Summary: Sermon on Luke 1:26-38 - The Promise of Christmas.
The Promise of Christmas
How many promises have you ever made in your life? What was the biggest one? For some, perhaps the greatest promise or covenant we can ever make is our marriage covenant with our spouse. At yet the Bible explains that our marriage covenant parallels or helps us understand the relationship between Christ and the Church, the unconditional and sacrificial love that Christ had and has for His bride, the Church.
In an article in Time Magazine dated 24th Dec 1956, it reads:
The old legend that there are 30,000 promises in the Bible is a bit off, according to schoolteacher Everek R. Storms of Kitchener, Ontario. A member of Canada’s United Missionary Church, Storms slowed down enough on his 27th reading of the Bible to tally up the promises, which took him a year and a half. He came up with 7,487 promises by God to man, two by God the Father to God the Son, 991 by one man to another, 290 by man to God. Twenty-eight promises were made by angels, one by man to an angel, and two were made by an evil spirit to the Lord. Satan made nine. Grand total of promises: 8,810.
85% of promises in the Bible are by God to man.
This evening/morning, we will be looking at one such promise, the promise of Christmas, found in our Bible passage for today in Luke, chapter 1, verses 26-38. Let us stand to read God’s word together. This is the word of the Lord. Please be seated.
Luke, being one of the 4 gospels, marks the beginning of a new phase in Jewish history. It also marks the breaking of a 400-year silence between God and man. Between the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, and the first book of the New Testament, Matthew, is what is known as the inter-testamental period, where God’s voice is almost never heard, and there are few records of God revealing Himself to His people or prophets.
1. The Promise of God’s Abiding Presence (v.26-28)
- The context of today’s passage is set in the small Jewish town of Nazereth in the city of Galilee, a small insignificant community of a population of about 2,000. Mary is a young girl, probably between 12-14, engaged to be married to Joseph, a carpenter. As both a woman and a young person not yet married, Mary had virtually no social status.
- v. 28 The title (you who are highly favored) and the promise (The Lord is with you) was not traditional in greeting, and was normally reserved for royalty.
- Yet isn’t it the same for us today, that God, in His great love and grace, chose to invite us into a loving relationship with Him.
- The promise of Christmas begins with God promising Himself, not what He can do, but a relationship that is personal and intimate
- The Incarnation: precisely part of God’s redemptive plan, Immanuel = God with us
- God continues to invite us into this personal relationship today
- Jn 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
- Rev 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
- We are assured and promised of God’s presence through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (the promise of Christ Himself)
- Jn 14:16, 17 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - 17 the Spirit of truth.
- Matt 28:20 And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
- PEACE: And because of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can be assured or promised of God’s peace.
- Phil 4:6-9 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus ... And the God of peace will be with you.
- Jesus, our Personal Saviour: Will you open your life to God?
2. The Promise of God’s Eternal Power (v. 29-33)
- Mary’s reaction: greatly troubled, wondered, afraid (reveals her humility and honesty)
- Angel reassures her, calls her by name, repeats (grace = undeserved favour)
- v. 31 // Isa 7:14, the Immanuel promise (Jesus = Jehovah is salvation)
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
- Gabriel affirmed both the deity and the humanity of Jesus. As Mary’s son, He would be human (v. 31), as Son of the Most High, He would be the Son of God (v. 32, 35)