Mary’s Four Responses To Gabriel
December 24, 2022
Mary’s Four Responses To Gabriel
Jesus’ birth changed the world.
A personal relationship with Jesus can transform a person from fear to bold confidence, from hopeless existence to a life full of purpose and a future filled with blazing hope and blessing.
The Westminster Catechism says that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Jesus’ life began its reaction on this planet before He was born. Jesus started changing lives with His mother Mary.
We are going to look at the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus today, and look at 4 responses that she had to the announcement by Gabriel that caused her to be used by God as an instrument to bring blessing and change to the world.
1. She was willing and open to hear and obey God.
Luke 1:26-56 (NLT)
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.
Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For the word of God will never fail.”
Mary did not doubt what the angel had spoken, even though it did not make sense.
Mary was a 16-year old girl engaged to a boy named Joseph. Engagements were a year in length, and one of the reasons for engagement was to prove her virginity.
Mary knew what this would cost her. People would not believe that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit.
They would think that she was immoral.
She would be associated with scandal in her town. People would say – Mary’s pregnant, and Joseph’s not the father!
Her life would be changed forever!
Question. Are you willing to obey God, and be used by Him the way He wants to use you? Even if it isn’t socially acceptable?
Are you willing to be changed for the rest of your life?
Are you willing to suffer shame for his name?
Acts 5:41 (NLT)
The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.
Many people today will obey God only when it’s convenient and economically feasible.
That is such a contrast to the Apostle Paul’s commitment:
Acts 20:22-24 (NLT)
And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, 23 except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. 24 But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
Sometimes God will inconvenience you just to see if you will yield and obey.
2. She was willing to be interrupted. (38)
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
(NKJV) Let it be to me according to your word.”
The call of God is not a call of convenience.
Mary was young. Her whole life was ahead of her. She was no doubt thinking about the life she would have with Joseph.
She had plans of having a home and children with Joseph, and of having uninterrupted time with her husband.
We often make our plans and then ask God to bless them.
God thinks about our life differently than we do.
His will for us may interrupt our personal plans for life.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT)
My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Am I willing for God to interrupt my plans?
Example – Before I came to Victory in 1994, I was satisfied where I was. I ministered regularly as an associate pastor. I had a nice home. My kids were in a good school and had lots of friends. But God said, “You take that church!”
If you want to have a vibrant, growing spiritual life, you must be willing for God to change your plans.
Peace and joy come with obedience.
Mary’s obedience created in her great joy!
If you have lost your peace and joy, go back and examine where and when you lost it.
Are you obedient to what God has told you to do?
Perhaps Mary had plans for her life. But she was willing to change them. Are you?
Jesus’ Gethsemane prayer is a prayer we should always be willing to pray.
Matthew 26:36-39 (NLT)
Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
3. She had an attitude of expectancy. (39-42, 44)
A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town 40 where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. 43 Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? 44 When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.”
Mary expected God to use her. She looked on the positive side of life.
She did not look at what she would have to give up. She looked at what she would gain.
There is a price to pay to follow God’s will. Mary’s life would never be the same.
What we gain in obeying God’s plans for our life is so much more than we ever sacrifice for Him.
Mark 8:34-35 (NLT)
Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.”
March 1977 – a Fork in the road for me. Down one pathway was my way – security. Down another path was God’s call, and it was full of the unknown.
The benefits of doing your own thing can for the immediate be very positive.
Blessings to the obedient come afterwards, sometimes a long while.
There is also a blessing in obedience.
Isaiah 1:19-20 (NKJV)
19 If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
20 But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword”;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Mary could have focused on the inconvenience, but she was genuinely excited.
Mary wanted God’s best for her life and pursued it.
Mary lived with the expectancy that God could do what He asked of her. That she, as a virgin, could have a baby.
It is important for us to live in expectancy.
When we lose expectancy, our faith wavers and trust ceases. Life loses its meaning.
4. She was humble. (46-54)
You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” 46 Mary responded, Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. 50 He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. 51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. 52 He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. 54 He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. 55 For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.” 56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.
Mary had the heart of a servant.
Being the mother of the son of God did not cause pride in Mary. It humbled her.
How would you choose to respond if God used you in a big way?
1 Peter 5:5-6 (TPT)
In the same way, the younger ones should willingly support the leadership of the elders. In every relationship, each of you must wrap around yourself the apron of a humble servant. Because: God resists you when you are proud but multiplies grace and favor when you are humble. 6 If you bow low in God’s awesome presence, he will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in his hands.
I have always seen the need to deal with my personal pride. To me, it runs deep. God gave me this scripture when I was 18.
Isaiah 57:15 (NLT)
The high and lofty One who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.”
1. Are you receptive and open to both hear and obey God?
2. Are you willing to be interrupted for God’s purposes?
3. Are you expecting God to use you?
4. Are you willing to humble yourself before God?
John 1:1-14 (NLT)
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He existed in the beginning with God. (3) God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. (4) The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. (5) The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. (6) God sent a man, John the Baptist, (7) to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. (8) John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. (9) The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. (10) He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. (11) He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. (12) But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. (13) They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. (14) So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
Isaiah 9:2 (NLT)
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
Isaiah 49:6 (NLT)
He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Isaiah 60:1-3 (NKJV)
Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. (2) For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. (3) The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. (16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.