Because of Grace Luke 1.26-38.doc

Intro: The portion of scripture that we are going to consider today is one of the most powerful & profound in all of the Bible

  1. Yet it is our tendency to breeze through this portion of scripture rather quickly or even worse to only give it our consideration at Christmas time
  1. That shouldnít be the case! - And I am thankful to the Lord for inspiring Dr. Luke to give such careful detail to the events recorded here in Ch. 1
    1. This section of scripture is rich w/ meaning and significance & it is the very fulfillment of many O.T. prophecies
  1. The events recorded here is what the Prophets who wrote over 1,000 yrs before - were longing to see - Prophecies that they couldnít wait to happen
  1. and my hope today is that while we consider the great miracle presented here before us
    1. Is that our hearts would be stirred & that we would experience a greater depth & sense of wonder & amazement as we consider the MIRACLE OF THE INCARNATION.


There are 5 main things that I want us to consider this morning as we examine this passage

1st The setting of the story - the location of the miracle

2nd The people involved

3rd The Premise of the miracle

4th Maryís response

5th What Gab. Specifically said about Jesus



26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,

  1. I want you to notice 1st of all that Gab. Goes to GALILEE
  1. Gabriel was probably on the greatest mission of his angelic career is sent to Galilee & not Judea

B) To the city of Nazareth & not Jerusalem - to the home in the city of Nazareth & not to the temple in Jerusalem.

  1. Judea was the center of the land that God had chosen to be the platform for His operations through out the centuries. /
    1. Jerusalem was the center of that region / it was called the city of the great King.
  1. The Temple was at the center of the city, it was supposed to be the very dwelling-place of God, the place of communion with His people.
    1. Yet the religious climate in Jerusalem was one that was filled w/ corruption.
  1. Jerusalem was supposed to be the center for the worship of God - and yet it had lost sight of the Lord - & its calling & purpose!!!!!

1) And so God passed them over

Consider G. Campbell Morgan's insights on this "God, in His actions in human history, is independent of His own institutions when men degrade them. The land was blighted; the city was blasted: the Temple was degraded; and God's messenger passed them all. God left the land of His OWN choosing, abandoned the city of His love and passed the Temple of His own appointment.

Radical warning - for any church & any Person that loses sight of the Lord - or of its purpose .You like Jerusalem might be passed over - Godís work - Divine Opportunity

D) So When this heavenly messenger came to earth w/ these great tidings he

passed over Judea and went to Galilee,

1)Galilee was a place that was held in contempt, by the Jews for centuries.

  1. And the city of Nazareth was the arm pit of Galilee


Nazareth was One of the most corrupt towns to be found in all that region at that time,

  1. Remember when Philip found his friend Nathaniel & announced to him we have found the Messiah / Jesus from Nazareth
  1. Nath. Responded can anything good come out of Naz.
    1. A lot of people think that he was talking about the smallness of Naz. / yet Naz. As a city goes was one of the bigger ones in region of Gal.
  1. And Nath. Was from a neighboring town -that was even smaller
  2. Obvious Nath. Was referring to the corruption & the wickedness of the city when he said can anything good come out of that place.- itís so Bad !
    1. It was a wicked & dark place !
  1. In fact it was Isa. The prophet who wrote in Ch. 9:1 speaking of Galilee & Nazareth - those who dwelt in darkness God sent a great light.
    1. So from the very Beginning we see that the Lordís heart in passing by those who were supposed to be spiritual & godly - yet were not
  1. And going to those who were lost & in the dark -


2nd thing we want to look at is the People involved V. 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.

  1. In those days marriage was by arrangement - Parents were not about to trust such a radical decision to some fickle teenagers
  1. So they would pick who their kids were going to marry
  1. There were 3 phases of the arrangement process - The first was the engagement period / Some were engaged as young as 2 yrs old
    1. - imagine growing up knowing I am going to marry this kid

As he is sitting in class - picking - his nose

  1. A year before the wedding date the couple would enter into a period of espousal or being betrothed
    1. This was a little more radical than being engaged - you see the couple was legally married - yet the marriage was consummated yet
  1. The period of espousal was so binding that the only way to get out of it was by Divorce - adultery during this time was punishable by stoning
    1. Mary & Joseph were in this period of espousal - waiting for their marriage day.


