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Text: Luke 1:26-38 | WHEN GOD SHAKES THINGS UP


My kids have found a show that they enjoy watching because it is interactive called “You vs Wild”
The guy gets into various situations and then you are giving the opportunity to choose what to do next.
It’s kind of like the old create your own adventure books.
Jayce will be going through, but if he makes the wrong choice he can just push the back button and make the correct choice.
Don’t you wish life worked that way?
I wish I could get a glimpse around the corner to what is coming and then come back and make the right decision every time.
But unfortunately that isn’t how life works.
So often in life I find myself feeling like my whole life is being shaken up and turned upside down to the point I can’t even tell which way is up.


Maybe you’ve been there.
Your life has become nothing but chaos and you feel stuck!
When God shakes up your life
When you get that unexpected phone call.
When you find yourself in the middle of a family situation you never expected
When you can’t figure out which way is up and your whole life is shaken up
What is your reaction?
Because this morning here in Luke 1 we can find an example of what to do when God shakes things up.


Joseph and Mary were betrothed to be married.
Betrothing was something similar to being engaged, however it was far more binding.
It usually lasted a year.
It could only be broken by divorce and the man and woman were called “husband” and “wife” even before the marriage took place.
If unfaithfulness was found on the part of the bride, the punishment was death.
It was the commitment of marriage without the physical consummation of the marriage.
Thus we find the Bible tells us she was a virgin.
It’s very possible she was only in her teens when these verses in Luke 1 took place.
You can imagine the excitement that Mary must have been feeling as she was approaching her marriage ceremony.
She was no doubt like all young ladies who dreamed of their big day.
As we see later in Scripture the wedding was often a multi-day ordeal
We find when Jesus was at the wedding in Cana where He turned the water into wine, the feast had already been going on for multiple days.
Maybe Mary was picking out her colors.
She was putting together the invite list.
She was making sure everything was going to be perfect for her and Joseph’s “big day”
Now we can assume that their wedding wouldn’t have been to the level as the one Jesus would one day attend.
Because neither Joseph or Mary came from money.
We find that after Jesus’s birth, when they came to offer a sacrifice in Luke 2:24
Luke 2:24 KJV 1900
24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
And according to Leviticus 12:8
Leviticus 12:8 KJV 1900
8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.
The only reason someone would bring such an offering was if they didn’t have the finances to afford a little lamb.
Mary would even go on in her worship and praise to God to say about herself in Luke 1:48
Luke 1:48 KJV 1900
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
She considered herself poor and of little importance.
This mindset no doubt came not just from her lack of wealth materially, but also from where she was from.
According to v.26, she lived in a little town called Nazareth.
Nazareth was just a small town that had a population of somewhere around 200-500 people
The people of Nazareth were despised by Judah because of their contact with the Gentiles.
There was nothing about Mary’s life that would have pointed to her being the chosen one of God.
She was a poor teenage girl, with big hopes, but had grown up in the wrong part of the country.
There was nothing leading up to this day that pointed to this being a life changing day.
But on this day everything would change for Mary.
Because on this day the angel of the Lord appeared to her with a message that would turn her world upside down.
V.28-29, I love the exchange when the angel first shows up.
Luke 1:28–29 KJV 1900
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
Mary is troubled by his saying of v.28
I can’t help but wonder if he thought, “If you’re having a hard time believing what I just said, hold on to your seat!”
V.30-33, The angel begins to reveal God’s plan
Luke 1:30–33 KJV 1900
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
For 400 years since the completion of the writing of Nehemiah in the OT, there had been no prophecy.
There had been no Scriptures being written.
God had gone silent in furthering the revelation of His Truth and Plan.
But in just a few moments, in one interaction, the greatest story that would ever be told was set in action.
The countdown to the coming Messiah had begun!
Mary you are expecting!
V.34, Mary responds in the most rational way that can be expected.
Luke 1:34 KJV 1900
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
“Um… That’s not possible. I’ve never been in a physical relationship.”
“I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night.”
She had been through biology 101 and she understood how these things happened, and what the angel was telling her was impossible!
And she wasn’t the first one to find herself at the edge of the impossible.
Moses at the edge of the Red Sea
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego staring into the fiery furnace
Joshua preparing to overtake Jericho
God had brought each of them right to the edge of the impossible, because He was going to reach down and change the course of history.
And for Mary, God had placed her right at the edge of impossible in her life, because He was about to change everything.
V.35-37, Gabriel gives the details
Luke 1:35–37 KJV 1900
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Gabriel unfolds God’s plan for Mary.
For the first and only time in all of history, God reached down and created a child in the womb of a woman that wouldn’t have the seed of man.
The echos all the way from Genesis 3 ring down through the centuries
Genesis 3:15 KJV 1900
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
This was a child unlike any to ever be born before or since.
This child would be called the Son of God: Jesus
A name that is above every name
A name that would separate and divide until the end of time.
A name that is powerful
Philippians 2:9–11 KJV 1900
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
It was this Jesus that would live a sinless life
It was this Jesus that would give his life on the cross to pay for the sins of the world
It was this Jesus that would rise again the third day
It was this Jesus that would ascend to heaven with the promise that He will return
It was this Jesus Who will one day call His bride, the church to heaven with Him.
It was this Jesus Who will reign for eternity.
And it was this Jesus Who Gabriel told Mary, that she would bear this child.
And in case she struggled to believe him, he gives proof of the power of God in Mary’s cousin Elizabeth who is too old to have children, but God has given her a baby.
Because, with God, the impossible is possible.
V.38, Now we’ve come to the moment of Mary’s reaction.
How would Mary respond to the promise of this Christmas child that was to be born?
She could have responded with doubt
Prove it
She could have responded with questions
How is this all going to work?
But instead we see an example of a powerful response when God shakes things up.
Luke 1:38 KJV 1900
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
The word “handmaid” is the Greek word doule… it means a bondslave
“I am a slave to the Lord.”
Paul identified the same in 2 Timothy 1:8
2 Timothy 1:8 KJV 1900
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
We identify being a bondslave or prisoner as a bad thing, but the reality is being a prisoner is to set aside your rights and plans.
It kind of has the idea of when Jesus was speaking to His disciples in Matthew 16 and told them: Matthew 16:24-25
Matthew 16:24–25 KJV 1900
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
It’s kind of like when Paul said in Galatians 2:20
Galatians 2:20 KJV 1900
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
It’s saying to God like Christ so exemplified on the night before His crucifixion: “Father not my will but thine be done!”
“Lord I am making myself a slave to you.”
“I surrender to your word.”
Can you imagine… this young girl with all her plans and her hopes.
And now God has turned her life upside down.
Remember, she didn’t have the NT books of the Bible.
We have the luxury of looking back and reading the Scriptures.
The decision to surrender to the Lord seems so obvious from our perspective.
But she didn’t know all that we know.
She just had 9 verses of promise from the Lord, but she was willing to surrender everything based on those 9 verses.
“God what you are telling me seems impossible… but I’m trusting the God of the impossible… I’m all yours, and I believe and trust your word.”


