Mary Praises the Covenant-Keeping God
Luke 1:26-38; 46-55
Luke is one of the four Gospels.
Each of the Four Gospels focus on certain aspects of Christ … Luke - “the Son of man” … Mark – the suffering servant … John – the “Son of God” and Matthew – Jesus, the King.
Written by Luke between 65 – 75 AD, the Gospel was written to a Grecian believer named Theophilus.
The Gospel of Luke was not written as a personal account but an evidentiary record; facts gathered from those who were eyewitnesses then set forth in the document known as the Gospel of Luke (See Luke 1:1-4). Luke contains more parables than the other Gospels.
Luke was not one of the disciples, and is widely considered to have been a Gentile.
He was a companion of the Apostle Paul during his missionary journeys.
Luke also wrote the Book of Acts.
Luke was called “the beloved physician,” by Paul in Colossians 4:14.
Luke records the teachings and events of Jesus Christ from birth to His ascension
What might we learn from this story about Mary? (Faith, commitment, surrender, celebration … how to respond to God’s call when we don’t understand).
Mary submits to God’s difficult plan for her life (Luke 1:26-38).
Gabriel, one of only three angels named in Scripture (also Lucifer and Michael). Angel comes from the Greek word, “angelos” which means, messenger. Angels were often messengers delivering a message from God or about God.
Mary, “a virgin,” was engaged to Joseph (binding commitment to marriage), however, the marriage had not been consummated. Sometimes the engagement period could be months, even years, in the case where the parents prearranged the marriage.
“Joseph … the house of David” – Since most genealogies are traced through the father, Luke presents Joseph’s lineage as evidence to the fulfillment of the promise of God to David that the Messiah, the future King, would be his descendant. Luke, in chapter three traces the lineage of Jesus from “Heli” the father of Mary, to David.
Mary was “favored” not because she deserved God’s blessing, but because God chose to bestow “favor” … grace.
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.” – Gabriel announces a miraculous birth that will result in God’s redemptive purpose through the Messiah (Jesus – Yeshua … Savior).
“son of the most High” speaks to His Divine nature, while “his father David,” speak of His human nature … the confluence of two natures; 100% God 100% man.
“How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” – This is an important question and statement because there are those who say that the word virgin simply refers to a young maiden. Mary makes it clear she had never experienced a sexual relationship with Joseph.
Mary’s response (even though she did not understand) was on of complete surrender, “may it be done unto me according to your word.”
Mary’s identity – “the Lord’s servant.”
Christianity, following Jesus, is not about what I get, but what I give. It is not always going to be easy.
Faith is rarely easy, and faithfulness often comes at a personal cost.
OURS IS NOT TO QUESTION THE CALL OR EVEN SEEK CLARITY BUT TO COMMIT OURSELVES TO THE CALL
Mary magnifies God for His goodness and mercy (Luke 1:46-50).
“praises” is present tense and speaks to on-going praise. God’s praise should characterize our daily lives, when things are good and things are difficult…. Not just a Sunday morning experience!!!
Mary’s praise is founded on three things:
God’s greatness – “the greatness of the Lord” … probably a reference to the miraculous power of God to accomplish what He said He will do.
God’s goodness - “has looked with favor …. Has done great things for me”
God’s grace – “His mercy is from generation to generation”
Mary trusts God to keep His promises to His people (Luke 1:51-55).
Mary celebrates through song the great reversal of God; God choosing to bless the hopeless and those of low degree …
Mary looks back into history and remembers how God did for Abraham what Abraham could not do for himself by giving to Abraham and Sarah a natural born son …
Jesus coming was not for those who thought themselves “well,” but for those who viewed their lives as “sick.”
Jesus denies the proud (self-sufficient) and exalts the humble (those who realize their need).
The challenge in this section is to recognize our human frailties and weakness, and lean on the strength and sufficiency of the Lord … allow God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
Theological Theme: Jesus had both a human nature and a Divine nature; He was 100% God while 100% man.
Christological Theme: The confluence of Christ’s two natures was necessary for man’s redemption. Jesus as God was the perfect sacrifice for sinful man. Jesus, as man, could die for the sins of man.
Missional Theme: Let others see and hear our praise for God during the difficult times in order to witness the glory and grace of God