Now we donít know much about Joseph

  1. We are told in the scriptures that he was a carpenter & that he was a just man - he was a good man - a righteous man

B) Now when Joseph first heard about Mary being pregnant - He wasnít thrilled to say the least.


Put yourself in Josephís shoes - Mary comes and says I have some good news & some bad news -

  1. Bad news is I am pregnant / the good news is the baby is going to be the Messiah & I have conceived by a miracle from God!!!!
  1. Joseph like most of us would have a hard time w/ that one . That would be a little far fetched - screw loose here
    1. But we are told in Matt. 1 that because Joseph was a just man & probably because He loved her - put her away privately
  1. Until Gab. Showed up & told him it was all true.
  1. Mary was about 15 or 16 yrs old at this time - ( normal age of espousal )

1) She was a virgin.


Now we read in v. 28 that Gab. Arrives at Maryís House & greets here by saying "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"

  1. Now notice something here - Gab. Says to Mary that she is blessed among women - not above - women
    1. Good distinction to make & I would bet that Mary is quite embarrassed today by all the attention some groups give to her
  1. Suggesting as some do that she is a co- redeemer w/ Christ - Calling her the mother of God - worshipping Mary - Praying to Mary-
    1. I believe she is both grieved & embarrassed by such attention because no where in Scripture is any of that validated
  1. Gab. Says she was highly favored - and what a privilege it was to be the woman picked out in all of history to give birth to the Son Of God.
    1. Yet she was highly favored among women not above woman
  1. And it is important that we understand the Premise or the Basis of this blessing - Reason is revealed in the understanding of the Phrase


3rd thing we want to Consider - The Premise for the Blessing

  1. The Phrase Highly favored is Charato o in the Greek - it means - Highly blessed & much graced
  1. It speaks of one who is overflowing in the grace of God.
  1. So when Gab. Shows up & says Hail Highly favored or much graced he saying something that has incredible meaning .
    1. Not only to Mary but also to all of us
  1. Mary was given this great privilege / not because she was something special or had done something to deserve it - but because of Godís grace
    1. It was a work of Godís grace that made this woman fit out of all the woman throughout history to receive this privilege


In the mist of this city that was overflowing w/ immorality & spiritual darkness -

  1. Mary was a woman whoís life was overflowing w/ the Grace of God

and the Lord was w/ her

  1. And she was preserved from all of that cities wickedness because of Godís grace
  1. Now here is something interesting about that word Charato o is used in only one other place in the entire bible -
    1. Eph. 1:6 Listen while I read it - Paul speaking of the ministry of Christ says - He has made us accepted or Kararoío much graced in the Beloved.
  1. Now check this out - the result of Godís grace in Maryís life meant that Christ was placed in her . Privilege of carrying Him for 9 months
    1. The result of the overflowing grace in our lives means that we have been placed in Christ. Father looks at us He sees us in His Son

See it is not who we are that makes us highly favored - it is where were are at - In Christ . Recipients of Godís grace

A) it is only thru the grace of God that we are able to accomplish anything for Him.

B) Because of that grace God looks at us in His Son. Highly favored

C) And in the mist of all the spiritual darkness & iniquity that is in N. County - Godís grace can effectually work in your life - just like it did in Maryís

D) Paul said 2 Cor. 12: Godís grace is sufficient - His power is made perfect in my weakness .

    1. Area of weakness in your life - enemy coming against you - those around you - are living in darkness
  1. Godís grace will sustain you !
    1. 1 Pet. 5:12 By grace we stand
  1. It is when we lose sight of that fact & begin to try & stand in our own strength or think that we have it together -

1) that is when we get into trouble .

