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Luke 1:26-38

Gabriel Came by Today

One of the great delusions that goes with wealth, power and status is to think we are in control of our lives. The most difficult lesson for most people to realize is that God values the heart, not what we possess. Everything we have is on loan to us. We are only stewards of His possessions.  He is really not interested in appearance, performance or status. Not even in the church.

How would you like to be on the board of trustees of the Kingdom of God telling God what to do and how to do it? Don't respond to hastily. Far too many of us in attitude and actions are that way.

God's timing is always perfect, and He really does know what He is doing.

As we look at Luke 1:26-38 let’s keep in mind that the central figure is Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are abundant in their testimony that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophetic promises of the coming of the Deliverer (4:16-21; Acts 2:16-21, 25-36; 3:12-18, 22-26; 7:2-53; 13:16ff). Luke and Matthew make it clear that the historical events they are reporting are seen as the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures. The first coming of the Messiah was to be an advent of humiliation while the second is one of consummation and glory of the kingdom of God. The day draws near when Christ shall take His great power and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. His kingdom alone shall posses an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion will not pass away. However, it must first come in deep humiliation. But even if the Son of God, the heir of all things, had come to reign on the earth as a king at the first advent even that would have been condescension to come on earth as king.

When God chose to act in the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy regarding salvation of man He did it at a specific place and time in the history of Israel with specific people and concerns the birth of a historical person. These are historical events that Dr. Luke is reporting. He does not say, “Once upon a time . . .” He said just the opposite, “In the days of Herod, king of Judea. . . the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee, called Nazareth” (1:5, 26). History is full of Herod and his evil family. The Jewish people hated him because he was an Edomite, not a Jew. Here was a king who did not have a drop of king David’s blood flowing in his veins, appointed by the power of Rome to the throne of a Jewish nation. Luke notes another significant historical marker in establishing the historicity of Jesus’ birth. In 2:1 he writes, “Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.” No honest scholar can deny that Luke is asserting that these events took place as part of universally accepted history.

 

God passed over Imperial Rome, Jerusalem and the Temple and came to a village in Galilee of the Gentiles. What was Nazareth like in the days of Jesus? The town was located 70 miles northeast of Jerusalem, and sat on a hillside above the highway between Tyre, Sidon and Jerusalem. The population was 15,000. It was a hot bed of corruption with Roman soldiers passing by each day and spending the night there, Greek merchants and travelers were coming and going selling their wares. Dwellers were rude, violent and of evil repute. How significant that God passed over Jerusalem, the Temple, and the politicians and went to a town in Galilee. He went to the Galilee of the Gentiles. Even in this hotbed of corruption He had his chosen servants. In the darkest days of human history, God has always had His elect remnant ready to accomplish His will and purpose. He always has had on hand those who are available to Him. And our day is no exception.

 THE PERSON GOD USES (1:26-30)

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” (vv. 26-27). This is one of those great passages that should always fill our hearts with wonder, love and praise. 

Her name was Mary (1:27)

She was probably just a teenager between 13 and 15 years old. This was the normal age for the Jewish betrothal or formal engagement. We know that she was engaged to Joseph who was a descendent of King David (v. 27). It was important for Luke and Matthew to carefully note that Jesus descended from the lineage of King David (2:4; 3:23-38; Matt. 1:1-17; Rom. 1:3; 2 Tim. 2:8).

