We come to Luke 1:26-38, the account of The Angel Gabriel, announcing to Mary that she will conceive in her womb, the long awaited Messiah. Let’s go back to where it actually began, approximately 4,000 years earlier. Genesis 1-3
God created MANKIND, (male &female) they were perfect in every way, innocent as to any moral or spiritual defect. He placed them in a garden designed to meet their every need. They had complete freedom to enjoy their lives, the creation, and fellowship with God.
There was only ONE RULE or COMMANDMENT from God they had to yield to. It had to do with fruit that grew on a specific tree of the garden. God called it, The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. He told them they could not eat of the fruit of that tree. If they did, they would die.
By way of Divine Revelation we know Satan interjected himself into the situation tempting Eve to do what God said not do. Eventually she yielded. We know that she gave it to Adam and he ate also. At that point their “spiritual-moral” eyes were opened and they knew they had become FALLEN, SINNERS.
New Testament Scripture reveals that the women sinned because she was deceived, the man sinned because he chose to rebel. It could be said that Eve was blinded by temptation, but Adam sinned with his eyes wide-open.
Death entered creation because of sin.
Spiritual Death: separation of the creature from the Creator.
Physical Death: (separation of soul-spirit from the physical body.
Sin and death spread to all humanity,because like our father and mother, we have all sinned and thus inherited the judgment of sin and death. God had no obligation to do anything to rectify the problem, but in LOVE and GRACE He chose to set in motion events that would lead to ONE who would become a SAVIOR – a DELIVIER from sin and death.
God gave this hope to the world through words spoken to Eve and Satan directly. Genesis 3:15
From there I take you approximately 2,000 years forward to Abraham. God chose him to be the conduit through which a new race would emerge, and from which the Messiah would come. Genesis 12:1-3
We move another 1,300 years to the time of the Prophet Isaiah. God used him to give many prophecies about the coming and work of The Messiah. One of those is Isaiah 9:6-7.
There are over 300 prophecies in Scripture that speak of The Messiah God would send to rescue sinners from the grip of spiritual death and to establish an everlasting kingdom where the redeemed would live with Him forever.
From here we move 700 years further and we find the weight of all those prophecies falling on the shoulders of a young Jewish girl called, Mary.
Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-38
Chronological – Geographical Context
Depending on how you look at things (young earth VS old earth) the event we’re looking at happened around 4,000 years from the fall in The Garden of Eden, and about 2,000 years from our present day.
Why is this important to know?
Pin pointing the event of today’s passage 4,000 years from the fall and 2,000 years from the present age, sets Israel in a time frame when Rome was ruling over the region.
· Augustus Caesar was Emperor (real person)
· Quirinius was Governor of Syria (real person)
· Herod The Great was King of Judea (real person)
GEOGRAPHY: Luke puts a pin in the map in the region of Galilee.
· Galilee is a region about 80 miles north of Jerusalem, south of Damascus and Beirut.
· Luke narrows the focus to a place called Nazareth.
NOTE: The English version of Luke’s gospel calls Nazareth a “CITY” of Galilee. The word Luke used “polis” simply means a place of populace. It is used to distinguish a place where people gather to live as opposed to a rural area.
· A point that argues for a smaller populace is that until 1962, Nazareth had not been found mentioned in any secular writing.
o So insignificant and small was Nazareth, that it took over 1,500 years to dig up anything outside of the Biblical record of its existence.
· Nazareth was set apart from Jewish life.
o Itwas not part of any trade route.
o Nota center of commerce, education, culture or religion.
o Itwas set in a region known as “Galilee of the Gentiles”. There were more gentiles in the area than Jews. Roman Soldiers, slaves, etc….
Tucked away in this no-place village, isa no-consequence man, engaged to a no-count little girl, and both are about to have their world turned inside out.
You may ask: why is this significant enough for you to spend 15 minutes telling us about it? It should be self-evident, yet it’s not because we don’t slow down long enough to take in what’s going on.
1st: Consider WHO is driving this story line… God.
2nd: Consider WHO is being interjected into this environment… The 2nd Person of The Trinity, God’s only Son.
3rd: Why would God, choose to send His Son into such a setting when the world is filled with so many better choices?
80 miles down the road is the capital is Jerusalem.
The GLEEMING, Temple of Yahweh is there.
The High Priest, Caliphs is there, he has a daughter. Why Mary and not her?
Yet, God who can do whatever He wants, chooses to bypass the best man has to offer to send His Angel to the least likely candidate imaginable.
I’m transported 30 years further. Mary’s baby is born, has become a man, and He is setting in the Synagogue in the village of Nazareth on the Sabbath day. He stands up to read.They hand Him the Scroll of Isaiah The Prophet. He unrolls the scroll to what has become known as Chapter 61:1-2, He reads:
The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,To preach deliverance to the captives and recover of sight to the blind,To set at liberty those who are oppressed,To preach the acceptable year of the LORD. Luke 4:18-19
Truth Point: God’s redemptive plan, created before the world began,carried out by real people in real time, remained consistent in its unfolding, with its intended purpose throughout the ages.
It is not for the self-assured, self-righteous,self-made men and women, but for those who have no hope,no way, no plan, who to the world are, insignificant.
Mary was the perfect person to bring The Messiah into the world because in her very being she embodied all of the weakness, insignificance and neediness Jesus was coming to address.
Are you the perfect person to receive what Jesus offers?
How do you see yourself?
· spiritually hopeless?
· morally helpless?
· irreparably damaged because of sin?
If yes, you are the perfect person to receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
The Mission Church is committed to serving God by making disciples in the Des Moines area.
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