Guys think about all the people in this county who were Partying last night & are nursing hangovers this morning

  1. Consider for a moment those who are waking in a bed w/ someone they are not married to -
  1. Consider for a moment all of the sin & iniquity that goes on every single day all around us .
    1. Yet in the mist of this Nazareth that we find ourselves living in God grace can be in you just as it was in Mary.
  1. May we be those who are found saying - Lord I need more of your grace in my life .

4th thing we want to consider is Maryís response Notice 3 things

1st is in v.29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

  1. Now notice that it says that she was troubled / not at seeing him necessarily but she was more troubled by what he said
    1. word troubled could also mean agitated or taken back - she thought what did he mean by calling me highly favored
  1. See the implication is she didnít see herself that way.
  1. This shows us something else about Mary that is true of all those whoís lives have been marked by Godís grace.


To be told by an Angelic messenger that her life was overflowing w/ Godís grace wasnít something Mary perceived about herself.

  1. Gab. Says Hail to you whoís life is overflowing w/ Godís grace & it like Mary responds Who me sure you have the right home
  2. She didnít perceive herself that way she wasnít conscious of her godliness & the inner beauty that God had worked w/ in her life .
  1. Such is always the work of Godís grace is that it produces humility - where ever you see spiritual pride you see the absence of Godís grace
    1. Someone who goes around talking about how godly they are doesnít even realize how ungodly they have become! Sin of Pride

D) James 4:6 "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.",

  1. Prov.11: 2 When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble

is wisdom. Prov.13: 10 By pride comes nothing but strife,

And in Obadiah 1:3 Were told that pride in the heart brings deception.

A Person whoís life is not built upon the grace of God will be a person who thinks they have arrived or have reached some degree of spiritual stature.

A) Person who believes they are better & have it more together than anyone else

    1. A person who thinks that when a blessing comes from the Lord that they did something to earn it .
  1. We donít see any of those things in Mary - She is taken back by this encounter - because of what Gab. Said
    1. Because she just didnít perceive herself in that way.

D) When a person sees themselves as spiritually bankrupt - they open the door for Godís grace to move in your life


The 2nd thing we see in Maryís response is seen in V. 34 34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"

Now Maryís response here is different from Zach. / When Gab. Came to Zach - / Zach. Response was one of doubt

  1. His attitude was more like There is no way we are too old.
  1. But Maryís response is diff. she is seeking some clarification. Understanding /Wow - How is this going to happen - She is not doubting -
    1. How is the Lord going to do this I havenít known a man.
  1. Do you ever find yourself doing this - Lord I need to understand.
    1. Thursday was my day off & I went down to the beach in the morning just to take a walk & pray - get alone w/ the Lord.
  1. To contemplate some things going on in my life that I just didnít understand. - I was thinking about Maryís response
    1. The Lord spoke so clearly to my heart - You donít need to understand you just need to trust me & follow me.
  1. As I sat there having this Conversation w/ the Lord I a looking at the ocean - the tide coming in & going out -
    1. thought I donít understand how & why the water doesnít just keep coming. THE LORD SAYS IT IS ME!!!!
  1. Then I thought about how an airplane gets off the ground & actually flies - I know it has something to do w/ the Law of thermodynamics / that supercedes the law of gravity
  1. But I donít understand it - yet I go & get on an airplane w/ out even thinking about it & fly to the other side of the world.

I thought about as I sat there on that beach & looked at all that sand - and remembered that in Godís word He says His thoughts for me out number the sand

  1. I surely donít understand that but I want to rest in that
  2. God sometimes says to us - Donít try to figure it out in your finite brain - Just believe it - trust me
  1. Paul said that when we do that he gives us a peace that surpasses understanding .
    1. So often we seek a peace that is w/ understanding - yet God brings a Peace that surpasses understanding
  1. Understand too that I am talking about things that donít contradict the word of God .
    1. Unfortunately there is a certain movement going on in the church that is encouraging people to do things that are not found in the word
  1. And they are saying You donít need to understand it just trust the Lord go w/ it God will not have you do anything that contradicts his written word.


