Dec 03, 2017 | Lee Becknell

UnExpected - Not Anticipated

Text: Luke 1:26-38

Just before Christmas, God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the evil that was going on.  He decided to send an angel down to Earth to check it out.  So He called one of His best angels and sent the angel to Earth for a time.  When she returned she told God, yes it is bad on Earth, 95% is bad and 5% is good.

Well, he thought for a moment and said, maybe I had better send down a second angel to get another point of view.  So God called another angel and sent her to Earth for a time too. When the angel returned she went to God and told him yes, the Earth was in decline, 95% was bad and 5% was good.

God said this was not good. So He decided to email the 5% that were good and He wanted to encourage them, give them a little something to help them keep going.

Do you know what that email said?

Oh...so you didn't get one either?

Title: UnExpected: Not Anticipated

Theme: “How many young Jewish girls dreamed of being the mother of the King of kings? Like Mary, they probably thought of an earthly king. A great surprise was waiting for Mary. Many times, we don’t understand everything about God. God chose Mary to be a part of impossible things. Do you desire such a relationship?”

* There are a few people in the Bible whose births were announced prior to their conception. In the Old Testament, we have Isaac, Samson, and Samuel. In the New Testament we have John the Baptist and, of course, Jesus.

* The Gospel of Luke commences with the end of 400 years in which the voice of prophets had not been heard in Israel. Now God was about to break that silence.

* The angel Gabriel is a messenger who was entrusted to deliver several important messages on God’s behalf. Gabriel appears to at least three people in the Bible: first to the prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:16); next to the priest Zechariah to foretell and announce the miraculous birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:19); and finally to the virgin Mary to tell her that she would conceive and bear a son (Luke 1:26–38).

* Gabriel’s name means “God is great,” and, as the angel of the annunciation, he is the one who revealed that the Savior was to be called “Jesus” (Luke 1:31).

How do angels greet each other? They say, "Halo.!"

* This morning, I would like to share with you the following lessons from this text:

  1. Its Unexpected, to find out what God thinks about us.

Luke 1:26-30, “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.

* Twice the angel Gabriel shares with Mary what God thinks about her. “You are highly favored and the Lord is with you.”

* I don’t know about you but there are some days I wonder what the Lord thinks about me and other days I’m afraid to find out.

* For most of us, we will have to wait until we meet the Lord in heaven to get this type of information.

* I’m sure she was surprised and greatly relieved to hear what Gabriel had to say about her. It was just all the other stuff that threw her off.

* Have you ever stopped to ask, “What does God think about me? Who does he say that I am?”

* Here are just a few verses that come to my mind concerning this subject. Listen to the word of God!

* I am the Creator and you are my creation. I breathed into your nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). I created you in my own image (Genesis 1:27).

* My eyes saw your unformed substance (Psalm 139:16). I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

* I know the number of hairs on your head Matthew 10:30; and before a word is on your tongue, I know it Psalm 139:4).

* You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

You are more valuable than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31).

* By giving herself to God as a maidservant, she is placing herself in the household of God, and removing herself from the household of her father and that of Joseph (Green 1997:92).

Luke 1:38, “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

* She leaves the issue with God, and submits entirely to his will.

* She has the presence of God with her: "The Lord is with thee (verse28b).

* Reminds me of the angel that spoke to Gideon (Judges 6:12). The angel with this word raised the faith of Gideon: The Lord is with thee.

Nothing should bring us to despair; no act of service should be too great, if we have God with us.

  1. It’s Unexpected, that her son Jesus would be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:35, “The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

* The child she shall conceive will be holy, and therefore must not be conceived by ordinary generation, because he must not share in the common corruption and pollution of the human nature.

* He shall be called the Son of God, as the Son of the Father by eternal generation, as an indication of which he shall now be formed by the Holy Ghost in the present conception. His human nature must be taken into union with the divine nature.

* Isaiah 4:14, was originally not taken as a Messianic prophecy. At the time, the Jewish people thought it was speaking about Isaiah. That he would have a son before the two countries that were enemies of Israel would be destroyed.

* When Matthew connect this text we today accept it as a prophecy. This makes it much easier to understand Mary’s confusion. She just want to be the mother of an earthly king. What a big surprise God had for her.

Isaiah 4:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.”

* Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” (NASB) Matt. 1:22-23

* The angel also tells Mary that her son will be Holy and will be called the Son of God, which is Messianic terminology (cf. vv. 32; 3:38; Green 1997:89; Bock 1994:123-125). “She certainly is not portrayed as perceiving an announcement of a divine child here” (Bock 1994:125).

  1. It’s Unexpected, the Son of God will rule over the entire Universe.

Luke 1:31-33, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

* This was unexpected. They were looking for an earthly kingdom. Matthew 13, Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God.

[1.] That his kingdom shall be spiritual: he shall reign over the house of Jacob, not Israel according to the flesh, it must therefore be a spiritual kingdom.

[2.] It shall be eternal: he shall reign forever, and of his kingdom, there shall be no end, as there had been long since of the temporal reign of David's house, and would shortly be of the state of Israel.

* Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua. When Hellenistic Jews read their Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, the books would read “Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Jesus, and Judges. Throughout the narrative concerning Joshua, the Greek reader would read Jesus.” …Thus for the Greek the successor of Moses is Jesus.

* Of course, Hebrew readers would not read “Jesus” but “Joshua.” So also, when they spoke of Jesus of Nazareth, they would have called him “Joshua of Nazareth.” The naming of Jesus implies that He will be a militaristic leader. The following words of Gabriel the war angel, only seem to confirm this.

  1. Its Unexpected, nothing is impossible with God.

Luke 1:37, “For no word from God will ever fail.”

* My Bible says, “For nothing is impossible with God.”

* The message of Gabriel to Mary about Jesus is one of redemption and restoration. The words spoken by Gabriel clearly echo the promises of the Davidic Covenant in 2 Samuel 7:9-16 (Ford 1984:17). The implication in all that Gabriel says is that Jesus (Joshua) has come to take back the throne of David from the usurpers.

* To rule forever the world has to be made right. Sin came and change it. It was no longer, what God had originally created.

* Jesus will deal with the elephant in the room. Sin must be paid for before the Kingdom of God can arrive.

Luke 1:33. The reign of Jesus would not be temporary, but He He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom, there will be no end. 

* This speaks of the restoration of Israel to her rightful place among the nations as Jesus rules from Jerusalem, and reminds the readers again of the prophecy spoken by Gabriel to Daniel hundreds of years earlier (Dan 7:27).

* Luke 1:35 -The angel provides her with an explanation, namely, that her conception will be a miracle wrought by the Holy Spirit. The angel’s terminology that the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you does not suggest sexual activity (Green 1997:90; Bock 1994:122), but indicates that God’s glorious presence will take the place of a husband for Mary in empowering and protecting her (Malina 2003:228; Bock 1994:122).

Luke 18:27 But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

A Quilt of holes: As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls...Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was.. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares.. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me,and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me. And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.  

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes.

He said, 'Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you...'

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

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