I. Amazing Timing (A Prediction)
Gabriel is making the announcement regarding Jesus’ conception and birth BEFORE it happens. This is the last in a long line of predictions of the coming Messiah. Beginning in Genesis 3:15, where strikingly God declares that One will crush the serpent’s head, the offspring of the woman! Then the prophecies roll on from there—from Abraham’s offspring in whom all the families of the earth will be blessed, to Isaac, to Jacob, to Judah, to David, and even Isaiah’s prophecies in Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6.
There are others that God calls by name before they are even born, but none are as prominent as Jesus Christ. He is the Central Person in both the Old and New Testaments! He is the Central Person in all human history!
Is He central in your life?
II. Amazing Grace (26-30)
The angel Gabriel (Hero of God) was sent from God. He was the same angel that announced to Zacharias that he would have son named John, even though his wife Elizabeth was barren and beyond child-bearing years.
God initiates the action of the redemption story—if He did not reveal Himself, if He did not intervene, man would have no chance.
Those who adopt an atheistic or agnostic view of God’s existence must first reject the myriad times God has spoken to man throughout human history.
She was the favored one which is the verb form of the word grace. She had received grace from God as a believer and as the one chosen to give birth to the Messiah, the God-man Savior. This does not mean though that she is one who dispenses grace any more than any other believer who receives grace then shows it toward others.
She is told that the Lord is with her. She will especially need to be assured of this reality in what she is about to be tasked to do. Remember, this same statement was made to Gideon (Judges 6:12) to prepare him for the challenging task that lay ahead of him. Even Jesus’ name, Emmanuel which means “With us, God” is a reassurance of the fact that God would be with her! She has no need to be afraid because she has found favor with God.
An angelic appearance is overwhelming, heightening our sense of weakness in the presence of the spirit world. To know we God’s grace is directed toward us drives away fear.
This is the way that God shows grace to us as well! We have salvation by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). You never earned it!
III. Amazing Person (31-33)
He is the only one every born of a virgin! His name is Jesus, which means Yahweh saves, for he shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1). He is called great, which is in contrast to the plain setting of Nazareth and a humble, common home. He is the Son of the Most High! This is language used especially in contexts of God’s superiority to pagan deities that are no-gods (Psalm 2, in which God the Father establishes His Son in Zion as the everlasting King).
He is the One who will sit on the throne of his father David (v. 27—of the house of David; 2 Samuel 7:12-13). His reign will be forever, as promised in Isaiah 9:7, and in Daniel 7:14. There is no one else like Jesus! There is no salvation in any other (Acts 4:12; John 14:6).
Have you come to grips with how important Jesus Christ is? Paul counted everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ (Philippians 3:8; Colossians 1:15-20; Philippians 2:9-11).
IV. Amazing Power (34-37)
How? Mary was a virgin, not just an unmarried woman, but a woman who has never had relations with a man. She was told that the Holy Spirit will come upon her, this is the same language used of the creation narrative in Genesis 1. Jesus is the second Adam.
Is virgin birth any more miraculous than the creation of a living human being out of dirt and rib?
Is it any more miraculous than a barren woman bearing a child?—Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist; Sarah, mother of Isaac
This Child will be holy which we all know is unlike all other child born to the sinful race of Adam.
Miracles are God’s stock and trade. A barren woman bearing a child or a virgin bearing a son are no problem to the God who created everything out of nothing by speaking them into existence.
God used similar language with Abraham regarding the promised birth of Isaac! Is anything too hard for God! A year later the answer came back with laughter, No! Meet my newborn son Isaac—Laughter! Abraham laughed at the idea, but believed. Sarah laughed at first in unbelief. Both laughed with joy at God’s promise fulfilled.
If you strip the Bible of what only God can do, you have gutted it of its main theme—God’s rescue of a lost humanity.
Christianity is fundamentally not about what man does and can do, but about humanly impossible things that God has done. That’s what makes the Good News—Good! No one needs saving that can save himself. If the Christian faith rises no higher than human responsibility and ability, then it offers no hope to us whatsoever.
Amazing Power is intrinsic to the whole redemption history culminating in Jesus Christ. His birth was miraculous. His work on the cross was miraculous. He saves sinners from sin and from death and from God’s wrath. He transforms them from the inside out through the work of the Holy Spirit.
He gives them eternal life.
These are not natural things, these are supernatural. It is not what man can do, but rather what God can do!
How do we/should we respond to all this? We respond like Mary did, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
We, like Mary, should completely trust and submit to our God’s plan, whatever the cost. For Mary, it would mean shame, humiliation among those who did not believe. It would mean sorrow—like a great sword piercing her heart—as Jesus fulfilled His mission to die on the cross.
For us, it means letting go of our self-directed lives and self-righteous self-deception and placing our trust in a Savior amazing enough actually to rescue us from our sin and death, One worthy of our devotion and obedience, worth living and even dying for.