Summary: We all deal with impossible situations in life, but the Impossible Gift from God was a reminder of his love and grace to us.
Christmas Series: The Gifts of Christmas
Title: The Impossible Gift
Text: Luke 1:5-38
Purpose: Dealing with the impossible situations in life
Question: What is the Impossible Gift?
- Is it someone who’s impossible to buy for?
- Is it a gift that seems impossible to wrap?
- Is it a toy that’s impossible to find?
It may be all three of these, if we’re just talking about Christmas and the things we need to get done.
Question: But what if the impossible gift was something more?
- An impossible situation you’ve been praying for?
- An impossible relationship that seems to be broken?
- An impossible financial situation that seems out of control?
- An impossible request or burden from God that seems unanswerable or unattainable?
Then what do we do?
Have you ever found yourself in a position like that?
TEXT: Luke 1:5-38 (emph. V. 37)
It’s the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, and Mary. Two situations at the opposite ends of life. One barren and old, (1:7) and the other a young virgin. (1:27)
What could possibly happen to make the impossible possible?
Story #1: Zechariah and Elizabeth (1:5-25)
1. Husband: Zechariah
a. Member of the priestly order of Abijah (v.5)
b. Elizabeth: priestly order of Aaron
2. They were righteous in God’s eyes, carful to obey all of his commands. V. 6
3. They had no children because Elizabeth was barren and now old.
PLACE: Zechariah was serving in the Temple: v. 8
- It was his orders’ turn to serve that week
PRONOUNCEMENT: An angel of the Lord appeared. V.11
a. Zechariah was overwhelmed with fear
b. But the angel said, “don’t be afraid.”
c. Don’t be afraid, (WHY?) Because the Lord has heard your prayer.
Question: Do you ever feel like God doesn’t hear your prayer?
What did the angel tell him?
PLAN: V. 13
a. Your wife will bear a son
b. You are to name him John
PROMISE: V. 14
a. You will have great joy and many will rejoice
b. Your son will be great in the eyes of the Lord
c. He should never touch wine or hard liquor
d. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before birth
PURPOSE: V. 16-17
a. He will persuade many Israelites to turn to the Lord their God.
b. He will precede the coming of the Lord, preparing the people for his arrival.
c. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will change disobedient minds to accept godly wisdom.
PROBLEM: v. 18
a. How can I know this will happen?
a. (I’m old and so is my wife)
b. His response was one of doubt
b. And because of his doubt, he was left speechless
v. 24: So after his wife became pregnant
a. Zechariah: v. 20 Speechless
b. Elizabeth: v. 25 “how kind the Lord is…He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.”
Summary: Zechariah and Elizabeth were faithful and obedient, but one thing nagged them, or concerned them…Elizabeth was barren all these years, and they still had no children and she felt disgraced.
Finally the Lord answers, and Zechariah’s response was one of doubt.
Story #2: Angel visits Mary v. 26-38
Jump now six months into the future
PLACE: v. 26
a. God sent the angel Gabriel to
a. Nazareth, a village in Galilee
b. One of the last places you’d look
PERSON: V. 27
a. Came to a young, virgin girl whose name was Mary.
b. Tradition tells us that she could have been as young as 12 or 14.
c. She was engaged to Joseph to be married.
a. In that culture, engagement was not quit marriage, but it was more than our modern engagement.
PRONOUNCEMENT: V. 28
a. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.”
b. Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.
PROMISE: V. 30 “Don’t be frightened, Mary,” the angel told her, “for the Lord had decided to bless you.”
PLAN: V. 31
a. “You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus.”
PURPOSE: V. 32
a. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High
b. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David
c. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end.
PROBLEM: V. 34
a. Mary asked the angel, “But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin.”
Mary’s problem was not one of doubt, but one of assurance.
b. Angel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.”