Pastor Barry/ The Gathering Church: The Heart of Christmas 1 Mary’s Song To hear this message and others go to THEGATHERINGCHURCH.COM
Reading from Luke 1:26-38
Confirmation Luke 1:39-45, Isaiah 7:14 When the angel “left her” (Luke 1:38b) there is no doubt that Mary gasped and said something like”did that really just happen?” We must remember, Mary was no super Hero. She was ordinary just like you and me. So what is one to do when visited by an angel or confronted with a vision or calling from God? After all there are good angels and bad angels (demons). In fact the scriptures say that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14
Historically speaking “angels” have not always been so reliable regarding truth. Muhammad’s revelation was an event described in Islam as taking place in 610 AD, during which the Islamic prophet was allegedly visited by the archangel Jabril (Gabriel), who revealed to him the beginnings of what would later become the Quran (ironic since the same angel announced the birth of Jesus to Mary). The emergence of the Book of Mormon is also said to have been delivered by an angel on September 21, 1823. According to founder of the Mormon religion, Joseph Smith, the angel Moroni appeared to him with golden tablets (never revealed) and told him that “God had a work for [him] to do” (Joseph Smith—History 1:33). Long before either one of these religions began (Islam was founded 600 years after Christianity) the Apostle Paul would proclaim that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light”(2 Corinthians 11:14).
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! Galatians 1:8
Mary did not simply take an angel’s word for it as Muhammad and Smith did. She sought confirmation from God’s word as we should also do (John 8:32, 17:17, 2 Cor-inthians 10:5, 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16, 1 John 4:1). 1. Mary confirmed what the angel Gabriel told her with scripture. The angel had said to her that “The Lord God will give him (Jesus) the throne of his father David and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” As any good Jew, Mary knew the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. She knew that God had promised a Messiah who would save his people and that he would come one day through the genealogical line of David. Mary and Joseph were both in that lineage. She likely also knew the Bible passage from Isaiah 7:14 which said that the Messiah would be born of a virgin.
Mary also knew that Jewish law said that a matter must be established by two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15b). a. Mary was the witness of an angelic visitation which she saw and heard, b. she also knew that what the angel said was biblically accurate, but she needed a third witness to establish the absolute truth of the angel. 2. Mary confirmed what the angel Gabriel told her by testing his word. She traveled to Elizabeth’s house to see if she was pregnant as the angel had said (Luke 1:39-45). c. Not only did Mary see that Elizabeth was pregnant but her baby d. leaped within her and e. Elizabeth proclaimed “blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” God had confirmed Mary’s word from the angel well over what the law required and the baby Jesus growing within her continued that confirmation.
Mary’s Song Luke 1:46-56,6:43-45, 14:11, Romans 10:9-10 This is the song or poem that Mary wrote following the greeting that she received from Elizabeth, her cousin, when she went to visit her.
Mary was a girl of only 15-16 years old and engaged to be married. She was now suddenly a single unwed mother in a religion and culture where that meant ostracism or death. Cruel Romans occupied her land and a ruthless heathen king ruled the region. Mary staying with her cousin for three months (Luke 1:56) also says a lot about her family dynamics. Likely they had given the same initial reaction that Joseph gave to her when she told him about the news of her pregnancy (Matthew 1:19). Regardless of all these things Mary is filled with Thanksgiving! We too can learn from Mary to give praise as we face difficulties and trials in a fallen world. Here are three things we can learn from Mary:
1. Mary models a mind filled with the Scriptures. Mary expresses her knowledge of the Psalms, the prophets and Hannah’s song (God granted Hanna a child :1 Samuel 2: 2- l0). Mary was well trained in the scriptures from her childhood. Out of the abundance of her heart, she spoke, ( Luke 6:45) her mouth was filled with the language of Scripture. Whatever books we love, whatever books we study, the Bible should be our book of books. Mary was full of God’s word…what are you full of?
2. Mary models a heart of humility. Mary acknowledges herself as a sinner and therefore her need of a Savior. Mary also refers to herself a servant of the Lord and never expresses pride in her position (Luke 14:11).
3. Mary models an attitude of thoughtfulness and thankfulness. True thankfulness is always a matter of faith over circumstance. Mary models an attitude of gratitude. This is to be our response in all circumstances too (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Mary recalled God’s past dealings with his people and ascribed it to her faith in him for the future. Bible history is not just a story to Mary it is her story! Mary believes and Mary is confessing her faith in this song. Let us declare our faith as she did too! (Romans 10:9-10)
What Ever Happened to Mary? Acts 1:12-14, 2:1-4, John 3:3,6-7 By all scriptural accounts, Mary never saw the resurrected Jesus. The last we read about Mary in the Bible is in Acts 1:14. She was there on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-5) and was filled with the Holy Spirit. Church legend says that she lived in the house of John until she died (John 19:27). There is no Biblical record of Mary ascending into heaven (she was ordinary).
Although Mary was chosen by God for a unique assignment, she had to receive salvation by faith in her Son just as we all do (Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:8–9; Acts 4:12). Mary is now in heaven with all believers who have died in Christ, not because she gave birth to Jesus but because she trusted in His shed blood as payment for her sin (1 Thessalonians 5:9–10; 2 Timothy 2:11). We all must be born again to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Mary’s song, or the Christmas story for that matter, won’t make any difference to you unless you believe what Mary said. Her song says that Jesus is Messiah, the Savior of the world. To believe on Him is to have eternal fellowship with Him. Mary believed… Do you?