THE STUFF CHRISTMAS IS MADE OF
Christmas is the Birth of a Son
Jerry A Collins
ō How was Mary found with favor toward God?
ō What is significant about the titles given to Jesus?
ō Anything instructive about Maryís response?
often hear the phrase, I have got to see it to believe it. Usually it refers to something
that we simply find very hard to believe. So much so, that we demand first hand
knowledge before we are convinced of itís validity.
For instance, we might say this after we hear he made a hole in one or the
1. THE NEWS OF THIS BIRTH IS DELIVERED BY GABRIEL 26-27
birth of Jesus is filled with supernatural phenomena. For instance, Mt 1:20 the
Lord appears to Joseph in a dream. Mt
also appears to wan maji, Mt appears to Joseph to escape to
2. THE BIRTH WILL BE BY A MIRACULOUS CONCEPTION
Gabriel says Mary has found favor with God 28-30. He greets her as a recipient
of Gods favor and assures her of Gods presence with her. God is certainly
involved with her, at her side, near to her. The announcement has not been made
yet but these initial remarks unsettle her as she mulled over what kind of
greeting this was. Both Joseph and Mary were told not to be afraid vs 30; Mt .
Both had received startling visitations. Here there is no need to be fearful
since she is one who has found favor with God. We know this to be true because
God is about to use her in a profound way as He does with others who have found
Hs favor like Noah. Jabez prayed that he would find
favor with God. God simply acts because of His own kind and benevolent nature
toward us. Second, Mary will miraculously conceive a son who will reign as King
forever 31-33! Wow! Jesus sojourn here begins by a supernatural conception and
ends with a miraculous resurrection. Both the beginning and the end demonstrate
the glory, power and honor of God in Christ. Both Joseph and Mary are told to
name him Jesus vs 31 and Mt 1:21. Mary received
further information about her sons future. 32-33
describe his ministry. (1) He is called simply great. Jesus is an extremely
important figure before God but His greatness is really defined by further
descriptions in this context. (2) Son of the most high is simply another way to
say Son of God. The use of this phrase connects this birth with regal
expectations. A king is about to be born. As Jesus birth is announced, regal
imagery abounds to describe the coming Messiah. (3) Jesusí origins in King
Davidís line and the permanence of His reign receive attention now. He is to
receive the throne of his father David. This connection to king
David seems to be made thru Jesus relationship with Joseph 1:27. (4) Jesus not
only has a regal position vs
32 but also has a realm and an everlasting reign vs
33. The phrase house of Jacob is
another way to refer to the nation of
3. THE MIRACULOUS WORK OF GOD REQUIRES FAITH
First, Mary asks and learns this birth results from the creative power of God by means of the HS 34-35. Mary was pondering vs 29 and now is puzzled vs 34. She apparently understands this announcement as an immediate pregnancy vs 28 & 30. She raises the question then and Gabriel elaborates (1) that there will be direct divine involvement in the conception vs 35. Godís Spirit is he active and life-giving agent. God can create life without a sexual act. (2) The overshadowing refers to Godís glorious presence before his people as he did when his glory overshadowed the tabernacle in Ex 40. (3) A divine person with both a human and divine nature will be bornóthe Son of God. Second, Mary received confirmation of this birth and submits to God 36-38. Her relatives pregnancy shows nothing is impossible with God 36. Even this announcement is not beyond Godís power 37. Mary responds with submission and obedience 38. It is always obedience to the Word of God. The same is true for today. Such obedience might involve her in potential problems with Joseph and with her reputation. There is risk in agreeing to go Godís way but as the Lordís servant she willingly goes. His job completed the angel departs.
(1) God graciously works to fulfill His promise to delver his people. He did that with the birth and his grace to deliver today is still bound up in His Son, Jesus. The gospel is it! (2) Jesus is the only hope of humanity. His birth points to his uniquenessóhis regal authority, fulfills Godís promise and embodies godís activity on our behalf. (3) Believe that God has the power to bring his plan to pass. God can do great things for his cause and can use anyone or anything to accomplish it. †