Summary: Showing how Mary received the favor of God
Title: The Favor of God
Text: Luke 1:26-38
Luke 1:26 ¶ And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Putting the gospels together you see 5 perspectives. It is like reading a story through the eyes of five people.
Matthew begins his book with the geneology of Jesus and Jesus birth through Joseph’s eyes.
Mark jumps right into the story with the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist and his announcement of the coming of the Messiah
Luke begins his gospel with the birth of John the Baptist and Zachariah
Finally John starts from the beginning. I mean the very beginning of time as we know it. He informs us that Jesus Christ was in the beginning. He is God and was part of the original creation.
As you know Mary was not an ordinary woman. We in the protestant tradition have a tendency to ignore Mary and the prominent role that she played in the birth of Jesus. We tend to down play who she was.
Now I am not advocating that Mary was divine. Or even that we should pray to and through Mary to get our prayers answered. I don’t believe there are any scriptures that teach that doctrine nor come close. But Mary was special.
Notice with me this phrase, “
Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
This week I have kind of rolled that over and over again in my mind. I kept coming back to the word “favour”. The Bible says that she found “favour”. I mean this is not a new word. If you do a Greek study you find that the word favour comes from the
Greek word “charis” khar’-ece which is also translated as grace.
It is the same as in the Hebrew. In Hebrew we find the word chen khane =K-HAW-NUH. Which again we see translated as grace, gracious, and favour.
When we use the word grace and limit our definition as “unmerited favour” we limit our understanding. It doesn’t mean that it is not true. Obliviously we don’t deserve any grace that God has poured out in our life.
But understand favour is not all about what we deserve as much as what we are prepared for.
I believe it was more than just being in the right place at the right time. It was more than God just looking out across the earth and saying, “Whom, who should I bestow this wonderful blessing on. I wonder. There are just so many. Hey should I flip a coin or how about any miny mighty moe.” Now I don’t want to diminish God’s decision but I want to show you that Mary was the perfect person for the job or role that God gave her.
Not just because of God’s undeserved grace or favor but because she put herself in the position to be blessed of God.