Jesus: The Reason for the Season
What Did Mary Know?
Hey Theophilus--“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to NAZARETH, a town in Galilee.” (Lk. 1:26)
“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (Philip; John 1:46)
“He was despised and held in low esteem.” (Is. 53:3)
Into a place of cultural and social outcasts (Nazareth), and a time of inconvenienced, angry people (controlled, taxed—first census registration [Lk. 2:2]), God stepped into history—into a particular context to strengthen a particular message—GOD IS GOOD and GOD IS SOVEREIGN.
There was this quiet young virgin maiden from Nazareth preparing to live out her life in obscurity… her life was about to change!
What Mary Knew…the three miracles of Christmas (outline idea from Saint Bernard of Clairvaux 1090-1153)
1. That God and man should be joined in the Christ-child,
2. That mother should remain a virgin throughout the birth,
3. That Mary should have such faith as to believe that this mystery would be accomplished in her.
1. The Unthinkable—THE INCARNATION
Great! Holy! Reign!...Son of the Most High! Son of God!
It’s time for the promise of Gen. 3:15 to be fulfilled – “enmity between your (serpent) seed (zera) and HER zera! HE (from her zera) will crush your head (serpent/ Satan)”
Unthinkable to the Jewish monotheists
Unacceptable to the Gentile world
Dismissed by the modern world
The Jesus of a normal human birth is not the one who can save—an imperfectly human Jesus could only die for his own sins (Matt. 1:21)
2. The Unimaginable—THE VIRGIN BIRTH
“the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (1:35)
"The virgin birth is posted on guard at the door of the mystery of Christmas; and none of us must think of hurrying past it. It stands on the threshold of the New Testament, blatantly supernatural, defying our rationalism, informing us that all that follows belongs to the same order as itself and that if we find it offensive there is no point in proceeding further." - Donald Macleod
Is it necessary to believe? If the virgin birth isn’t true and God is not the Father of Jesus, then Jesus isn’t the only begotten Son of God!
Creator God made the universe out of nothing and the first Adam without a father or a mother. This same God was able to make the second Adam with a mother only and no human father.
3. The Unbelievable—HOW? I’M A VIRGIN—THE GRACE TO BELIEVE
“fides quarens intellectum” God graced her with faith, and awarded her faith, understanding…and gave her a sign to boot (1:35-37).
…AND a willingness to receive the immense hardships of God’s favour!--> “I am God’s servant . May it be as you have said (TOTALLY planned)”(1:38)
…BUT Mary did you know… that your faith (loyalty to God) would be required to be on high alert from that time on? … “and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (2:35)
- God is good
- God is sovereign
- Every child (yet to be born) deserves your maximum discipleship effort—single, married, parents alike.
CHRIST IS BORN IN YOU BY BELIEVING (1 Peter 1:23)
“Should Christ be born a thousand times anew,
Despair, O man, unless he’s born in you.”
(Angelus Selesius 1624-1677)