Summary: “The mystery of the impossible shows us what amazing things that the Lord is able to do due to His power.”
THE MYSTERY OF THE IMPOSSIBLE
Proposition: “The mystery of the impossible shows us what amazing things that the Lord is able to do due to His power.”
Objective: My purpose is to help people to know that what seems impossible to the world is an open secret to a child of God.
G. Campbell Morgan: "To deny the supernatural origin of Jesus is to make Him natural merely. To do that invalidates the records, not of His Being alone, but of His teaching, and His power in human history. The reason why men reject this story is discovered in their philosophy of God" One commentator writes: “In this passage we are face to face with one of the great controversial doctrines of the Christian faith—the Virgin Birth. The church does not insist that we believe this doctrine…But let us ask, ‘If we do not take the story of the virgin birth literally, how did it arise?’ The Jews had a saying that in the birth of every child there are three partners—the father, the mother and the Spirit of God. They believed that no child could ever be born without the Spirit. And it may well be that the NT stories of the birth of Jesus are lovely, poetical ways of saying that, even if he had a human father, the Holy Spirit of God was operative in his birth in a unique way…In this matter we may make our own decision. It may be that we will desire to cling to the literal doctrine of the virgin birth; it may be that we will prefer to think of it as a beautiful way.”
Some Christians have never been able intellectually to accept the idea of the Virgin Birth. But if you believe it’s impossible, then I would question your view of God. You are limiting God. In the words of J. B. Phillips’s great book of thirty years ago, Your God Is Too Small. We Christians believe in a God who is big enough to deal with our most pressing personal problems. He is big enough to deal with our most pressing national problems and the problems of our world. Our Creator and Redeemer is the God of the impossible.
“The Greek word ‘musterion’ means something where meaning is hidden from those who have not been initiated, but crystal clear to those who have. It would describe a ceremony carried out in some society whose meaning was quite clear to the members of the society, but intelligible to the outsider.” The Bible speaks of “mystery” to describe the Christian faith. It means “an open secret” which is something previously unknown, but now a revealed truth.
What an honor to be chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. Mary humbly submitted to the Lord because she had faith that He would keep His promise. Her decision would bring her sorrow and suffering, but she willingly yielded it. She was “blessed among women” because of the grace of God given to her (vvs. 28, 30). The NT makes no attempt to prove the virgin birth. Luke and Matthew record it; Paul indicates that the Redeemer was born of a woman; but the NT as a whole accepts the doctrine of the virgin birth as being harmonious with the life of the Savior whose miracles and ministry explain the existence of the NT. And the explanation of Gabriel was equally simple. He revealed Elizabeth’s experience to Mary, her kins-woman, concluding that nothing is impossible with God. Mary’s response to the annunciation was in simple, yet simple, sublime words (v. 38).
I. THE MYSTERY OF THE ANGELIC REVELATION (vvs. 26-29) “The angel said to her”—A heavenly visitor speaks to her.
1. The mission (v. 26) “The angel Gabriel was sent”—“Now in the sixth month,” when Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy. Mary had not yet had sexual contact with a man, but she was pledged to be married to Joseph (2:5). In Jewish culture then a man & woman were betrothed or pledged to each other for a period of time before the actual consummation of their marriage.
2. The maiden (v. 27) “The virgin’s name was Mary”--Gabriel visited Mary in Nazareth & told her that she would be the mother of the Messiah. Mary was probably a teenager, for Jewish girls married young. She was engaged to a carpenter named Joseph (Matt. 13:55); she came from the line of David (Luke 3:31) and was a virgin (v. 27; Isa. 7:14). Engagement was tantamount to marriage, and to break the engagement was like a divorce.
3. The message (v. 28) “Rejoice…the Lord is with you”—Mary experienced God’s undeserved, unmerited grace. This does not change who Mary is or give her a status beyond other people. It singles her out as a special instrument that God chose to use. The grace Mary received was God’s presence with her.