Summary: What was it about the message of Gabriel about the Christ child that changed the world?
OPEN: (This sermon began with a clip from the Sony movie “The Star” – a cartoon rendition of the nativity as seen through the eyes of the animals that might have been there. Today’s movie clip showed Mary being told by the angel of her impending pregnancy)
The video clip we saw retold the scene in Luke where Mary was told of God’s plan for her to bear the Christ child. In that short clip we were introduced to Mary - a young girl who is shown as prayerful, generous, caring, thankful and humble. She’s just the kind of girl you’d expect God to choose for mother of Jesus
And then we‘re also introduced to an Angel. A blaze of light – a powerful creature. A little scary – but still a force from God with a message of hope. In Luke 1:30-33 the angel says “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
This one incident (this angel appearing to Mary) set in motion a journey. A journey that was going to change the world. A Journey would take Joseph and Mary to a little town called Bethlehem. And there, the Christ child would be born, and the heavenly star would appear, and the shepherds - and eventually the Wise men - would come worship.
This journey of Mary and Joseph’s would be a journey toward Hope.
Now sometimes we Christians don’t realize how significant that journey was for them because, well… that’s all taken place. Jesus is already born, He’s already lived and He’s already died and risen from dead. All that happened before we were even born.
But back then none of that had happened yet. No one seemed to suspect how God was going to do what He was going to do, but it seemed that everybody knew for certain that God was going to send… somebody. In fact that fact was repeated all thru the Old Testament: “Somebody’s coming… somebody’s coming. And when that somebody arrived, He was gonna change their lives forever. The prophecies declared what that somebody would DO, and what He’d SAY. And they also told to WHOM He’d be born.
Did you notice how puzzled Mary was? Why was she puzzled with the Angel’s message? Why? Because she’s just told she’s going to have a child and she’d never slept with a man. She was a virgin. That’s not supposed to happen. That’s not the way things worked. But that’s exactly what the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 had said occur
“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
But now how could that happen? How could a Virgin possibly give birth to a child? And when Mary asks that very obvious question the angel replies “… nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
(PAUSE) So Mary’s told– that in spite of the fact she’s a virgin - she’s going to have a child she gets all excited about it!!! Even the mouse in the in movie is excited and runs out shouting: “Guys, you’re never going to believe this!”
But now, I understand people getting excited about the birth of a child, but why should anybody get this excited about the birth of THIS child? What is it about this child that would justify anybody – not only getting excited – but placing their hope in Him?
Well it ALL has to do with the things the angel said to Mary about this child.
The first thing we’re going to look at is the angel’s declaration that: “…the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:32b
The angel was simply echoing the promise from Isaiah 9:7 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and THE GOVERNMENT shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT and of peace there will be no end, ON THE THRONE OF DAVID and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.”
You see, this child that Mary was to bear was going to be a King. He was going to our King. And His reign and kingdom would last forever … there’d be no end to it!