The breath of Life that changed the World
Mary and Gabriel the messenger(angelos)
George Methodist Church
Sunday 5th December 2020
8am and 10am
I am sure that one of the words in life that we often long for is fulfilment. It describes so many things. Feeling like you have accomplished something after setting a goal or it may be dream that you had which has been fulfilled or it can also describe a call on your life that needs to be fulfilled.
In the case of Mary the mother of Jesus it was a scary moment of a crazy encounter with the angel Gabriel and the call to fulfill the critical role of birthing the breath of Life that changed the world.
Mary and her background.
“Mary was actually called Miriam, after the sister of Moses.” Why do we call her Mary? Miriam is Hebrew, while Mary is a New Testament blend of two Greek names: Mariam and Maria. Both Miriam and Mary guarded God’s chosen leaders during infancy as worldly authorities sought to have them killed.Jesus’ mother was probably “born in Nazareth […] during the reign of Herod the Great.” That reign lasted from 37-4 BC. She “spoke Aramaic, with a Galilean accent (Matthew 26:73)” and also “had contact with a multilingual world” where soldiers spoke Latin, Greek was the language of business and education, and Hebrew was the language of Jewish religious life.
She was part of the peasantry, which included skilled tradespeople, but which faced “a triple tax burden: to Rome, to Herod the Great and to the temple.” Typical family homes consisted of “three or four houses of one or two rooms each […] built around an open courtyard, in which relatives shared an oven, a cistern and a millstone for grinding grain, and where domestic animals also lived.” Mary would have spent most of her time doing household work including strenuous physical chores.
Mary lived with Joseph, Jesus, and also “James and Joseph and Judas and Simon” plus sisters who were not named in the Bible (Mark 6:3).
Let’s explore the event :
- In the 6th month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.vs 26 and 27
I spoke about God’s timing last week and next week we will look at how the Lord orchestrated a perfect mentoring plan for Mary.
- Gabriel the angel or messenger – how many times have you found you have encountered a messenger who has spoken to you or steered you in the right direction. Dr Khoza Mgojo – never turn back
- Unmarried girl or virgin parthenos or a girl of marriageable age 13 up. Mary would have been married as early as 13 “in order to maximize childbearing and to guarantee virginity.” This is obviously a horrendous thought in our time,however,it was the norm in the time of Mary.
- Nazareth in upper Galilee on the outskirts of Israel and not in the spotlight. I love this that the Lord chooses his servant Mary in a town which means branch and Jesus grew up as the Branch of the Lord out of the root of Jesse in the town called “branch” !!!! Galilee also means revealed and it’s really profound that the Lord again would use this area to reveal Himself as the Messiah !!! Vs 26
- Engaged to Joseph – the challenge for Mary was that if she was found unfaithful to Joseph it was punishable by death and so to have this immaculate conception happening to her was a life threatening possibility for her!!! Joseph is a decendant of David.vs 27
- Gabriel visits Mary and at this point I want to share this encounter with you – video.
- Greetings -you are highly favoured – The Lord is with you !! Vs 28
- Mary is highly troubled and wondered about the greeting !!! Vs 29
- Do not be afraid vs 30 – you have found favour with God – this says so much about Mary this young girl.
- Vs 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Fulfilling ancient prophecy -The prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 foretold that a woman, such as Mary, would emerge one day to give birth to Israel’s wished-for child; their Savior: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
- Jesus vs 32 and 33 – great – the Son of the Most High – the throne of his father David – his kingdom will have no end – eternal. We need to know that the name Jesus or Yeshuah was a common name at the time and many would have called their children Jesus,however, this Jesus would be significantly different as He was and is the Saviour of the world. I often am concerned at how the name of Jesus is abused and elso find that many share His name so freely, but I wonder if they truly know Him as their Lord and Saviour?
- How will this be ? Vs 34 I think that any normal human being would ask this question especially in the light of what she was about to fulfil.
- The Holy Spirit is powerfully involved in the narrative of the birth of Christ and let us never forget that this is the breath – ruarch, pneuma of God. Conception definitely has to do with biology and physics, but immaculate conception is on a whole new level of fulfillment and trust in the plan of the Lord – how do you explain that one as a 13 year old ???? The Holy Spirit is always involved in birth and it’s up to us to acknowledge this. vs35
- Elizabeth your cousin is also going to have a child and she is in her 6 month. Here is a profound plan of the Lord setting up a mentor for Mary but also creating the fulfilment of prophetic word. When God has a plan he has thought of everything and although it may be difficult to understand at the best of times, he is in control !!! No word from the Lord will ever fail. Vs 36 and 37
1. When God calls us to fulfill His plan and purposes, how receptive are we ?
These words are so profound for me and hopefully for you today:
“I am the Lord’s servant – may your word to me be fulfilled.”
2. If we are to Fulfill God’s plans then we need to know that it is about obedience. Are we prepared to be obedient like Mary ?
3. Are we prepared to sacrifice our plans in order to fulfill God’s plans.
4. Do we trust God with the rest of the plan !!!