Having A Mary Christmas
Luke 1:26-38,46-48, 54-55
C:\JAMMC2008\Dec21-2008.USE.wpd December 21, 2008
What do you incorporate in your Christmas Celebrations that really exalts Christ? In this text we can adapt some of the events and make sure we really elevate Christ more than personal presents For Christmas.
1. The . . Discovery Of A Mary Christmas. 1:26-33
A. A . . Perplexing Discovery Of A Mary Christmas. 1:26-29
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God
to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed
to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The
virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel
said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women!" 29 But when she saw him,
she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of
greeting this was.
1. v 26 Sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.
2. v 27 Virgin = A strong word and clarifies Isa. 7:14
3. The Virgin Birth required for Sinlessness of Christ.
B. A . . Privileged Discovery Of A Mary Christmas. 1:30-33
30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you
have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive
in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name
Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the
Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His
father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob
of His kingdom there will be no end." NKJV
1:34 The birth of Jesus to a virgin is a miracle that many people find hard to believe. These three facts can aid our faith:
(1) Luke was a medical doctor, and he knew perfectly well how babies are made. It would have been just as hard for him to believe in a virgin birth as it is for us, yet he reports it as fact.
(2) Luke was a painstaking researcher who based his Gospel on eyewitness accounts. Tradition holds that he talked with Mary about the events he recorded in the first two chapters. This is Mary's story, not a fictional invention.
(3) Christians and Jews, who worship God as the Creator of the universe, should have no doubts that God has the power to create a child in a virgin's womb. (Heb 4:15-16).
When I pastored in Manchester Missouri (suburb of St. Louis). A man originally from Mainland China attended Sunday School and Church. My wife and I had his family over for supper one night. As Jimmy Ping and I talked he told me science influenced him to come to Christ.
I asked him to tell me more. He said well self pollinating plants taught me about the virgin birth. (Now just think about that for a moment.) Did you know there are plants that fertilize them selves? Jimmy Ping a Ph.D. in biology said it helped him believe the virgin birth of Christ.
In his book, Science Speaks, Peter Stoner applies the modern science of probability to just eight prophecies regarding Christ. He says, "The chance that any man might have ...fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in 10 to the 17th. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000." (one hundred quadrillion) Stoner
suggests that "we take 10 to the 17th silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state 2 feet deep.
Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly... Blindfold a man and tell him he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up [that one marked silver dollar.] What chance would he have of getting the right one?" Stoner concludes, "Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing
those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man,...providing they wrote them in their own wisdom."
A man told of his 2-year-old grandson being fascinated by the bubbling mud pool, the result of geothermal activity in Rotorua, New Zealand. On moving to another spot and seeing no bubbles there, he remarked, “No batteries?” He was so accustomed to his electronic toys that he attributed even natural phenomena to battery power!
The message of Christ’s birth pierced the mind and heart of Mary. This message needs to pierce our lives also.
This year what might the Lord announce to us for the message of Christ to be born a new in our lives, and for the first time in the life of others? Do we see the privilege for us in the Christmas message? It is a privilege for us to know Christ and to share him with others. Mary understood the privilege God was placing upon her even though she needed to understand more of the details.
You may feel that your ability, experience, or education makes you an unlikely candidate for God's service. Don't limit God's choices. He can use you if you trust him.
2. The . . Discussion Of A Mary Christmas. 1:34-37
A. A Discussion Of The . . Process Of A Mary Christmas.
1:34-35 34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
1. v 34 A question of information, not of unbelief as in the case of Zacharias (Lk 1:18-20).
a. Mary thought it was to early for her to have a child.
Zacharias thought it was too late.
Lk 1:13, 8-20 13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. . . .
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years." 19 And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time."
2. v 35 Son of God = Humanity of Christ
Mic 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting." NKJV
a. Not a beginning as God but as man,
b. Jesus had a beginning. Mt 1:18-25; Lk 1:35; Heb 1:5-6).
B. A Discussion Of The . . Possibility Of A Mary Christmas. 1:36-37 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible." NKJV
1. v 36 Evidence For Mary to ponder.
2. v 37 The evidence for All God’s Children.
A preacher once met a member of a cult who challenged his views about the deity of Christ. "You say that Jesus Christ is coequal with the eternal Father, but He cannot be, for no son is ever as old as the one who has begotten him."
The minister thought for a moment and then replied, "You yourself have just called God the eternal Father. Have you ever thought that statement through? Don't you realize that God can only be the eternal Father if He has an eternal Son? If you would rethink your position in the light of the Scriptures, you would see that eternal Fatherhood demands eternal Sonship!"
