Mary, the mother of Jesus (a sermon by Toby Miller)
OPEN: One this day (Mother’s Day), I thought I would utilize the opportunity to talk about the Mother of Jesus, and why God chose this particular young lady to be the Mother of our Lord. Our text will be Lk 1:26-38.
A. I find it interesting that God went to a little town call Nazareth (a town that did not have a very good reputation (Jn 1:46), and went to a humble household and confronted a young lady, who was probably barely a teenager, and choose her to be the mother of Jesus.
1. Two times in our text, the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was highly favored by God. I wonder WHY … what was there about Mary that caused God to choose her to be the mother of His only Son?
2. We are not told specifically, but as I studied and reflected on this, I came to a couple of conclusions.
B. Even at her young age, Mary must have already demonstrated great, faithful commitment toward God.
1. We might think that being the mother of Jesus would be a relative easy task … but that isn’t so.
2. She had to have been someone whom God knew would be “up to the challenge” of being the mother of the single most important individual that would ever be born.
When Gabriel confronted Mary, she was “greatly troubled” (vs 29).
A. She was no doubt a little on edge having an Angel of the Lord verbally speak to her … plus, the message the Angel gave her was also very troubling.
1. After all, she was engaged at the time to Joseph … and engagements in that day were much more serious than they are today. (For example, an engaged woman could not be dismissed without a bill of divorcement. … If she was suspected of unfaithfulness, she could be divorced or even put to death … If her fiancé died, she was considered a “widow.” … And, if a child was born during the engagement, it was considered illegitimate.
B. Therefore, as the Angel delivered this unique message, Mary faced many troubling possibilities:
1. She faced rejection by Joseph … the task of raising a child alone in a culture hostile to women …She would jeopardize her reputation … and she even risked death should she be accused of unfaithfulness against Joseph.
2. NO WONDER SHE WAS TROUBLED.
3. Add to this, she would have undoubtedly felt a little insecure, unworthy, and insufficient with the great task of being the mother of God’s only Son, the Savior of the world!
C. Others have balked at God’s calls in the past. Consider what Moses said when God approached him in the burning bush and told him to go to Egypt and set the Hebrews free.
1. Moses pleaded: “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?” “They won’t believe me or listen to me” “O Lord, please send someone else to do it!” (Ex 3:11ff)
2. Moses obviously faced a tough challenge, but not anymore challenging than being told you’ll have a child as a virgin, and that child will be conceived through the Holy Spirit, and will be the Son of God … the Redeemer of Mankind.
3. Marry could of said, “Lord I’m just a young girl, I’m not ready to be a mother … I’m not wealthy, I’m not educated … “I’m not worthy of this.” Maybe it would be better if you chose someone else.”
4. That’s not what she said. She said, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be as you have said.”
5. That’s the attitude God searches for in people (cf. Lk 18:8b) … and that’s one of the reasons God chose this particular young lady.
## Mary also had the right perspective — She knew who God was … and she knew who she was: His servant.
A. … she knew that nothing was impossible for her God … if God said it, she knew that it would be so … even if she didn’t understand the “hows” she would do it anyway because she was God’s servant.
B. Mary also had the proper perspective about her role as a mother … she saw it as an honor … a blessing.
1. Christian mothers today need that same understanding … they too are servants of God … they too have the responsibility to raise children for God.
2. They need to view their work as mothers as an honor and a blessing.
C. Note 1:37, It says WITH God, nothing is impossible. You should underscore that word WITH in your Bibles.
1. If we are at the side of God, nothing is impossible that God would have us to do. Do you believe that?
2. And even though at times children are frustrating and make us want to pull our hair out (or better yet, pull their hair out), still, they really are a gift from God (Ps 127:3).
D. Mary found favor with God because she knew who God was, and who she was in relation to God: a servant … something we must all realize. And, she believed nothing was impossible with God … and, she saw motherhood as a blessing.
## Another reason Mary found favor with God is because she had a solid foundation. To be grounded on a solid foundation is to be grounded in the Word of God. Jesus talked about that in Lk 6:46-49.
A. In Lk 1:46-56, Luke records for us Mary’s song. In those 11 verses, there are at least 30 phrases or words that echo truths from the OT … so it’s quite evident that Mary was already grounded in God’s word at a young age.
