She is Chosen
Last week of our series the long expected Jesus…
Pregnancy Test, don’t spend a lot Jif Heinz no grades pass/fail 88 cents
When we talk this morning about Mary the Mother of Jesus, she faced the ultimate pregnancy test if you will...
Saying yes to a teenage pregnancy in a strict Jewish home in the second century would have meant more than a few glances and gossiped words. It could have very well meant her life. She would have known this too – that the consequences for adultery were stoning and that no one would believe the explanation, “The Holy Spirit gave me this child.” At best, they would think she was crazy, which would give her the label of unclean in addition to her status as adulteress. She knew adulteress would become her label as soon as the angel spoke the life-changing words to her. She knew that her fiancé would probably not believe her. She knew that this path would be an uphill climb from day one. And let’s be real if it would have happened in 2023 we would have shamed her out of the church...
Yet, despite the difficult road, despite her very life being on the line – she was still chosen to bear the Son of God, and she still said yes.
Text: Luke 1:26-38
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 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; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." 34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel answered 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. 36 "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. 37 "For nothing will be impossible with God." 38 And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
PRAYER – Let’s talk about Mary a little bit this morning and the lessons we might learn from her situation and her response.
1. Mary expected the Messiah, But Not Through Her
Mary’s very name indicates that she grew up in a religious household and was named for Miriam the prophetess. So she would have known the stories and the prophetic passages about the coming of Jesus, but in a moment with an angel, the stories she had learned in her youth and her day-to-day existence came crashing together. I think too often we immortalize biblical characters forgetting that they were ordinary human beings just like you and me. I wonder how we would react if met face to face with an angel? What if God appeared in our lives and asked us if we were willing to pay the price of the faith that we claim to have? All of society, her church, her family, and even her own husband would disown her and she would have essentially been reduced to the status of a prostitute. But you might note this today, If you truly get a Word from God, God’s plans very rarely involve only 1 person, and the same plan that she would hear, would also be spoken into other’s lives as well.
Too many times I believe we live a life that would vote for Jesus but aren’t willing campaign for Him. We could mark a box saying that we want to be on His team, but we aren’t going to wear his jersey. Mary was going to be more than willing to jump on the Jesus train when it came to town, but she never imagined she would be the one bringing Him into this world. Church, how often do we quietly stand by and appreciate or allow the work of God without being willing to jump in and be an active participant in the work because of the potential expense of how other’s might view us or what it may cost us personally.
2. Mary may have wondered about why she was chosen, but she was still chosen.
It goes without saying that if anyone of us was called to give birth as a virgin that would already seem like a little too much, but even after Mary would have processed the radicalness of that thought, she still posed the question, who am I? When it comes to Mary we know her name was incredibly common for Jewish girls, and Her family doesn’t seem to be even worth noting in the text. Nothing we are told about her implies there was anything extraordinary about her at all. And yet, she was chosen – in spite of being ordinary. 1 Corinthians 1:27 tells us that God uses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise, and the weak to shame the strong. Throughout scripture and human experience, we see God work through the small and the weak. The less qualified you believe yourself to be, the more God sees you as a candidate to accomplish His work. God isn’t a talent-agent, He’s a faithfulness agent. REPEAT Our God is constantly about rewarding, promoting, and elevating those who are faithful to the things that He has called them to both big and small. The Angel told Mary that she had found favor with God. Though she was young, God knew her heart, her actions, and observed her faithfulness. Last night before I went to sleep 7-year-old ben came in my room, and said Dad I want to get baptized, Allison went and tucked him in and he said I want to be baptized, Ben woke up this morning and said dad I want to get baptized because I want to show God I love Him. He said I can’t get it out of my brain. Now just a disclaimed here for you, from this point on I don’t want you to judge the pastor on how long before Ben gets baptized, as you know we as parents work through those discussions with our children with discernment. But Jewish culture there was one God and his name is Jehovah. See in my my house Ben doesn’t know buddah, muhammed, or Krishna, or any other that have succumbed to death, he knows Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I’ve heard parents talking about not brainwashing their children with Christianity, am I brainwashing dont play in traffic, dint touch the hot stove, im going to do everything in my power to connect people to the absolute truth of the gospel message because it is the power of Christ that brings salvation and not through any other………...now I know the Holy Spirit is speaking to Ben, but as I age maybe a little part of my says does my baby boy know what’s going on? To which God simply replied, I put my only son in the womb of a 14 year old girl.... What are you NOT believing that God can do today? (DID YOU HEAR HOW I PHRASED THAT, REPEAT) If God has called you to something today, and I’m sure that He has, you might underestimate your ability, but you cannot underestimate HIS ability to reward your faithfulness when you answer. REPEAT? So what are we called to? Well at least at a very high level…
