Sunday, December 9th, 2018 - AM - Possibility in Impossibility (Lk. 1:26-38)

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Unwrapping God’s Gift of Grace by Faith Never understimate the eternal difference that one person can make when fully surrenedered in faith to the Word and Will of God.

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For those joining us online, you’re listening to the Services of the Broomfield Baptist Church. This is the Pastor bringing the Sunday Morning message entitled “Possibility in Impossibility.” We invite you to follow along with us in your Bible in the Gospel of Luke, chapter One, and verses Twenty-six through Thirty-eight.
Prior to the Message:
For our guests here today, and for our church family, in about 35mins or so, I’m going to ask you to do something unusual. I’ll be asking you to make a decision based on the information in today’s sermon. At the end of the service, I’ll invite you to come and kneel front as a sign of God working in your life.


Luke 1:37 KJV 1900
For with God nothing shall be impossible.
[Start Low]
A. Illustration:
A Christian’s possessions.—A gentleman one day took an acquaintance upon the leads of his house to show him the extent of his possessions. Waving his hand about, “There,” says he, “that is my estate.” Then pointing to a great distance on one side, “Do you see that farm?” “Yes.” “Well, that is mine.” Pointing again to the other side, “Do you see that house?” “Yes.” “Well, that also belongs to me.” Then said his friend, “Do you see that little village out yonder?” “Yes.” “Well, there lives a poor woman in that village who can say more than all this.” “Ah! what can she say?” “Why, she can say, ‘Christ is mine.’ ” He looked confounded, and said no more. [Gray, Biblical Encyclopedia and Museum]
B. Tell the story of Mary in brief, pointing out the possible plans she had before Gabriel arrived, and what it would cost her to let go of all her own dreams.
Note - When God's interruptions attend our way, it becomes the platform upon which He will accomplish the impossible!
“When it comes to Mary, people tend to go to one of two extremes. They either magnify her so much that Jesus takes second place (Luke 1:32), or they ignore her and fail to give her the esteem she deserves (Luke 1:48). Elizabeth, filled with the Spirit, called her “the mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43); and that is reason enough to honor her.” [Wiersbe, BEC]
Main Thought: Never underestimate the eternal difference that one person can make when fully surrendered in faith to the Word and Will of God.
Background. Jesus lived out his life within an area roughly 50 miles wide and 150 miles long, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south. Apart from Jerusalem, the places he is reported to have visited are not important to the secular history of the region. He ignored Sepphoris (the most prominent city in Galilee at the time), Tiberias (dominant port on the Sea of Galilee), [and] Caesarea (Roman capital of Palestine).... He was raised in the humble village of Nazareth, and lived there until about 30 years of age. Capernaum became the center for his Galilean ministry. He passed through Samaria on occasion, and ministered in Perea. He was betrayed and crucified in Jerusalem. He was raised in triumph on the third day.
Luke writes in retrospect. His perspective had shifted during the interim—geographically from Palestine to the Roman Empire, politically from Israel to Rome, socially from Jewish society to pagan, and religiously from the temple to the horizon of Christian mission. It is as if one era were superimposed on the other, so that the significance of the life and ministry of Jesus can be seen for the early church.
Jerusalem rather than Galilee turned out to be the center of outreach for the early church. However, this too would change. While Jerusalem remained a sentimental favorite for the Christian community, other cities began to rival and then surpass it as the focus of Christian activity. Antioch of Syria provided the base for Paul’s extensive missionary endeavors. Ephesus proved to be the scene of his most impressive success. Alexandria and Rome were accommodating an increasingly large Christian community. What had once seemed little more than an unpretentious Jewish sect had now become a universal faith...All this suggests that the redemptive theme in Luke is complex in character. It points to Jesus as the Christ. It invites the favorable response of Gentile no less than Jew. It blends in the empowering of the Holy Spirit for Jesus’ ministry and that of his disciples. It emphasizes the joy that accompanies the publication of the gospel. These are simply variations on the one redemptive design of Luke. [Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible]

I. The Angel Appears to Mary on a Mission from God (Lk. 1:26-29)

[Go Slow]

A. Gabriel Goes from the Temple to Galilee (Lk. 1:26)

Luke 1:26 KJV 1900
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
Note - Discuss the geographical differences between Judea, Jerusalem and Nazareth.Note - On the virginity of Mary:
“The town of Nazareth receives no notice in Scripture, intertestamental literature, Josephus, or rabbinic literature. This means that the story moves from sacred temple space and Judea to farflung nowheresville in Galilee.” [ZECNT]

