Advent 2002 - 4 Waiting in Praise

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Reading: Luke 1:26-45

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:38 (NIV)

I.   Mary Wonders

     A.  Gabriel is Sent

           1.  He is sent to Nazareth (not Jerusalem!)

                 a.  “Can anything good come from Naz.?”

                 b.  God works in unexpected places!

           2.  To a betrothed virgin (of all people!)

                 a.  Not a priest (as with Zech).

                 b.  Not even a Rabbi

                 c.  Not even an elderly/respected woman

           3.  He announces the greatest event (quietly)!

                 a.  Gabriel, one of the angels who speaks with Daniel, has a message for Mary.

                 b.  It doesn’t come publically, but very privately. (why?)

     B.  Mary is Troubled by his words

           1.  Gabriel’s words were disturbing

                 a.  “You who are highly favored” (?!)

                 b.  “The Lord is with you” (?)

           2.  She is shaken by his words.

                 a.  Does she measure up?

                 b.  Did the angel get the wrong person?

     C.  Mary Ponders his greeting

           1.  How could she be “highly favored?”

                 a.  Was it something she did?

                 b.  Was it because of her upcoming marriage to Joseph?

                 c.  Was it something in her future?

           2.  How could the Lord be with her?

                 a.  He’s with all His people, right?

                 b.  With her in some special way? How?

           3.  Why would she get a greeting like this!?

                 a.  The angel doesn’t mention her name.

                 b.  Is she going to be a prophetess?

                 c.  “I wonder what this means?”

II.  Mary Asks

     A.  Gabriel gives his Message

           1.  Don’t be afraid Mary

                 a.  He mentions her by name.

                 b.  Yes, it’s her–he didn’t make a mistake.

                 c.  He knows who she really is–but its OK

           2.  You have found favor with God!

                 a.  The message isn’t a one of punishment

                 b.  The message wouldn’t be hard on her (like it was on so many prophets!)

           3.  You will have a son

                 a.  That’s good news (for a Jewish wife)

                 b.  She wouldn’t be barren (fear)

           4.  Call Him “Jesus”

                 a.  Okay, so the son comes with a name.

     B.  Mary asks “How?”

           1.  Not a doubting attitude (as Zech.)

                 a.  Zech. didn’t question the method, only the biological limitations.

                 b.  Mary isn’t expected to have the same spiritual maturity as Zechariah.

                 c.  Is the difference what’s in the heart?

           2.  A question of manner/method

                 a.  A reasonable question–will this take place after her marriage to Joseph?

                 b.  Mary rightly wonders what her part in the conception of this child should be

                 c.  She doesn’t assume the obvious!

     C.  Gabriel explains the Incarnation

           1.  Incarnation: God takes on flesh

                 a.  A theological jargon word to learn

                 b.  God performs a miracle in Mary and becomes a birth father.

                 c.  (Very unlike similar stories in Gr. Myth.)

           2.  We need to know how to understand what

                 a.  Unless we knew the how, we wouldn’t understand who Jesus really was/is!

                 b.  He is the Son of God in a new way

                 c.  He is “the holy one”

           3.  Nothing is impossible with God

                 a.  Elizabeth is pregnant (by God’s intervention)

                 b.  God will do this too!

III. Mary is Blessed

     A.  Mary is blessed because of the Child

           1.  We shouldn’t over/under exalt Mary

                 a.  “Hail Mary . . .” (28)

                 b.  “Blessed are you . . .” (42)

                 c.  “All gen’s will call me blessed” (48)

           2.  She is the mother of our Lord

                 a.  “Mother of my Lord” (43)

                 b.  The “mother of God” (!)

           3.  Is this not a great honor!

                 a.  Has there been a greater one?!

                 b.  Is she not blessed!

     B.  Mary is blessed because of her Faith

           1.  “Let it be (to me)” (v.38)

                 a.  Her simple trust is an example for us

                 b.  Like Joseph, she just accepts the word

           2.  Elizabeth sees this in her too (v.45!)

                 a.  Elizabeth feels blessed to be in her presence! (43)

                 b.  Inspired by the HS, she sees her faith.

     C.  Mary bursts out in Song!

           1.  My soul glorifies the Lord

                 a.  My, my, me, me ... He is good to me!

                 b.  Though I’m just a humble servant

           2.  God is good!

                 a.  Throughout the generations

                 b.  He raises up those who serve Him

           3.  God is good to His people!

                 a.  He is faithful to His promises!

                 b.  He is faithful to His people!

The Bottom Line:

Praise God for the Promise of Jesus’ Reign. He Will do it!

(HOR: R# 171 Joy to the World v.1)

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