3. We are also chosen to bear the Son of God to the world.
a. Not in the physical, giving-birth sense but in the ways we interact with others. We show others Jesus when we show compassion, grace, and love to the world around us.
b. We are chosen – not because we are extraordinary but, in spite of our shortcomings and imperfections, we are the beloved of God. I do not think this gives us an excuse to not be educated or not make the most of the opportunities that we have, but instead we are to keep the proper perspective that the loving plans that God has for our life will always exceed the things that we can accomplish in our own power.
c. The task of discipleship for us comes at a cost as well. It may not mean stoning or death, but it could lose us friends and loved ones. Yet we are called to be faithful. We are going to talk more about discipleship in the days ahead, but for today when was the last time you considered the cost of following Christ? While I do not believe that God’s will for you is to be miserable, I wonder how many times we reduce the call to convenience. To say that we are called to Christ, is to in the same breath say we are called to the cross.
If this morning you continue to question what He has for you, if you wonder how you are going to make that step, or keep forging forward on that journey, remember the words that the angel spoke to Mary when Mary questioned the call that was upon her life. Verse 35 of our text today says
35 The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
Christian today if you make that step, if you answer that call, if you keep on fighting, if you will hear the word of the Lord, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
We can question our call, but the call does not change. Moses questioned God as He spoke from a burning bush, Yet He would lead the Israelites to freedom. The call did not change. Gideon tested God not believing that he was worth being used as a commander in the army of God, Yet God used him to defeat the midianites when the Israelites were outnumbered by over 100,000 soldiers, the call did not change. Jonah completely ignored God and ran the other way, he tried to kill himself, and found God will still not let him escape the call to lead the wicked city of Nineveh to repentance. The call did not change. Maybe you struggle with others questioning your call. They laughed at Noah’s boat, but the call did not change. They said David was too small and Goliath would not fall, but the call did not change. Peter denied, Thomas doubted, the disciples scattered, but the call did not change. (SLOW DOWN) Your marriage might be on the rocks, the finances might seem shaky, you may have fallen back into that sin.... BUT YOUR CALL DID NOT CHANGE.
Would you stand with me this morning church? We don’t want to miss call to salvation, Mary jesus born in her us as well, john3 born of spirit, john also asked how can this be and the response was john3 16… beyond that If God has called you, and He’s called us all to something, and waits to call many of you deeper… If God has called you, the call has not changed. Here’s the prayer this morning. You ask the question Lord How can this be, and the reply from the angel stands. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; Quit trying to accomplish HIS work in YOUR power (Repeat) God size dreams, plans, missions and visions take the power of the Holy Spirit in you. Don’t miss it today, PRAY
Is God asking you to do anything greater today than claim pregnancy by the Holy Spirit? Probably not, but will we accept the challenge to allow His Holy Spirit to be born in us in a way, that on a daily and consistent basis, others will see the Spirit of Christ coming forth from us in the way that we live? Would we too be able to respond as Mary did as she said I am the slave of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your Word.
carolyns text wouldnt dare say her age but she did just retire