It would seem very strange to us, but Mary and Joseph’s parents got together and arranged for the marriage of their children. The Jewish marriage consisted of two stages: one was the engagement which was followed a year later by the marriage proper. This engagement was a formal agreement initiated by the father seeking a bride for his son. The  two mothers and two fathers got together and negotiated the marriage arrangement and then the qiddushin took place. This formal betrothal was binding like a marriage. The second most important person involved in the marriage contract was the father of the bride. Remember, he stood to lose the most in the deal because he was giving up his  daughter and helper on the farm or in the family business. The couple was engaged when the father of the son paid the purchase price to the bride’s father and a written agreement and oath were signed. When the marriage contract was finalized by the parents of the couple, even though the marriage ceremony had not been celebrated, the bridegroom could not be rid of his betrothed except through divorce. If Joseph had died between the engagement and marriage, Mary would have been his legal widow. If, during the same period of time, another man had sexual intercourse with her, Mary would have been punished as an adulteress. This engagement period usually lasted for a year and was as binding as marriage. The legal aspect of the Jewish marriage was included in the betrothal; the wedding celebration was merely a recognition of the agreement that had already been established. This is why Joseph had a perfect right to travel with Mary to Bethlehem. The engagement was taken a lot more seriously than in our day. Even though the engagement was legally biding, and the couple was considered husband and wife, they refrained from sexual contact until the second stage of the marriage ceremony was fulfilled.

Unblemished character of this young woman

Mary was a “virgin” (27). She had integrity. In the passage before us Luke makes it very clear that Mary was a virgin, not just a “girl,” or “maiden, ” both before and after conception. She was sexually inexperienced. The word parthenos in this context means “one who has not yet had sexual relations.” The word means “a young unmarried woman who had preserved the purity of her body.” The meaning of this word is simple and self-evident. The miraculous element was in the manner of the begetting or conception of Jesus in Mary. Clearly the message to Mary was that Jesus was to be born of her without a human father. If the child to be born were Immanuel, "God with us," He would have to have a very special entry into the world. How else could the eternal God incarnate be born?

Much has been written by the secular mind about the virgin birth. We cannot explain the virgin birth as originating from pagan sources because there are no parallels. Moreover, there are no Jewish traditions of a virgin birth.

However, the God of Creation transcended the laws of nature and by the power of the Holy Spirit conceived and brought forth a son in the virgin Jewish maiden. What God promises He provides and does it in surprising ways. The finger of God is written all over this historical event. 

Isaiah prophesied in 7:14, “a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” This is the wonder of wonder. It is God in the corporeal self-manifestation of Himself. He is a super-human person, God with us. The incarnation of deity, Immanuel would Himself be El, God. This child Himself would be God among His people, a characteristic of Him. (Cf. John 1:1-3, 14, 18; Colossians 2:9-10; John 14:14-20).

“God with us” ought to be enough to astonish us, but the LORD told King Ahaz how He would pull it off. He told him “a virgin will be with child and bear a son.” Stop and think. “A virgin will be with child and bear a son.” Both in the usage and context of the passage support this translation very strongly. Reference is to something very unusual. It would not be unusual for a “maiden” to conceive, but a “virgin” would be a wonder. Such an act would be an encouragement to the faithful remnant of Israel. It would be a wonder of wonders such as had just been offered to Ahaz and he refused it. It would also be a condemnation of the faithless elements of the line of David. The context, if it makes any sense, requires a marriageable young lady of unblemished reputation, a virgin.

The literal meaning of Luke 1:27 and Matthew 1:18 makes this fact clear that Jesus was born of Mary without a human father. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.” It is obvious that Mary had not told Joseph that she was pregnant. The discovery became inevitable and it was plain that Joseph was in the dark. Joseph was shocked by the discovery and the next verse tells us he was ready to divorce her secretly. She was engaged to him and from that moment a woman was treated as if actually married. Such a promised marriage was dissolved only by divorce. Unfaithfulness was treated as adultery. Therefore, Joseph would have divorced her secretly if an angel of the Lord had not appeared and told him “that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (v. 20). Jesus had no human father.

I have enjoyed in preparation of this study and I highly recommend Robert Stein on the Gospel of Luke (The New American Commentary, Luke (Nashville: Broadman Press). His section on the birth of Jesus is excellent.  In a footnote he writes: “Technically it is more correct to talk about the virginal conception than the virgin birth. Technically speaking, virgin birth refers to the Gnostic doctrine that Mary remained physically a virgin after Jesus’ birth, i.e., that her physical organs (the hymen) remained intact. The dangerous corollary of this doctrine is a docetic Christology. A Christ ‘born’ in this fashion would have passed through the birth canal and hymen as a spirit would rather than as a flesh-and-blood baby would” (p. 84).

