“AN ANNOUNCEMENT LIKE NO OTHER” Luke 1:26-38
INTRO – How many of you know what Siri is on your Iphone? Let me demonstrate:
This past Tue night, one of our church members, Jennifer Wilson, was praying w/ her daughter at bedtime. Little did she know that she apparently had inadvertently activated Siri. Siri heard Jennifer say these words in her prayer: “Christmas is the birth of Jesus. Help us not to get caught up in all the presents & all the stuff, b/c with Christmas, remember the greatest gift ever was your Son.” Siri’s response: “I would ask that you address your spiritual questions to someone more qualified to comment. Ideally, a human.”
With all our technology, Siri just doesn’t get it. But I wonder if Susan Bennett does? Who is Susan Bennett? She lives in Atlanta, GA, & is the actual voice of Siri. Jesus didn’t come into the world to save Siri, but He did come to save Susan Bennett. And He came to save you & me! That’s why we are here, & that’s what we will celebrate today & all month long! The Savior of the world has come! As Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.”
Christmas is a time of announcing the life-changing truth that Jesus Christ has come into the world. Lots of people in our nation today don’t want that announcement to be made. Governmental officials on every level throughout our land are so afraid of offending someone that nativity scenes are coming down all over the place, Christmas carols are not sung, & even the word “Christmas” is not used. Right now down in Collins, there is a person who is “offended” that they have to drive by the city’s Nativity scene on their way home. Now the town is being threatened w/ a lawsuit. This is a crazy world we are living in!
But you know what? None of this has caught God off-guard or by surprise. He’s not sitting up in heaven on His throne, wringing His hands, wondering what’s going on & why everything is going crazy. God knew that He was sending His Son into a crazy world. He knew that we needed a Savior. He knew that it was going to get harder & harder to live for Christ in our day. He knew that terrorist attacks were going to be happening…that babies were going to be aborted…that people were going to be killing each other every week in Jackson, MS…that biblical marriage was going to be attacked…that gay marriage was going to be the law of the land…that the number of people immorally living together before marriage was going to skyrocket…that premarital sex was going to be normal & accepted, & that someone like Tim Tebow would be ridiculed & mocked for taking a stand for sexual purity…that sex trafficking was going to happen…that divorce was going to be rampant…that alcoholism & drug addiction was going to destroy lives & families…that students in school were going to be challenged about their Christian beliefs…He knew that the time would come when people would not want to hear sound, biblical truth being preached to them, but, as 2 Tim. 4:3 says, “…the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
Long before all the craziness that you & I deal with in our lives today; long before the angel Gabriel showed up in Mary’s life, the OT prophet Isaiah was announcing that one day, the Messiah would come: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). This one who was to come would be the Messiah. The word “Messiah” means, “anointed one” or “chosen one.” The Greek word “Christos” from which we get the word “Christ” means the same thing. So, when we say “Jesus Christ,” we are announcing that “Jesus the Messiah” has come. And aren’t we glad!
3 Astounding Announcements:
The Conception – You talk about an astounding announcement like no other! Look at the different components of this announcement:
- First, it came straight from an angel – v. 26 – “God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth…” – Gk word for “angel” – angelos – “messenger.” Gk word for “sent” – apostello – sent out for a specific purpose. Gabriel – messenger sent out for a specific purpose. And what a purpose Gabriel had! He’s 1 of only 2 angels that are named in the Bible, & each time we see him, he had an important message to deliver. We know that he has favored status w/ God as an angel who “stands in the presence of God” (Lk. 1:19).
- Secondly, it came to a virgin girl named Mary – While the Bible doesn’t specifically tell us Mary’s age, most historians believe she was 15-16 yrs. old. According to Jewish customs of that day, a young woman may become betrothed to a young man as young as 12-13 yrs of age. The marriage ceremony & physical intimacy would not happen for many months later, maybe years later.
- Thirdly, it would be a divine conception – v. 35 – 2 important thoughts here – “The HS will come upon you & the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” This tells us that this conception, this birth, & this Child will be totally from God. No man will have anything to do w/ this. The Holy Spirit of God – the 3rd Person of the Trinity – will come upon Mary & take control of this entire process, like an army that comes in, overtakes a city, & controls everything that goes on there. And the power of God will “overshadow” or totally envelope her.
I love what the late Adrian Rogers said about the virgin birth: “If you doubt the virgin birth, you really have difficulty with …
- the character of the Word of God — The Word of God plainly teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin.
- the character of Mary — If Jesus were not born of a virgin, Mary was a harlot and conceived out of wedlock.
- the character of Jesus — If Jesus were not born of a virgin, He was a descendant of Adam, and “in Adam, all die” (see 1 Corinthians 15:22).
You see, if there were no virgin birth, there would be no sinless Christ. No sinless Christ … no atonement. No atonement … no forgiveness. No forgiveness … no hope of heaven. No hope of heaven … we would all die and go to hell. Thank God for the virgin birth. If you take away the virgin birth, the whole house of Christianity collapses like a house of cards.” (http://www.jesus.org/birth-of-jesus/bethlehem/why-did-we-need-a-virgin-birth-in-bethelehem.html)
The Confidence – With all that was going on, all that Mary had heard in such a short period of time, it’s no wonder that she “was greatly troubled [agitated, perplexed] at his words” (v. 29). I love what Gabriel said in v. 37 – “For nothing is impossible w/ God.” The crowning pinnacle statement of this announcement that he had just delivered to Mary was that OUR GOD IS A HUGE, MAGNIFICENT GOD WHO IS ABLE TO DO WHATEVER HE PLEASES, SO NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH HIM!
- This is the same God who spoke the universe into existence, who formed man out of the dust of the earth & breathed His very life into him.
- This is the same God who named every star in every galaxy in our universe & calls them out by name every night.
- This is the same God who split the Red Sea in half for Moses & the children of Israel; who clamped the lions’ mouths shut for Daniel; who rained down fire from heaven & consumed the sacrifice on Mt. Carmel for Elijah.
- This is the same God who raised Lazarus from the dead; who fed the 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread & 2 fish; who healed crippled people, gave sight to blind people, delivered demon-possessed people, & restored broken people.
- And this is the God who sent His one & only Son into the world to be born to a teenage virgin girl named Mary.
So, why would we NOT have complete confidence in this God? He is not limited by the ordinary. He is not confined by man’s ideas, controlled by man’s way of doing things, or constrained man’s plans. HE IS GOD ALMIGHTY & NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH HIM! If you don’t walk away w/ anything else today, let the Holy Spirit of God overcome your mind & your thoughts today & burn this unchanging truth deep into your soul. Never doubt Him! Never distrust Him! Never disbelieve Him!
The Commitment – v. 38 – As Gabriel’s crowning statement of confidence was “Nothing is impossible w/ God,” Mary’s crowning statement of commitment was “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” The moment of decision had come & Mary made her commitment to submit herself to God’s amazing plan for her life.
What did this commitment mean?
- She would serve God.
- She would submit to God.
- She would sacrifice for God. She may not have known all that this commitment meant, but the eventual sacrifice of her Son would be huge!
A true commitment to God involves all 3 of these components for all of us. If it’s true that “nothing is impossible w/ God” – AND IT IS! – then we can step forward in faith in Him & make these commitments:
- “God, I will serve you – wherever, whenever, however, to whomever – I will serve you.”
- “God, I will submit to you – I submit my will to your will, & my plans to your plans. My entire life is in your hands.”
- “God, I will sacrifice for you – there’s nothing in this life that is more precious to me than honoring & glorifying you. No sacrifice is too great for the one who sacrificed His only Son for me.”