Summary: This first message in our Advent 2009 Series, explores Gabriel’s announcement to Mary in Luke 1.

The Sending of the Savior • Luke 1:26-28 • Advent Week 1

KEY THOUGHT: Often times God interrupts the ORDINARY to do the EXTRAORDINARY.

I. The APPEARANCE of the Angel (vv 26-27)

God commissions the angel Gabriel. apo tou qeou – sent from God’s dwelling

A) Gabriel appears in an UNEXPECTED PLACE. City = polis = town, village

In Galilean region, 45 to 85 miles North of Jerusalem. 30mi wide, contains borders of Sea of Galilee just North of Samaria. Region is mentioned bc Nazareth was so small. Luke’s readers would most likely would not have known even its general location.

B) Gabriel appears to an UNLIKELY PERSON.

First, she is a virgin parqenon = her chastity. Confirmed in 1:34 where she confesses her lack of experience. MT 1:23. Second, Mary is engaged to Joseph (MT 1:18). Phrase of Betrothal DEUT. 22:23 refers to the 1st stage of a 2-stage Jewish marriage process. Initial stage involves formal witnessed agreement to marry… financial exchange of a Bride price (MAL 2:14). At this point, bride legally belongs to the groom and is referred to as his wife. ~ 1 yr later, marriage ceremony occurs and husband takes his wife home.

II. The ANNOUNCEMENT of Messiah’s Birth (vv 28-37)

A) It is an announcement of GRACE.

Gabriel’s greeting is a beautiful one and he uses two alliterative terms in the Greek emphasizing grace…

1) Kaire = vocative = Hebrew expression "shalom"

2) Mary called “the favored one”… caritwmen = Gabriel reveals that Mary is a recipient of God’s grace – context could not mean she is a bestower of grace. She is the object of God’s favor. Gabriel says, “The Lord is with you…”

B) It is an announcement of HIS GREATNESS.

Gabriel declares that “He will be great…” (32a)

May have never heard of Nazareth… young girl may be poor & obscure… but don’t judge by human outward appearances. BC this son is going to be great. (LK 9:48)

Gabriel also declares that “He will be called Son of the Most High” (32b)

Most High = God (35) (see Luke 8:28)

Phrase used in various ways throughout Scripture (Job 1:6; Psalm 29:1; Rom 8:14; Luke 6:35)… Key to interpretation & translation is to utilize the context… the closest sentences at hand to understand what the writer is communicating. So in Luke 1 we find 2 things: 1) OT analogy to Jesus’ sonship @) his sonship Is unique to all the world.

C) It is an announcement of THE POWER OF GOD.

2 Samuel 7:12-16. Fulfilled by Jesus.

The way God chose to reveal the character of Christ was through the virgin birth. Mary & Joseph had no sexual relations until after Jesus was born. MT 1:25. In a recent survey, did you know that 79% of Americans believe in the virgin birth, & even more suprising, 27% of self-proclaimed non-Christians affirm the virgin birth.

The virgin birth of Christ isn’t a myth nor merely a random fact from the Gospels. It is a witness of the power of God!

3 Reasons Why the Virgin Birth

1) The virgin birth highlights the supernatural. (supernatural conception & birth… supernatural resurrection & ascension to the right hand of God the Father.

2) The virgin birth reveals that we need redemption that we can’t bring about for ourselves. Humanity could not produce its own redeemer because of its sin and guilt. Messiah must come from outside.

3) The virgin birth reveals God’s initiatve. The angel didn’t ask Mary about her willingness. He didn’t ask Mary for permission. God the Father acted gently but decisively to save His ppl from their sins (MT 1:21) (MARK DRISCOLL QUOTE)

III. The ACCEPTANCE of Mary (v 38)

A) God calls His servants to a life of RISK.

What’s @ risk for Mary? Reputation. Future. Security. Comfort. Plans.

B) God calls His servants to a life of READINESS.

Mary refers to herself as doulh = bondservant. Everyday speech this word would be used to describe one of humble station who addresses a superior in recognition of their position.

C) God calls His servants to a life of REWARD.

The reward is Jesus.

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