Dec 06, 2020 | Lee Becknell

Do you hear what I hear?

    Text: Luke 1:39-45

    You may have heard this story before. A chauffeur had been driving a chemistry professor to dozens of speaking engagements. He’d heard the same speech time and time again. Finally, he said to the professor as they were driving to the next engagement, "Professor, I reckon I could give your speech myself, I’ve heard it so many times!" The professor said, "I’ll bet you $50 you can’t." "You’re on," said the chauffeur. He stopped the car and the two exchanged clothes. They arrived at the banquet. The chauffeur, dressed in a tuxedo, sat at the head of the table and was introduced. He stood up and gave the speech verbatim. There was a standing ovation when he was finished. Then the MC got up and said, "You know, we’re so fortunate to have such a fine resource with us tonight, and since we have a little extra time, let’s have some questions and answers. Well, the first question was asked and the chauffeur stood there speechless. Finally, he said, "You know, as I think about it, I reckon that’s such an easy question I bet even my chauffeur could answer it."

    * The mistake the chauffeur made, of course, was to think that because he’d heard the story so many times before, he knew everything there was to know about it. In fact, that’s a mistake lots of people make about the Christmas story. We’ve all heard it so many times before that there’s nothing new here anymore.

    * Yet I wonder whether that’s actually true. I wonder whether each time we here the story it shouldn’t shake us up, again. Why? Well, because it’s actually full of the unexpected.

    Title: “Do you hear what I hear?”

    Theme: “In this text of Scripture, we have an amazing event taking place.  The meeting of two new mother’s to be. This is more than a meeting to speak to each other about babies kicking and moving about.  It’s more than a meeting to discuss the issues of pregnancy.  It is an amazing prophetic, Holy Spirit empowered declaration that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.”

    * There hasn't been a miracle in over 400 years; there hasn't been a series of miracles in at least 500 years. Nobody has heard from an angel or even from God in well over 400 years. Miracles didn't happen. God doesn't speak any more. Angels didn't show up any more.

    * Beloved, we live in a world where God has been silent for many years. The time is coming for God to reveal Himself once again.

    * This morning, I would like to share with you the following lessons.

    1. God expects us to act on what we have been told.

    Luke 1:39-40, “In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.”

    * How long does it normally take before you follow God’s Word and do what He has for you to do?  Do you wait?  Do you hesitate?

    * Mary had a very strong and unwavering faith, one that believed God no matter what. The angel Gabriel had told Mary about her Cousin Elizabeth’s supernatural pregnancy and Mary went with haste to see this great miracle for herself.

    Luke 1:36, “And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

    * Can you think of another example in the Book of Luke where this same phrase is used?

    Luke 2:16, “And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.

    * For both Mary and the Shepherds, their going with haste to see what was told to them was not with the attitude of, well, I don’t know if the angel can be trusted so I’d better go and see for myself. No!  It is the attitude that, this is too great a miracle not to see and stand in awe of, I have to go.

    * One ancient version (Ethiopic) says that Mary left that same day.  But we’re not told for sure but it would stand to reason and it would coincide with the haste of the shepherds going that very night.

    * We’re told Mary went to find Elizabeth.  She traveled about 100 miles south to the hill country of Judah.  This would be about a five-day journey.  This would also be an amazing trip for a young girl of 13-14 years of age. So sometime between the angel’s announcement and Mary arriving at Elizabeth’s house she was, in fact, with child by the Holy Spirit.

    * The Bible is full of verses about people who hear but do not hear or act.

    Matthew 13:15, “For the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.’

    Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

    1. When we truly hear God we will find ourselves in a Spirit Filled moment.

    Luke 1:40-44, “and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

    * Beloved, I want you to see that the Holy Spirit communicates things to Elizabeth she would never have known. Verse 42!

    Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

    Acts 7:55, “But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”

    Romans 8:26-27, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

    * Christian, the one thing that kills the power of the Holy Spirit is sin.  Notice the word ‘he’ in verse 27.  It is not capitalized so it does not mean God but us.  We need to learn the art of searching the hearts of others.  This is a spiritual gift that goes hand in hand with the power of the Holy Spirit.

    * In this meeting, or as it’s been called by the church through the centuries, ‘The Visitation’, we see the meeting of the Old Testament with the New Testament.  This meeting is a providential coming together.  Their meeting is a God ordained meeting.  The angel practically extends the invitation for Mary to go see Elizabeth. 

    * The Bible tells us that the baby leaped in her womb.  skirta,w skirtao {skeer-tah’-o} Leaped for joy.  This was a Holy Spirit moment in the lives of these women and their babies. This leaping is a prophetic leaping.  It is something that God’s people had been waiting on for centuries. The first meeting of Jesus and John the Baptist.

    1. Blessed are those who believe what they have heard from God.

    Luke 1:45, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

    * I am always looking for blessings.  I need them like I need food.  I encourage you to be actively looking for blessings you can apply to your life. 

    * Here we learn a valuable lesson.  Under the power of the Holy Spirit Elizabeth lays out a wonderful spiritual true. Those who believe in the things revealed to them by God will be blessed.

    * No question, no doubt.  God’s says it is so.

    John 20:28-29, “Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

    * I must remind you that we all can use some strengthen of our faith.

    Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

    Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

    * Edward Kimball an ordinary Christian who taught Sunday school in his church and made a living down at the shoe store. One day Edward determined that he was going to look for an opportunity to explain the gospel to a salesman named Dwight, who had just joined the staff. Finally, Edward mustered up his courage and launched into the story of Jesus birth, death, and resurrection. That day Dwight gave his life to Christ. Dwight is better known as D.L. Moody, who went on to become one of the greatest evangelists of the late 19th century. The story doesn’t stop there. One day Moody was preaching, and a pastor named FB Meyer was listening. He was deeply stirred and went on to establish a nationwide preaching ministry. Later, while Meyer was preaching, a young man in the audience named Wilbur Chapman accepted Christ. Chapman later felt the call to evangelism. As he was proclaiming the gospel in various places, he decided he needed some help. He knew a young former baseball player named Billy Sunday, who was looking for a job, and Chapman hired him. Billy asked him if he could preach every now and then. Billy Sunday ultimately emerged as the greatest preacher of the early 1900’s. One day Billy Sunday was preaching in Charlotte, North Carolina, where a great movement of God was taking place. Many people believed. These new believers then invited a relatively unknown preacher, Mordecai Ham, to set up his tent in Charlotte and keep preaching. It was at this time that a tall, lanky farm boy walked down the aisle and gave his life to Jesus. That farm boy had only turned up to hear Mordecai Ham because a friend of his, no one special, a farm hand called Albert McMakin, invited him to come. Albert invited several friends, and at first while others said yes, this particular farm boy said no. Until Albert said he could drive the truck going there. And so Billy Graham heard Mordecai Ham’s sermon and ended up walking down the aisle to give his life to Jesus. Now there are famous people in this story - DL Moody, FB Meyer, Billy Sunday, Mordecai Ham. They led thousands of people to Jesus. Billy Graham led millions of people to Jesus.

    * But this story isn’t just about people like them, it’s about people like you. The Mary’s of this world. The ordinary people of this world. People are still hearing the call!

     

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