G. Campbell Morgan writes candidly, “When presently the angel made to her the great and startling announcement that she was to be the mother of the messiah, without a moment’s hesitation, artlessly and honestly, the transparent simplicity of the woman is revealed when she said to the angel: ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ Then, when the angel answered that inquiry, and more than answered it . . . look at her once more. That quietly bowed head, and the words that passed her lips are again revealing; ‘Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’”

Graced by God

“And coming in, he said to her, ‘Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God’” (vv. 28-30).

The angel Gabriel called her, “favored one” (Luke 1:28) meaning one who is enriched with grace. God chose her to bear His Son (vv. 31, 35).  “And coming in, he said to her, ‘Greetings, favored one (woman richly blessed)! The Lord is with you.’” The true sense of the verse is, “You are full of grace which you have received from God.” “Blessed are you among women” is not in the oldest manuscripts. Scribes or a copyist added these words at a later date. They are however, found in v. 42. It is the free, divine, unmerited and undeserving favor of God bestowed upon Mary. It was unearned and undeserved. God chose her out of the graciousness of His heart. She found grace “by the side of God,” in close fellowship with Him. This is why God chose her. It is out of that relationship with Him that He chose her to be His servant. When God calls us to come and join Him in what He is doing it is out of that kind of fellowship with Him. 

“The Lord is with you,” is a statement of the mighty power of God being present and upon Mary. He will be the source of this great event and the security and protection in the difficult years ahead. She is merely the recipient of grace, not the dispenser of grace. Only God can bestow grace on sinners. Luke tells us Mary is the one receiving grace. She is not endowed with a special power to give grace to anyone. She is favored by God to be the mother of the descendent of David, the Son of the Most High, the Messiah.

Mary was upset and puzzled when she heard the message (v. 29). She was “greatly troubled,” or agitated as she pondered it. “But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.” Mary did what any other thinking woman would do. She started wondering and continued wondering. She began to argue back and forth with herself until the angel calmed her down, “Do not be afraid, Mary.” 

“You have found favor with God” (v. 30). The word “favor” is the word for grace, and by the side of, in fellowship with. The idea of God’s kindness toward men is the idea here. The critical issue is God’s gracious sovereign choice of Mary. There is nothing here to indicate that Mary was chosen for this task of bearing the Son of God because of any particular piety or holiness of life, merits of her own or anything she has done. She did not merit the privilege of being the mother of Jesus. She was a chosen vessel out of God’s grace just like He does with any other person to accomplish His eternal purposes. The stress is on God’s choice, not Mary’s acceptability. The emphasis of the original is that Mary found this favor with God long ago. It was all arranged in His plan far in advance. How short sighted we are when we look at God’s activities.

THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING USED OF GOD (1:31-33)

Mary will have the privilege of bearing God’s Son (v. 31).

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” This is fulfilled in 2:21 (cf. Matt. 1:21).

You will have a son and you will name Him “Jesus” (Iesous). Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua.  He will be named after His Father. The original full form of His Hebrew name is Jehoshua or Yeshua. You will call his name Joshua—Yahweh is salvation, Yahweh saves, Jehovah will save. God the Father named Him for He will be the One who will accomplish redemption.

What this Son of Mary will accomplish is fulfillment of a prophecy given to king David a thousand years before (II Samuel 7:12-16; Isa. 9:7). Joseph and Mary were both of the house of David (Lk. 1:27).  

Jesus will save His people from their sins. (Cf. Matt. 1:21; Lk. 2:11; 1910; Jn. 3:16; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:9-10). 

Jesus’ greatness is unqualified greatness.

“He will be great” (v. 32). “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David . . .” What a contrast Jesus will be to all mankind who have fallen short of the glory of God. He will even be greater than John the Baptist, whose greatness was not “absolute” but “qualified” by “in the sight of the Lord” (1:15). The baptizer was a great spokesman, but noting in comparison to the Son. 