B. Gabriel Comes to the Virgin, Mary (Lk. 1:27)

Luke 1:27 KJV 1900
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
“Quite possibly Mary was doing the housework when the Angel Gabriel came to her. Angels prefer to come to people as they are fulfilling their calling and discharging their office. The angel appeared to the shepherds as they were watching their flocks, to Gideon as he was threshing the grain, to Samson’s mother as she sat in the field.” [Martin Luther]
“Luke uses the Mariam (or Miriam) form of the name Mary, perhaps to recall the famous sister of Moses and Aaron, and so strengthens the link between Elizabeth (a descendant of Aaron; cf. Luke 1:5) and Mary. The other Gospels use the form Marias.” [BKBC]
Archaeology confirms the Bible. Following the 1993 discovery in Israel of a stone containing the inscriptions “House of David” and “King of Israel,” Time magazine stated, “This writing—dated to the 9th century b.c., only a century after David’s reign—described a victory by a neighboring king over the Israelites … The skeptics’ claim that David never existed is now hard to defend.” Time, December 18, 1995
“In extraordinary ways, modern archeology is affirming the historical core of the Old and New Testaments, supporting key portions of crucial biblical stories.” Jeffery L. Sheler, “Is the Bible True?” Reader’s Digest, June 2000 (See also Matthew 26:54 footnote.) [The Evidence Bible]
“Gabriel appeared to a virgin named Mary. The word translated as virgin (...parthenos) means ‘virgin’ with all of its implications. It clearly implies one who has never had sexual intercourse as Mary noted in verse 34. The groundwork of the virgin conception and virgin birth thus is laid.” [Sorenson, UTB]
Application: Article
Could the Gospel Writers Withstand the Scrutiny of a Lawyer?
by John Warwick Montgomery
Lawyers distinguish between making claims (almost anyone can file a lawsuit) and proving the case (which is possible only on the basis of good evidence). Lawyers, therefore, are in the evidence business and will not accept any claims (including religious claims) without good reason to do so. It is highly significant, then, that throughout history so many great lawyers, judges, and legal scholars have come to Christian belief.
This is due in large part to the solidity of the Gospel testimony to Jesus Christ. The Gospel records qualify under the “ancient documents rule” and would be admitted as evidence in any common law court. They assert that they are firsthand, nonhearsay testimony to Jesus Christ (1 Jn 1:1, etc.) or are the product of careful research concerning Him (Lk 1:1–4). Documents, like defendants, are innocent until proven guilty, and the critics have not been able to impugn the credibility of the Gospels.
The soundness of the four Gospels depends upon their early dating and their authorship by those who knew Jesus personally. Corroboration from outside the Gospels comes by way of such early writers as Papias, who was a student of the Apostle John. Papias tells us that the four Gospels were written either by an apostle (Matthew and John) or by an apostle’s associate (Mark with Peter, Luke with Paul). The Gospels were in circulation, then, while hostile witnesses of Jesus’ ministry were still alive. As F. F. Bruce has argued, these opponents were the functional equivalent of modern cross-examiners: They had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to refute the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ miraculous ministry if it had not happened just as the Gospel writers said it did. Since the opposition could not do that, the Gospel narratives stand as powerful evidence that the miraculous picture of Jesus they convey is accurate.
The fact that the first three Gospels were written prior to the fall of Jerusalem in a.d. 70, and the Gospel of John not long thereafter, makes impossible the attempt of liberal Bible critics and secularists to argue that they are really the product of a developing oral tradition in which the early church modified Jesus’ life and teachings. There was insufficient time for doing this. A. N. Sherwin-White has pointed out that the case for accurate reporting is far better in the case of the Jesus of the Gospels than for the best-known contemporary of Christ, Tiberius Caesar, whose career is also known from just four sources.
Harvard professor Simon Greenleaf, the greatest authority on the law of evidence in the nineteenth century, wrote, “All that Christianity asks of men on this subject is [that the testimony of the Gospels] be sifted as if it were given in a court of justice.… The probability of the veracity of the witnesses and of the reality of the occurrences which they relate will increase, until it acquires, for all practical purposes, the value and force of demonstration.” [The Apologetics Study Bible]

C. Gabriel Salutes the Blessed Among Women (Lk. 1:28-29)

1. His Peculiar Greeting (Lk. 1:28)

Luke 1:28 KJV 1900
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.
a. Prominence by Providence
“Hail, …highly favored”
b. The Promise of the Lord's Presence
c. Singled Out for God's Purpose
“Blessed art thou...”