When life get’s shook up, what do you do?
Earlier in the chapter, the angel came to Zacharias with similar news, to let him know that he and his wife would have a baby
Zacharias response was Luke 1:18
Luke 1:18 KJV 1900
18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
“God, give me a glimpse around the corner and then I’ll trust you.”
He doubted what God said and what God could do.
Mary’s response was “I don’t know much, but I know you, and I trust you!”
Your response when life gets shook up is heavily determined by who you are slave to.
Some people are slave to their emotions - “I’m so worried”
I’m so worried and so anxious over everything that is going on.
Some people are slave to other people - “What will they think”
Proverbs 29:25 KJV 1900
25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: But whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
But when God is truly your Master, you can respond like Mary at the edge of the seemingly impossible and you can trust God and His Word!
Romans 12:1 KJV 1900
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
It still says to present your life sacrificially to God is the only reasonable thing to do!
And when you do and you trust his plan you will find that God has a way of doing things so much greater than you could ever have imagined.
He promises that in Ephesians 3:20
Ephesians 3:20 KJV 1900
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,


As we begin this month of looking at some of the reactions surrounding that first Christmas, will you look at the example we have of Mary.
She wasn’t someone to be worshipped or prayed to.
She isn’t someone we need to build a statue of.
But she is an example of how to respond when God shakes things up!
“Lord I want to be a slave to You… and I will trust Your Word!”
We may not be able to peek around the corner… but we can gaze into this Book and see how to react when God shakes things up.
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