He is the Son of God

He will be “called the Son of the Most High” meaning He “will be the Son of God.” The “Son of the Most High” is a parallel expression of “Son of God.” This is a clear designation of the Messiah because His “messiahship should be interpreted in terms of His sonship” (Rev. 5:5).

“The Lord will give Him the throne of His father David.” He is the Messiah! Jesus is the Anointed of the LORD.

The prophet Nathan promised King David before his death, "When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever" (2 Samuel 7:12-13, NASB 1995). According to God's promise Jesus is the rightful heir to David's throne. He is the son whose throne will be "established forever."  

His kingdom will have no end.

“He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” “The house of Jacob” is another messianic description used to designate Israel (Ex. 19:3). Jesus is the long awaited King of Israel who will enjoy an eternal rule. This was the promise given to David in 2 Samuel 7:13-16 and put to song in Psalm 2:7; 89:4, 26-29; 132:12). Isaiah spoke of the coming king in 9:6-7,

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,

                On the throne of David and over his kingdom,

                To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness

                From then on and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this (v. 7).

Luke is referring to the last Davidic King, the Messiah, who will reign forever and forever. Once His kingdom is established, it will never end. Jesus Christ enjoys an everlasting kingdom. Jesus Christ is the Coming One hoped for and expected in the Old Testament, realized and proclaimed in the New who will reign forever and ever. He will always be the sovereign king. The kingdom of God will be consummated at the Second Coming of Christ and it will continue throughout eternity. John Newton wrote of that glorious day:

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.

THE PLAN OF GOD (1:34-37)

Mary’s response is this all sounds great, but remember there is one major problem. Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” Literally. “A man I know not” (v. 34). Luke reinforces again this important fact to his reading audience. The word “know” is used to describe the sexual intercourse in the Bible.

Mary interprets the words of the angel meaning that she, as she was then, as a virgin, was to bear a son and call His name Jesus. “Leave the question as it is,” says Morgan. “It is the cold, scientific, biological difficulty, bluntly stated.” The first person to raise the difficulty was Mary. She was more aware of it than anyone else. The question “How can this be?” reveals to us something of the integrity of this young woman and the integrity of the Gospel. Yet, this is the only way you can account for the person of Jesus Christ.

“God is not limited by the ordinary; He can do, and does do, extraordinary things; God is not imprisoned within that which men call the natural; but for His own purposes, He can act in a way men can only describe as supernatural,” observes Morgan. This is God’s own special creative work through the Holy Spirit. Mary’s unique Son will come into this world as a result of the creative power of the Spirit of God.

There is a big difference between Mary and Zacharias’ attitudes. Zacharias in unbelief, asked for a sign. Mary, timidly explained as simple fact, “How can this be, I am a virgin.” She doesn’t ask for proof; she simply wonders about the process since she is the subject. Obviously, no sexual contact has yet taken place (cf. Matt. 1:25).

Perhaps Luke is contrasting the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus. Since Jesus is greater than John, His birth must also be considered greater. “If John’s birth was miraculous but Jesus’ birth was the result of a normal sexual relationship, then the whole parallel between 1:5-25 and 1:26-38 breaks down at this point. Jesus’ birth had to be greater than that of John the Baptist, and this requires us to understand His birth as a virgin birth” (Stein, p. 84).

The Godhead is involved in the miraculous conception of Jesus. Note how the whole trinity is involved (v. 35). The angel answered Mary and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb, but Jesus was conceived by the power of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will come upon Mary to give divine life in her human ovum. This conception will be unique. It has never before occurred, and will never again take place.

The “power of the Most High” will enshroud her. “Overshadow” has the idea to envelope in darkness, with excess light, to cast a shadow. Remember the cloud in the Old Testament that symbolized the divine presence? Here the figure of the cloud of glory, Shekinah, represents the presence and power of God (Ex. 40:34, 38; Num. 9:15). The Holy Spirit will come upon Mary and overshadow her with His power, through which she will become pregnant. This active, creative, productive overshadowing presence of God brings about the conception within Mary’s womb. This eternally pre-existent person was conceived by a direct divine act, without a sexual activity or substitute of any kind.

