Mary of Nazareth

 

Okay, let’s have a Christmas pageant. Let’s just pretend for a moment:

Who wants to be the innkeeper? Raise your hand

 

Who wants to be Joseph? Raise your hand, someone be Joseph.

 

Who wants to be the camel? Ha ha, come on someone play a camel.

 

Who wants to be the wisemen? Raise your hand.

 

Who else do we need? Who wants to be shepherds? We need several raise your hands.

 

Who wants to be the doctor? The doctor? She was having a baby, do you think there was a doctor there? No, there was not. Who wants to be the nurse? Who wants to be the mother of Mary.

 

No nurse.

No doctor.

No Mother.

 

Who wants to be Mary? Someone raise your hand.

 

Do you think Mary wanted to be Mary?

 

Have you ever been asked to did a difficult task, maybe an honorable task, a noble task, but you did not know that you could do it? Have you been there?

 

I am thinking that is where Mary was at. Mary was a world changer. She changed the world as the mother of Jesus. We would not be here if it were not for Mary. Think about this: We have a mission statement from Matthew 28:19-20: Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit… We wish to reach the lost, nurture faith and meet family needs. This could not happen without Mary. Mary gave birth to the One who gave that commission.

 

Let’s look at Mary’s commissioning: Luke 1:26-38:

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

 

Theme:

I wish to show you that Mary was highly favored for a difficult task which she humbly accepted.

 

Application:

Sometimes God’s call is not easy. Accept the call as Mary did.

 

 

  1. I want to focus on one word and that is “Highly Favored.”
    1. This word is the word for “grace.”
    2. It is only used in this way in Ephesians 1:6 having to do with God giving us His grace.
    3. This verse is saying that Mary has received God’s grace or God’s favor.
    4. This is Gabriel’s greeting to Mary. Gabriel says, “The Lord is with you.
    5. She is twice told that she has received grace or favor, in verse 28 and verse 30: But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 
    6. As one writes about grace: Grace is at the center of what God was doing in Christmas. The child to be born of Mary would embody and incarnate grace. His message would be a message of grace. His life would demonstrate grace to sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes. They had been taught that there was no place for them in the synagogue, that God’s judgment and wrath was upon them; Jesus devoted his life to showing them that it was God’s love, mercy, and kindness that were offered to them. Jesus showed them grace.[1]
    7. Do we realize who she would be the mother to:
    8. Those who wrote the great hymns of Christmas know it.  They’ve always known it.  Our carols celebrate it.  “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.”  “Yea, Lord, we great Thee, born this happy morning,” “Come adore on bended knee Christ the Lord,” “Christ by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord,” “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the Incarnate Deity.”  “Jesus, our Immanuel.”  “Yet in the dark street shineth the everlasting light.”  “Oh come with us, abide with us, our Lord, Immanuel.”  The carol says, “Jesus, Lord at Thy birth,” “Incense owns a Deity nigh,” “The virgin’s sweet boy is the Lord of the earth,”  “Word of the Father now in flesh appearing,”  “How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name,”  “God with man is now residing, suddenly the Lord descending.”  The carol says, “Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown when Thou camest to earth for me.”  “And the Father gave His Son, gave His own beloved One.”  Son of the Most High, Son of God, God in human flesh; this amazing child is God come down. Grace has power. When you show kindness, compassion, goodness, or love to someone who does not deserve it, the act of grace has the power to change hearts, to heal broken relationships, and to reconcile people and even nations. Grace changes the one who receives it, but it also changes the one who gives it.[2]
    9. She certainly is the mother of God, she raised Jesus.
    10. Do you think she was happy for this task?
  2. Let’s talk more about Mary.
    1. Mary was from a tiny town called Nazareth.
    2. Nazareth would not even make it on a list of cities. It was just a tiny little village.
    3. We would think if God was going to send His Son into the world He would pick a woman from Rome or Jerusalem, but He didn’t.
    4. I believe God wanted to show that He chooses the nobodies.
    5. Mary was likely 13 years old. Think about that.
    6. She was from humble beginnings.
    7. She was likely uneducated.
    8. She was likely raised to be very devoted to God.
    9. Mary is told how things will happen. The power of God, the Most High, will overshadow her. Mary is not told exactly what is going to happen, but if God did not cause her to conceive then Jesus would be a clone of her. People have lacked faith in the virgin birth in the past, but with all of the science these days and how we can artificially inseminate, do we really need to doubt God?
    10. So, Mary is told exactly what will happen.
    11. We know that Mary could be stoned because it looks like she committed adultery. (Lev. 20:10)
    12. Again, I come back to the question: Do you think Mary wanted to be Mary?
    13. Do you think Mary wanted to go and tell Joseph she was pregnant? Do you think Mary was scared? Do you think Mary was concerned to tell her parents? Having a baby in itself was scary back then, but all these responsibilities and the great humility as well.
      1. Mary would tell her relative and Joseph. Mary goes to visit Elizabeth and then we have the Magnificant…
      2. Chrissy Rigney
  • Let’s look at Mary’s response. Verse 38: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.
    1. Sometimes the Lord’s calling is not easy but we must follow through.
    2. We must follow through like Mary did and just respond, “I am the Lord’s servant.”
    3. Can we respond this way? Can we respond to God’s Word and honorably say, “I am the Lord’s servant I will tell the truth.”
      1. “I am the Lord’s servant I will follow the rules.”
      2. “I am the Lord’s servant I will walk in integrity.”
  • “I am the Lord’s servant I will not spread that rumor.”
  1. “I am the Lord’s servant I will not gossip on Facebook.”
  2. “I am the Lord’s servant I won’t look at that website.”
  3. “I am the Lord’s servant I will not have road rage.”
  • “I am the Lord’s servant I will apologize for my behavior.”
  • “I am the Lord’s servant I will treat people with respect.”
  1. “I am the Lord’s servant I will share the Gospel with people, pray, read the Bible, work at the food pantry, help someone with a meal, give someone grace.”
  2. I am the Lord’s servant… you pray about it and live like Mary.

 

Remember grace, favor, it is such a gift. That was such a privilege for Mary. Give people grace this week. Give people favor this week.

 

Remember the quote I shared:

 

Grace is at the center of what God was doing in Christmas. The child to be born of Mary would embody and incarnate grace. His message would be a message of grace. His life would demonstrate grace to sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes. They had been taught that there was no place for them in the synagogue, that God’s judgment and wrath was upon them; Jesus devoted his life to showing them that it was God’s love, mercy, and kindness that were offered to them. Jesus showed them grace.[3]

 

Be encouraged we have all received God’s grace.

So I ask, would you want to be Mary? But remember Mary’s response, you can respond the same way.

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

 

[1] Hamilton, Adam (2011-09-01). The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem (Kindle Locations 238-242). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.

[2] http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/42-7/the-greatest-child-ever-born

[3] Hamilton, Adam (2011-09-01). The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem (Kindle Locations 238-242). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s