Luke 1:26-38 Gabriel’s Message to Mary 3: Gabriel’s Explanation of the Incarnation

See the skit: The Called

It’s a good day for a new beginning. Time to get back to the basics, to set aside the sins of the past and walk forward in obedience to Christ. How many of you have noticed that obedience isn’t always easy?

How many of you have noticed that obeying the Lord comes at a cost?

I recently communicated with a man who was pondering what to do since some of the things his boss asked him to do were “a little off key.” As Christians we need to be prepared to be obedient to the Lord first and human authority second. But obeying God rather than man is going to have consequences. And not all of those consequences will be pleasant. But as you consider the difficulty caused by obedience, consider also the consequences of disobedience to the Lord. I would much rather fall into the hands of man or demon than the hands of God. They may strip away comfort,

Luke 1:26-38 Gabriel’s Message to Mary 2: Gabriel’s Message

This week as you remember Christmas you might consider having a listen to Handel’s Messiah. I listen to it every year. For me one of the most memorable parts in Handel’s Messiah takes place in the early oratorio “For unto us a child is born” The words go on to quote from Isaiah (inserting a long pause between wonderful counselor which isn’t exactly there)
“And his name shall be called: Wonderful – Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!” The names of the Messiah all point not only to who is is, but what he shall do!

A Greeting of Grace

Last time we talked about Gabriel being sent (1:26) and now he arrives. The flow is important. First we learn of Gabriel’s assignment. Now we learn of Gabriel’s Message. It starts with a Greeting of Grace.

His two word introduction begins with a greeting which is literally "Rejoice!" Most English Bibles

Luke 1:13-17 God is Gracious

When the angel Gabriel came and spoke to Zacharias he brought wonderful news. He and his wife who were now too old to have children were going to have a son, his name was to be John. His very name, "John" means, "Jehovah has been gracious; Jehovah has graciously given" 1or simply, “the grace…of the Lord” 2We know him as John the baptist and we have some idea about who he was and what he did. But try for just a moment to consider the perspective of this old priest standing in the holy place in the temple hearing that he was going to have a son who’s name proclaims God’s grace.

Of course the first thing we usually think of when a baby is to be born is joy. Never a truer word was spoken for these parents. But their great joy is not just for a child – that would not necessarily cause many to rejoice at his birth. This child is different, it is his name which points to the great grace and Mercy of God about to be revealed.

There are three different and very distinct words in use here expressing various shades of rejoicing. The first ( χαρά ) is translated joy and represents that exuberant yet fleeting happiness which we are all familiar with. 3The second (ἀγαλλίασις)