2. Her Perplexed Thoughts (Lk. 1:29)

Luke 1:29 KJV 1900
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
a. She Saw
b. She Was Troubled
c. She Dialogued within Herself
Application: A pregnant virgin
Whereas childlessness means shame and pregnancy removes this disgrace, the opposite is true for an unmarried woman. What is more disgraceful than a premature pregnancy in one who ought to preserve her virginity until marriage? Yet this ‘disgrace’ is what the angel promises to Mary because she has found favour with God (1:30). For in Mary’s case, she has not sacrificed her virginity; rather the power of God was at work in her (1:35).
In preparing for the birth of Christ, both Elizabeth’s barrenness and advanced age and Mary’s virginity are obstacles that God overcomes. Yet the miracle of a virgin giving birth is even greater than that of an elderly married woman doing so. Mary’s miraculous pregnancy is intended to surpass Elizabeth’s pregnancy, for Jesus is greater than John the Baptist. [Tokunboh Adeyemo, Africa Bible Commentary (Nairobi, Kenya; Grand Rapids, MI: WordAlive Publishers; Zondervan, 2006), 1233.]
Transition: We’ve seen how Gabriel appeared to Mary, now let’s look at how:

II. The Angel Announces God's Messiah to Mary/Mankind (Lk. 1:30-33)

[Climb Higher]

A. A Message Full of Peace (Lk. 1:30)

Luke 1:30 KJV 1900
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

1. Fear Not

the angel did not rebuke Mary, as he had rebuked Zechariah (v. 20). This indicates that Mary did not doubt the angel’s words but merely wanted to know how such an event would be accomplished.” [BKC]

 2. Found Favor

“Grace is not limited simply to receiving mercy and forgiveness. Finding grace with God means that God entrusts her with something great to do and to bear.” [ZECNT]

B. A Message of Fulfilled Promise (Lk. 1:31-33)

1. Fulfillment of the Promised Virgin Birth/Seed of the Woman (Lk. 1:31)

Luke 1:31 KJV 1900
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

2. Fulfillment of the Promised Seed of David (Lk. 1:32)

Luke 1:32 KJV 1900
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:
“The name “Jesus” (Savior) links Him to humanity and suggests His career as Prophet. He is conspicuous as “Jesus” up to His resurrection. “Christ” (annointed One) links Him to Prophecy which He came to fulfill and suggests His work as Priest atoning for sin. “Lord” (the Jehovah name applied to Him) links Him with Deity and suggests His Kingship. He is coming again to rule.” [Summarized Bible]

3. Fulfillment of the Promised Seed of Abraham/Isaac/Jacob (Lk. 1:33)

Luke 1:33 KJV 1900
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Note - From this announcement, consider:
The real humanity of the Messiah—you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son.
His deity and His mission as Savior—and shall call His name JESUS (meaning Jehovah is the Savior).
His essential greatness—He will be great, both as to His Person and His work.
His identity as the Son of God—and will be called the Son of the Highest.
His title to the throne of David—the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. This establishes Him as the Messiah.
His everlasting and universal kingdom—He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.
Verses 31 and 32a obviously refer to Christ’s First Advent, whereas verses 32b and 33 describe His Second Coming as King of kings and Lord of lords. [William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 1371.]
Application: REFLECTIONS
“WHEN GABRIEL ANNOUNCED TO MARY that she would give birth to Jesus, he was proclaiming the fulfillment of a promise made nine hundred years earlier to King David. Jesus would be the promised Messiah, the king who would reign forever on David’s throne. The Annunciation reminds us that God is a God who always keeps his promises. We can trust him for that today.” [ZIBBC NT 1]
Transition: The Angel appeared, and gave an announcement, now let’s consider:

III. The Angel's Answer to Mary/Mankind about God's Power (Lk. 1:34-38)

[Take Fire]

A. The Question - How? (Lk. 1:34)

Luke 1:34 KJV 1900
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
“Luke does not narrate the conception, as he does not narrate the resurrection of Jesus. This mysterious action is hidden from the gaze of curious humans.” [ZECNT]

B. The Answer - The Power of the Triune Godhead (Lk. 1:35)

Luke 1:35 KJV 1900
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.

1. The Coming of the Holy Spirit

Note - Jesus Is Not Just a Demigod!
The verb “come upon” is used similarly in Isaiah 32:15 lxx, where it refers to the Spirit’s coming upon the land to make it fertile. Luke uses the same verb in Acts 1:8 of the Spirit’s coming upon the believers at Pentecost. The verb “overshadow” appears in Exodus 40:35 (lxx)with reference to God’s presence or Shekinah “overshadowing” the tabernacle in a cloud (cf. Num. 10:34), and a similar reference to God’s overshadowing presence appears in the transfiguration account (Luke 9:34).
In the past, attempts have been made to draw parallels between this passage and pagan texts related to a god’s impregnating a human woman. But there is no hint here of sexual union, and these parallels have now generally been rejected by scholars. [Clinton E. Arnold, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 332.]
Note - The Power of the Holy Spirit
Once more it is the Holy Spirit who will bring this to pass (v. 35). In every single section of the infancy narrative, he makes it possible for these unbelievable events to take place. Luke will