Godet contrasted the birth of the Baptizer with Jesus suggesting the birth of John was due to a “higher power,” but “the birth of Jesus . . . has the character of a creative act. In importance it constitutes the counterpart . . .  of the appearance of the first man; Jesus is the second Adam. This birth is the beginning of the world to come.” The apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned . . . . But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many” (Rom. 5:12, 15).

These expressions allude to the glory cloud that camped over the Israelites in the wilderness. We will encounter the cloud again in Luke 9:34 at the transfiguration. F. Godet in The Gospel of Luke, p. 93 writes:

The Holy Spirit denotes here the divine power, the life-giving breath which calls into developed existence the germ of a human personality slumbering in Mary’s womb. This germ is the link which unites Jesus to human nature, and makes Him a member of the race He comes to save. Thus in this birth the miracle of the first creation is repeated on a scale of greater power. Two elements concurred in the formation of man: a body taken from the ground, and the divine breath. With these two elements correspond here the germ derived from the womb of Mary and the Holy Ghost who fertilizes it. The absolute purity of this birth results, on the one hand, from the perfect holiness of the divine principle which is its efficient cause; on the other, from the absence of every impure motion in her who becomes a mother under the power of such a principle.

The “holy offspring shall be called the Son of God” for that is who He is. This is the only way to account for Jesus. Don’t make apologies for believing in the virgin conception and birth of Jesus. Because Jesus was a very special person, Immanuel, He would have to have a very special entry into the world.

I think it was Chuck Swindoll that suggested these excellent truths:

·        A natural savior provides no supernatural help.

·        A human savior offers no divine hope.

·        A sinful savior is really no savior at all.

·        God solves problem of our sin by providing a sinless Savior.

The virgin conception as well as a virgin birth guarantees a sinless Savior. The virgin birth provided a sin free nature. The virgin birth provides a divine and a human nature. He is the God-man. Jesus’ conception was absolutely the only one of its kind. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary and overshadow her with His power, by which she will become pregnant. This was an act of God! Man was not involved in any manner whatsoever.

By entering into human life as Jesus did, He was placed in the normal condition of man before the fall, therefore in a position to fulfill the goal God has for Adam before he chose to disobey. By volitional choice Adam should have advanced from innocence to holiness. He chose to disobey and brought depravity on every human being thereafter. Jesus, on the other hand, was freed from the depravity which owing to the manner in which He was born hinders us from accomplishing the task. However, Jesus had to exert His own free will, and to devote Himself continually to being obedient to the Father’s will. One of the most puzzling verses is Hebrews 5:8-9 which says “although He was a son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered; having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.” The apostle Paul tells us He was “obedient to the death, even death on a cross.” We should praise and thank God every day of our lives that the Last Adam who could have made the same foolish destructive choices the first Adam made did not and was obedient to His Father’s commandment. Godet says, “His miraculous birth, therefore, in no way prevented this conflict from being real. It gave Him liberty not to sin, but did not take away from Him the liberty of sinning.”

Campbell Morgan says the angel cleared up the mystery for us:

The thing shall be done by the direct act of God, the power of the Most High, the Holy Spirit, wrapping thee round, overshadowing thee, producing in thy womb the Man-child; and also, by that same act, by that same energy, by that same force, the Holy Spirit overshadowing, that which is begotten shall be held from contamination with the sin of thy nature, and in human nature. It shall be holy. It shall have being in thy womb by the act of God; and it shall be held from contamination with the sinfulness of thy nature, by the same act of God (The Gospel According to Luke, p. 24). 

We should ever keep in mind that the laws of nature are not chains that bind the Divine Creator. “They are,” as someone suggested, “threads which He holds in His hand and which He shortens or lengthens at will.” The only thing that limits our acceptance of the virgin conception of Jesus is our view of God. The angel didn’t say to Mary, “nothing will be impossible,” but “nothing will be impossible with God” (v. 37). Since that was true with Mary it is still true today. God has not changed.