But I am talking more about day to day type of things - Decision things -sometimes we donít know what He is doing / How He is going to work

  1. And He says - You just need to trust me.
  1. Mary said How can this be - I havenít known a man - in other words -this isnít natural / there is no man I am not married .
    1. We sometimes do that too - always looking in the natural
  1. In the natural - we tend to put our eyes on men - Lord I donít see a way I donít see a man - /
  1. Watch what Gab. Says here v.35,36 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.36 "Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. "For with God nothing will be impossible."
  1. Gab.says it is not going to be a natural thing at all but a supernatural thing/ not thru a man but by Godís spirit .
    1. Zech. 4:6 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts.
  1. Not a natural thing at all it is a supernatural work of God - and he has been working already
    1. your relative Elizabeth - who was barren has also conceived in her old age & she is in her 6th month.


Interesting the way the old New American standard Bible translated that verse No word is w/ out power

  1. The word impossible is the opposite of Dunamis in the grk - From which we get our English word - Power or dynamic
  2. No word is w/out Power - I like that because what God speaks in His word when we embrace it / it has the power to produce conception in us
    1. If you take the word of God at face value conception is the result - and that which was barren in your life - can be given life.
  1. Marriage Problems / Thru embracing Godís word - your marriage which may be dying can be given life
    1. Lord I donít understand exactly how this works but Lord I am going to embrace it - Love my wife or submit to my husband
  1. Conflict in a friendship - What does Godís word say ? Says to love & to forgive/ And the end result will be life .


  1. That is why Peter referred to the word as the seed - or the spermatosa in the grk in 1 Peter 1:23 - See When it takes it produces life /

1) When we Embrace it - miracles happen & that is what Mary did v.38 38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.


That is the 3rd thing we see about Maryís response :

  1. May we say the same Lord I am going to embrace what this says may it be according to your word.


5th And final thing we want to quickly note is what Gab. Said to Mary about Jesus v. 32-33.

32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

33 "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

  1. Gab. Was telling Mary that her Son was going to be the Messiah - the King of Kings & the Lord of Lords
  1. He would have a Kingdom that would go on forever - This was a direct fulfillment to what Isa prophesied -400 yrs early
    1. 9:6 6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end,
  1. Now in closing I want us to Consider - something Isaiah said there about Jesus - the Govít will be upon His shoulders
    1. Now What did Jesus bear upon His shoulders ? Cross - & your sin
  1. Carried it up the Via Delarosa - on His shoulders - which were then pressed against it as He was nailed to it !
    1. To pay the price for your sin & my sin. To give us life - to set us free

It is the price He paid to be your King -


What is the Prerequisite for Governing your life today ? There was a cross upon His shoulders

  1. I can get into this kind of Govt. I can serve that kind of king ! One that would give His life to save his people.
  1. One that would become poor so that we might become rich / one that would go to Hell so that we could go to heaven.
  1. Now Jesus sits on the throne in Heaven - but one day He is going to return to this earth & set up a Kingdom that will not end .
    1. But right now He wants to be on the throne of your life - sit on the throne of your heart.

D) He wants to establish His kingdom in your life . Be your Lord.

Listen think for a moment of what God went thru so you ca be saved & If you are here today & you donít know Christ personally -

  1. Realize the great lengths that God went to in sending His son born of a virgin - for one reason - to save you .
  1. One reason to carry a cross & to take all of your sin & my sin upon Himself - to pay our debt - so that we could have life
  1. How believe in His gift of grace to you! Receive Him - open your heart to Him - say Lord - Your kingdom come your will be done.

C) Lord I embrace your word - make my heart your throne - Your Home.

  1. Where stand today ? God offers you unmerited favor -
    1. Donít need it - Your OK - Pride brings deception
    2. God resist the Proud
    3. Youíll earn it - no way - Canít fall short -
  1. Believe & Receive - embrace it - conception will take place - born again