Mary’s desire to discuss the process and possibilities of this birth caused her to inquire “how” this could happen. I find it interesting she asked, “how?”? and not “why?” I see in this question a submissiveness unto the Lord. Of course He knew how to choose the lady for this mission. He also knows why He chooses us for the missions He has for us. We need to follow Mary’s example of obedience. To give Mary somewhat of a demonstration of the possibilities of what God would do the angel told of what God did with her relative, Elizabeth, who had been called barren. The angel also reminded Mary of the truth, “nothing will be impossible with God.” Do you know some plants are called self pollinating? That means they are designed to have a sort of virgin birth. Christianity does not need to fear education or what the sciences may discover.
3. The . . Doing Of A Mary Christmas. 1:38
A. Doing The . . Attitude Of A Mary Christmas. 1:38a
38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord!
38 "I am the Lord's slave," said Mary. HCSB
B. Doing The . . Acceptance Of A Mary Christmas. 1:38b
“. . . Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. NKJV
Illustration The Story of the Candy Cane
There was a time during the latter part of the 18th century in England, when all religious symbols were banned from public display. No longer could Christians recognize one another in public by the crosses they were on clothing, or as jewelry.
During this time, it is told, there was a dedicated Christian candy maker who set out to find some way for Christians to identify each other, in spite of the ban. He began with a piece of pure white candy to signify the purity and holiness of Jesus Christ. Next he fashioned the candy into the shape of a shepherd’s staff as a reminder that our Heavenly Father is the Good Shepherd. Then, he placed three small red stripes ‘round the candy to represent the encompassing power and presence of the Trinity—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Finally, he placed a single bold red stripe through the candy to demonstrate the redeeming power of the blood that Jesus shed upon the Cross for each of us, and for the forgiveness of our sins.
It is our wish that each time you see a candy cane during this Christmas season you will be reminded of the love God has for your, and the price Christ paid for your salvation.
It is important to realize that something so insignificant as a candy cane can be used to tell a story simply by knowing the origin of the and cane. But the real MIRACLE is that God can take each of us, no matter how insignificant we may feel, and turn us into something of incredible worth, value and significance!!
How do you “do” Christmas? Mary did it with an attitude of acceptance to what God wanted to do with her. She believed and submitted. What could we do this year differently or in addition to what we normally do that would magnify Christ?
Example • Ad Campaigns Come to God's Defense
The American Humanist Association spent $40,000 to put messages on Washington D.C., buses last month that read: "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake." JoEllen Murphy, a stay-at-home mom from McLean, Va., raised $9,000 to launch her own campaign to feature bus ads with God's finger reaching out to Adam with the words "Why Believe? Because I created you and I love you, for goodness' sake. — GOD." [The Washington Post]
4. The . . Delight Of A Mary Christmas. 1:46-48, 54-55
A. Delighting In The . . Proclamation Of A Mary Christmas. 1:46-48 46 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He
has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold,
henceforth all generations will call me blessed. NKJV
1. v 47 “. . . my Saviour . . .” This disproves the theory of the "immaculate conception" or the total absence of original sin in Mary. If God was her Savior, then she must have been a sinner in order to be saved. Not one scripture ever hints that Mary was sinless.
B. Delighting In The . . Prophecies Of A Mary Christmas. 1:54-55 54 He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, 55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever." NKJV
Illustration 127. The Name That Made the Difference
At the close of a battle a young man was found dying on the battlefield. A soldier stopped to render him assistance, and as his comrade moistened his lips and made his head rest easier the dying man said, "My father is a man of large wealth in Detroit, and if I have strength I will write him a note and he will repay you for this kindness."
And this is the letter he wrote: "Dear Father, the bearer of this note made my last moments easier, and helped me to die. Receive him and help him for Charlie's sake."
The war ended, and the soldier, in tattered garments, sought out the father in Detroit. He refused to see him at first because of his wretched appearance. "But," said the stranger, "I have a note for you in which you will be interested." He handed him the little soiled piece of paper, and when the great man's eyes fell upon the name of his son, all was instantly changed. He threw his arms about the soldier, and drew him close to his heart, and put at his disposal everything that wealth could make possible for him to possess. It was the name that made the difference.—J. Wilbur Chapman Heartwarming BibleIllustrations
Mary made a proclamation of Christ and what her giving birth
to the Christ Child would mean to this world and to her personally.
Note she proclaimed Hin as her Savior. She is not a co-redeemer she needs redemption just like you and me. That does not diminish the life of Mary but puts it in a Biblical context. Mary also delighted in the fulfillment of the Biblical prophecies. This prophecy goes back to Abraham, and beyond. These prophecies firm up the presentation we make about Christ. He did what He Said He would do in the past and He continues to honor His prophecies. He will come again for those who believe in Him for their eternal life and honor Him For Christmas. Amen? Amen!