Stein strikes a note of warning: “Attempts to interpret Mary’s words in this verse as expressing a vow of perpetual virginity . . . are incorrect. (Such explanations clash with Matt. 1:25, which implies that after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary had a normal husband-wife relationship.)” Both Matthew and Luke, as we have already stressed, “clearly affirmed that Jesus’ conception was miraculous in that Mary was a virgin when she conceived.”

The virgin birth as taught in the Scriptures guarantees a sinless Savior who died for our sins to set us free.  It was made possible by the “holy offspring . . . called the Son of God” (v. 35; Acts 9:20; cf. Rom. 1:3-4). Luke has carefully slipped us another messianic designation of Jesus. “Son of God” is essentially another synonym for the Messiah. This Jesus is the Son of God who existed before His physical birth.

Dr. Luke declares with “cool objectivity” the historical fact that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. 

 God is planning to do the impossible (v. 36-37).

“And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God” (vv. 36-37).

The conception of John the Baptizer was in a sense miraculous. It was a miracle that this could happen to people well advanced in years. But it was not unique. However, the conception of Jesus was uniquely miraculous. It took place without the assistance of any human male. What more appropriate manner for the coming of the son of God.

THE PRICE FOR BEING USED OF GOD (1:38)

Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

There would be questions regarding Mary’s integrity. A. T. Robertson suggested, “It is not unlikely that some sharp tongues in Nazareth made her feel the force of this biting slur.” She would become the object of ridicule and gossip the rest of her life. Old Simeon’s sword would piece her heart time and time again. “And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.’” (2:34-35).

God asked Mary to bear a child without being married. It was no flippant decision when she said, "may it be done according to your word." How do we respond when He comes to us and invites us to join Him on a mission impossible? Ever wonder if He passes us by because we don't want to do it His way?

Mary had a submissive heart. She was obedient to God’s will. She left the timing and details up to God. Her attitude was one of humble obedience as His servant. She made herself available to Him and that is exactly what He wants of us.

SOME ABIDING PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

Luke helps us to grasp the hand of God upon His servants. No one merits the opportunity to serve Him. It is freely of His divine choice operating under His grace.

With privilege goes responsibility and there is often a price to pay.

Mary paid a big price to serve God, but not as big as Jesus paid. He was obedient unto death, even to the death on the cross, not because He had done anything wrong, but because we have failed to live up to the glory of God. He was the innocent suffer, dying as a substitute for guilty sinners.

When you serve God you must always get eternity in the picture.

Mary saw things from God’s perspective. Ask God to help you see things from His point of view. Your problem, circumstances, or situation may be a gift from God. He is intimately involved with the details in your life. God owes us nothing; we owe Him everything. He is a God of grace.

God always keeps His promises.

He makes Himself available to you and He will provide all of your needs as you serve His eternal purposes. Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” God does what He says He will do. When God steps into our lives we should rejoice and trust that He will do as He has promised.

Where is God at work in your life today?

Are you willing to be a Mary? Luke 1:38, “Behold, your bondservant of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.” God unexpectedly chose Mary and she said yes to His biddings. Then He did in her life what He does in ours as He prepares us for His service. When God calls, He always provides. When God calls us the only response pleasing to Him is: "Here am I Lord; use me, as You will." When we follow His leading He will always supply what is lacking.

Do you have an attitude of submission to God?

All that God asks is whole-hearted self-surrender. Mary is perfect example of unqualified submission to God’s will.

This passage is a reminder that God offers to each person a fresh new relationship with Him that is far nearer than that of flesh and blood. It is an intimate, love relationship which belongs to those who confess to Him their sins and repent and believe on Christ as their Savior. “Whoever shall do the will of God the same is My brother, and sister and mother,” Jesus said. Are you next of kin to Jesus? You can be by asking Him to be your Savior. 

 If you need help in becoming a Christian here is A Free Gift for You.


Title:  Luke 2:26-38  Gabriel Came by Today

Series: Life of Christ

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey College, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras.

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