B. Mary’s foundation in the Word of God is an example for Godly mothers today: (Rd Ps 78:1-7)
1. We see an example of this very thing in 2Tim 1:5, Paul writes to Timothy, “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”
2. Lois gave a solid foundation to her daughter Lois, who in turn, gave it to her son Timothy.
C. We should ask ourselves, “Just how solid is our foundation?” Do we have God’s word hidden in our hearts and minds so that it supports and guides us in our life?
1. Do we know His Word well enough to pass it on to our children? Do we set a scriptural example of one who loves to worship and praise God?
2. If we are NOT building a home like that, then WHO is building our house?
3. Let’s understand that, “Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain” (Ps 127:1).
D. 2,000 years ago God choose a young girl to give birth to the Savior of the World. God chose Mary because she lived on a solid foundation, and she had a proper perspective of life. Because of these, she “found favor with God.”
1. Mothers today who have a solid foundation of faith (which comes by hearing the word), and have a proper perspective of life … that is, know who they are, what they are doing here, and where they are going, and an understanding of who they are in relationship to God — such women today will also find favor with God.
## Another characteristic that caused God to look with favor upon Mary was knowing that she would provide unrelenting protection that would be necessary in her role as the mother of His Son.
A. From the very moment Jesus was born his life was in danger.
1. She protected Him form Herod … She protected His identity … and the many other things she knew about the child. As Luke 2:19 says, “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
2. God had a plan to reveal His Son to the world, and He knew Mary would not complicate those plans.
B. Mothers today need to provide protection for their children. This is an instinct that God builds into mothers. In fact, when a mother does not protect her children, it’s considered “against nature.”
1. When they are young, they need protection from germs, stairways, electrical outlets, poisons, stoves, etc.
2. When they get older, they need protection from things that are even more deadly: Low self esteem, drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, sexual immorality, suicide, and especially the worldly value system that’s constantly being marketed by TV, Movies, Videos, IPods, EPods, XPods (what
C. Mary’s love and devotion for Jesus began before He was born and lasted even beyond the Cross.
1. The last picture we have of Mary is in Ax 1:14. Jesus had ascended back into Heaven, yet she is with His disciples … He is still the center of her attention.
## You might be thinking that, “Jesus must have been so easy to love.” And you are right. It was easy to love Jesus, but loving Jesus wasn’t an easy road for Mary to travel. In fact, it was difficult from the start.
A. Mary’s soul was pierced many times because of her love for Jesus (Lk 2:34) …
1. At his birth, the king tried to have Him killed…
2. In Mark 3, the respected leaders in Jerusalem said that Jesus was a fanatic, a lunatic, and demon possessed (what mother wouldn’t be hurt if people said those kinds of things about their child)
3. In John 7, Jesus’ own brothers and sisters didn’t want anything to do with Him, and didn’t believe Him. Can you imagine what the conversation was like at Mary’s dinner table?
4. How do you suppose Mary felt every time she read Isaiah 53, and other prophecies about her Son’s death…
5. Not to mention how she felt as she watched her Son being mocked, beaten, stripped, and nailed to the cross.
B. When others mistreated Jesus, Mary was there. When others turned Him away, she stayed by His side. Even at the Cross, she was there.
1. At the Pan Am games, champion diver Greg Louganis was asked how he coped with the stress of international diving competitions. He said that when he climbs to the diving board, he takes a deep breath, and thinks, “even If I blow this dive, my mother will still love me.”
2. George Elliot once said, “We often do the impossible, not because we think we can, but because someone we love and respect thinks we can … and that someone is our mother.”
C. Mothers today need to have the same kind of love toward their children as Mary had toward hers.
1. Loving children may not always be easy — and you may have your soul pierced at times, by things that happen to them, by things they do … when they are hurt, sick, betrayed, or even die…
2. Still, your love must be unconditional and unwavering. You don’t have to condone all they do to love them unconditionally.
D. Mothers, it is a worthy goal to have God look upon you with favor as He looked upon Mary … and He will if you have your life built on the proper foundation of His Word. TRUST and OBEY.
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