted her, don’t overlook the fact that of all the millions of women ever born into humanity, she alone was chosen to be the mother of our Savior. You cannot deny the high honor of her human position, but the honor belongs to God – He chose her! Gabriel went on to say that God was with her and that she was blessed among women.
Christ’s Birth Was Fantastic In What It Would Accomplish
If Mary was troubled at seeing Gabriel and hearing the first announcement, you can imagine what must have run through her mind at he continued. Gabriel told Mary she would have a son and that she would name Him Jesus – Jehovah is salvation. This would have been a common name in Jewish families, but now for the first time they would know what the salvation of the Lord was really all about.
“He shall be great.” From our viewpoint we know that He was great in His conception and in His sinlessness and power and love and miracles and in every other way. But remember that Mary has no knowledge of any of this. All she knows is that she’s going to have a son, she was going to name that son with a common Jewish name and that he’d be great somehow. But then Gabriel starts getting more specific.
“He shall be called the Son of the Highest.” The Son of the Most High God. That was the name used throughout the Old Testament for God. It was the Most High God who allotted land to the nations. It was the Most High God who delivered in times of need. In Psalm 97:9 David wrote, “For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.” The Lord Himself said through Isaiah, “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me…” It is that High and Mighty and Holy God that Gabriel had in mind when he told Mary that her son would be called the Son of the Highest. It signified great power and authority, but it also signified that by His very nature He was the Son of God in the most intimate sense possible.