Sermon #5 Luke Sermons
Title: THE GREATNESS OF OUR SAVIOR
Text: Luke 1:26-33
Subject: Gabriel’s Announcement of Christ’s Birth
Date: Sunday Evening - May 23, 1999
Tape # V-28b
Readings: Office: Gary Baker Auditorium: James Jordan
My subject tonight is THE GREATNESS OF OUR SAVIOR. It is a subject set forth throughout the Scriptures; but here it is declared in Gabriel’s announcement to Mary of his incarnation and birth. The verses before us contain the most sublime things ever revealed to men. May God the Holy Spirit fill our hearts with wonder, faith, love, and praise as we now behold the wonders of God’s grace here set before us.
I. Everything connected with our Savior’s incarnation displays his great humiliation as our Mediator.
Gabriel was sent to an obscure town in Galilee, called Nazareth. Al of Galilee was looked upon by the Jews with contempt; and the most contemptible village in the region was Nazareth. It was a common thought among them that nothing good could come out of Nazareth (Nathaniel - John 1:46).
The woman chosen to be the mother of our Lord’s human body and nature was a very poor woman from a very poor area. There was nothing about her that the world would consider enviable or great.
These things came to pass by the direct arrangement of God’s wise providence. He who orders all things in heaven, earth, and hell according to his own sovereign will chose a poor, despised woman in a poor despised village to be the vessel by which he would send our Savior into this world.
I am sure many reasons might be given for this, but two are obvious.
A. The Lord God would have us ever to admire the amazing condescension of his Son.
What a stoop the God of glory made when he stooped to save s from our sins!
Christ’s great love for us ought to constrain us to love him and live not for ourselves, but for him who loved us and gave himself for us.
Let us, in all things, have the mind of Christ and follow his example. “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not!”
B. We must never despise poverty in others, or be ashamed of it in ourselves, if the Lord brings us into such a condition.
Riches make no one honorable; and poverty makes no one dishonorable. Men groveling for riches and honor remind me of a dog digging for moles. The filthy rodent just isn’t worth the dig.
II. GOD’S CHOICE OF MARY STANDS IN HOLY SCRIPTURE AS A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF HIS SOVEREIGN, SAVING GRACE TO NEEDY SINNERS.
Romanism places Mary on the highest pedestal imaginable, making her a mediatrix, or a co-mediator with Christ, ascribing to her an immaculate nature and divine power. When the present pope was shot, he ascribed his recovery from the assassin’s bullet not to God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit, but to Mary. Such veneration of Mary is utterly contemptible idolatry. It must never be honored as an acceptable thing. Such idolatry is not Christian, but pagan.
Mary is never presented as an immaculate, sinless woman, but as a sinner saved by grace, just like you and me. This she gladly acknowledged.
It is true, she is called “a virgin.” But she is never referred to as “the” virgin.” Her virginity is mentioned repeatedly in the Scriptures, not so much to honor her as it is to declared the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ came into this world as the woman’s Seed, by miraculous, divine intervention. The body of our Savior was that holy thing prepared in Mary’s virgin womb was specifically prepared by God the Holy Spirit to be a suitable body and sacrifice for our Savior.
A. Mary’s name indicates what she was and what we all are by nature – Mary means “bitter rebel”.
It is the same as the name of Moses’ sister, Miriam, and the name Naomi applied to herself, Mara.
B. Yet, Mary was the object of God’s sovereign, distinguishing grace.
1. The Lord God chose Mary for salvation and chose her for the high honor of being the mother of our Savior’s humanity.
a. Mary was not the mother of God!
b. The words, “highly favored” (v. 28), would be better translated, “graciously accepted”. Mary was accepted of God in Christ by an act of sovereign grace, just like we are (Eph. 1:6).
2. The Lord was with her, just as he is with us.
a. To Protect Her.
b. To Provide For Her.
c. To Save Her.
d. To Bless Her.
3. Mary was a woman blessed of God. –“Blessed art thou among women!”
The word “blessed” is exactly the same word used to describe the blessedness of all God’s elect in Christ, the distinguishing blessedness of grace. Mary was, like you and I who are now saved by God’s free grace in Christ, blessed of God…
· from eternity.
· in Christ.
· with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.
· according as she was chosen.
· with redemption.
· with the free forgiveness of all her sins.
· as the object of God’s covenant grace in Christ her Mediator.
4. In a word, Mary found favor with God! --“Thou hast found favor with God!”
Mary did not bless God. God blessed her. God did not find favor in Mary’s eyes. Mary found favor in God’s eyes. The phrase in verse 30 is exactly the same as that in verse 28. It simply means that Mary was a sinner chosen from among women as the object of God’s mercy, love, and grace, and blessed by him with all grace.
We must never exalt Mary above this level, to a position of idolatrous envy, because…
C. Believers, all believers, have a far nearer relationship to Christ, than Mary enjoyed as his earthly mother.
Her relationship her, the relationship given to her in providence, was a purely carnal, physical, temporary relationship. Ours is a permanent, spiritual relationship. We are truly the Savior’s family (Mk. 3:15).
Mary’s great blessedness was not in her physical relationship to Christ, but in her spiritual relationship. Our Master himself tells us that it is more blessed to believe on him than to have borne him (Lk. 11:27-28).
III. The Primary Thing Revealed in Our Text is The Glorious Greatness of Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Gabriel’s announcement was no ordinary birth announcement. It was not the announcement of the birth of a mere man, but the announcement of the incarnation of God! Gabriel was sent to proclaim that God the Son was about to take humanity into union with himself and enter into this sin cursed world to save his people from their sins. Look at what we are told in verses 31-33.
A. The child born from Mary’s virgin womb was and is God the Son given in human flesh.
· “God was manifest in the flesh!”
· Immanuel is God with us!
· Only the incarnate God could save us.
B. This great, incarnate God came into this world as our Mediator and covenant Surety on a specific mission – to save his people from their sins.
“Thou shalt call his name Jesus.”
As Joshua did for Israel what Moses never could, so the Lord Jesus Christ, our Joshua, did what the law could never do. –He brought us to God!
C. In verse 32 and 33, we are given a fivefold declaration of our Savior’s greatness.
1. “He shall be great.”(Great In All His Offices – Greater Than All Who Went Before Him And Come After Him).
2. He “shall be called the Son of the Highest.”
3. “The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” –As Our Mediator (John 17:2; Rom. 14:9).
4. “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever.”
5. “And of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
All the kingdoms of this world have been and are designed of God only for the building of the kingdom of our God and his Christ. The kingdoms of this world are only the scaffolding by which our God builds his kingdom. Like Nineveh, Babylon, Egypt, Tyre, Carthage, Rome and the Soviet Union, all the nations and empires of this world shall perish and all men shall be made to bow before this great and glorious King, who alone shall reign forever!
Application: If you would be saved, if you would live forever, you must bow to this great King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
· Bow to His Righteousness.
· Bow to His Rule.
 Virginity is truly an honorable thing among men. Chastity ought always to be cherished and protected; but it does not make one honorable before God.
 Mary was full of grace in exactly the same way every saved sinner is, by the bounty of God’s grace in Christ. She was the object of grace; but she was not made the giver of grace!