Summary: Four reasons why God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus.
Are you familiar with oxymorons? An oxymoron is when you take two words that appear to be contradictory and put them together. Let me share a few with you…
"Now, then ..."
The passage that Laurel read for us earlier introduces us to another oxymoron:
Those words just don’t seem to fit together. But that’s exactly what Mary was… a pregnant virgin.
She was the person God chose to give birth to Jesus, who was God in the flesh. She had never had sex, there was no Invetro Fertilization, but she would miraculously give birth to a son.
But that’s nothing new to us. We hear this every year at Christmas time. Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary. The fact is, we’ve probably heard it so often that the miracle of it eludes us. But when you stop to think about it, as I did as I was preparing this message, it can really strike you to recognize the incredible circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus.
In fact, imagine for a minute that you were Mary. I don’t know what Mary was doing at the time. Maybe she was praying, maybe she was peeling potatoes. I don’t know. But just imagine that you’re going through your day and all of a sudden an angel appears before you. Maybe you first heard the flutter of wings, maybe you saw a bright light, but however it happened you find yourself standing before an angel from God. What would you do? Would you run? Would you fall to the ground in fear? Would you stop, drop, and roll?
Mary didn’t run away, but the impression I get is that she was quite scared. In fact, the angel Gabriel has to tell her not to be frightened. Yeah, right. I’m sure that helped. Anyway, Gabriel goes on to tell her that even though she had never had sex she was going to have a son.
About this time, Mary was probably waiting to hear, “Smile, you’re on candid camera.” Just something to date myself a little. Actually, she probably would be relieved if that happened. But no, the angel was serious. Mary would become pregnant through the power of God and would give birth to Jesus.
All because God chose her. But what I want to talk about this morning is, why? Why did God choose Mary in the first place? I want to offer you four reasons.
[Sermon in a Sack (containers of citrus punch and pure orange juice)
(Let the people ask yes and no questions until they’re able to conclude that I’ve got the orange juice in the bag.)]
(Pull out the citrus punch) When you look at this, what do you think it is? It looks like orange juice. Actually, it’s (reading label) “Sunny Delight: Florida Citrus Punch - Enriched Citrus Beverage. See back panel for nutrition information.” Okay, let’s do that. “Contains 5% juice. Contains: water, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated orange juice, citric acid, and 0.5% or less of each of the following: concentrated tangerine juice, concentrated lime juice, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), beta carotene, thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), natural flavors, food starch -modified, sodium citrate, cottonseed oil, propylene glycol alginate, xanthan gum, guar gum, brominated vegetable oil, sodium hexametaphosphate, potassium sorbate to protect flavor, yellow #5 and yellow #6.” Now what is that? What are yellows #’s 5 and 6? Folks, this is not my first choice for a drink. (Pull out my trusty Tropicana container.) I much prefer this. I love orange juice, and if I’m going to have some I want it to be this. “Tropicana: Premium Orange Juice -100% pure, Not from concentrate.” Orange juice is one of my favorite drinks. And when I go to the refrigerator to get a drink of orange juice, I want it to be this (Tropicana), not this (Sunny Delight).
What’s the difference? One is pure, the other isn’t. This Sunny Delight has gone through a lot of processing and has been mixed with so many other things that only 5% is real juice. I’d take the juice that 100% pure over the 5% any day.
God looks at us in much the same way. He is seeking those whose hearts are completely His. He wants people who are 100% pure before Him, not merely 5% pure. That’s a quality that Mary exhibited in her life. She was pure before her Lord.
A. She was Pure in the sight of God. (v.27)