Published 1:16 pm Friday, December 5, 2008
Scripture: Luke 1:26-55
Aim: To help the pupil understand the submission of Mary to the will of Jehovah God in the birth and rearing of Jesus the Messiah of Israel.
Golden Text: “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word, and the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:38).
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Six months before the Jehovah God’s angel Gabriel came to visit Mary, he came to visit Zacharias, the priest, and inform him that his wife, Elizabeth, would bear a son who would be the forerunner of the Messiah of Jehovah. He would prepare the way for the people to receive Jesus the Christ (Greek term used for Hebrew term “Messiah”). Elizabeth was six months pregnant when Gabriel came to visit with Mary, a younger cousin of Elizabeth.
Remember the setting. Mary was engaged to a carpenter named Joseph (1:27). She was not yet married. Gabriel came to tell her that she was going to be pregnant with a baby named Jesus, Who is the very Son of God (1:32). The father would be God the Holy Spirit (1:35). He further told her that her cousin Elizabeth was already pregnant.
The penalty for a young unmarried woman who became pregnant was stoning, according to the law of Moses. For Mary to be made pregnant and unmarried was a terrible disgrace to Mary and her family. Also, what might Joseph think and do?
He was a righteous man and would not want to marry a “loose” woman who was carrying an illegitimate baby. This placed Mary in a very difficult place with the people around her. However, for Mary the will of Jehovah God was the supreme desire of her heart and will. It mattered not if men thought her disgraced if Jehovah was pleased with her. There is plenty of room in our society for young women with such devotion to God!
I. The angel Gabriel was a messenger direct from Jehovah God to Mary (Luke 1:26-27). She was a descendant of King David, the beloved king of Israel (vs. 27). She was a virgin (vs. 27). She was engaged to Joseph the carpenter (vs. 27). She lived in Nazareth (vs. 26). Jehovah sent. The angel obeyed and went. What sort of response would a young woman like Mary have?
II. Gabriel’s message to Mary (Luke 1:28-38). First, she is to be pregnant with a boy baby. She is to name Jesus. He is the Son of the most high God (Jehovah). Jesus will sit as king of Israel upon the throne of David (indicates the answer to prophecies from the Old Testament).
Mary’s first response was that she had not had sex with any man, she is a virgin (vs. 34).
Gabriel’s answer is that the Holy Spirit will impregnate her (vs. 35). The Child will be the Son of God. The last thing Gabriel told her was that Elizabeth was six months pregnant (vs. 36-37).
Mary’s response is humbling to all of us. She is ready to suffer whatever may come to her because she doing the will of God and has an active part of His plan. This is the most important thing a person could ever do!
III. Mary’s song expresses her devotion to doing the will of God (Luke 1:39-56). She, from her inmost being, “magnifies the Lord” (vs. 46). She, in all that she is, in all her character, her being, is rejoicing in God because He is her Savior (vs. 47). She is excited that He has chosen her to be a part of His plan in sending the Messiah, the Deliverer, The Savior, The King into this world.
All this is bigger, and greater, and more important than any other event that has ever taken place among men! God was taking on human flesh, Mary’s human flesh! What blessing He gives!
What power He is able to exert! What strength He has manifested among men! Yet, He remembers mercy to needy men! Mary is excited with an holy excitement that we would be well to imitate.
God wants each of us to be a part of His divine plan. The first step is faith in Jesus Christ. May we each have the same grateful and submissive attitude as Mary. Amen!