Mary, Handmaid of the Lord

Text: Luke 1:28-38, 45-55

We shy away from talking about Mary because of how she’s been exalted by the Roman Catholic church to the heights of deity and mediator.  Mary is highly favored of God.  She is the handmaiden of the Lord: maiden waiting at hand.

Gabriel is sent by God to Mary.  Gabriel only speaks to three people in the Bible, Daniel Zacharias (John the Baptist’s dad), and Mary.

Now, we need to put ourselves in Mary’s life.  Mary and Joseph are engaged.  She is a virgin.  And she’s told she is going to have a child.  Not just any child, but the only begotten Son of God.  Mary.  From this point on her thoughts and life are consumed with the blessing God has bestowed on her.  This blessing of God is going to complicate her future wedding.  This blessing of God is going to be unexplainable to those around her.

Mary is one of God’s favorites (vss 28-30)

  • …thou art highly favoured…thou hast found favour with God. (vss 28, 30)
  • God has his favorites.
  • God so loved the world and it can be said of every soul in this world that Jesus Christ died for that soul.  That is the ultimate sacrifice and display of love.  Now, that doesn’t mean that God likes everybody or that God trusts everybody.
  • Mary has been entrusted with a once in forever task, not just once in a lifetime.
  • Mary was prepared by purity (vs 27)
    • To a virgin espoused to a man…
    • Ephesians 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
    • HOLY Spirit
    • HOLY Bible
    • God likes clean.
    • It will be a sad day when we learn our lack of morals have made us useless to God.
    • Consider the negative side of this in God’s work.
      • Baalam taught the children of Israel to commit fornication so God would curse his own people.
  • Mary feared God
    • His mercy on them that fear him 1:50
  • Mary is humble
    • exalted them of low degree 1:52
  • Mary hungers and thirsts after righteousness
    • 1:53

Mary meditates on godly things

  • Considers the weight of divine responsibility 1:29
    • We would do well to consider our responsibilities.
    • God entrusts her with tremendous complications in her life
      • Her husband is going to be mad.
      • Her marriage may go out  the window.
      • Her reputation may go out the window.
      • He trusts her to keep a right spirit with all the trouble that will come with this.
    • 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4.  If someone has been entrusted with something, that means I am going to let them have the responsibility of this thing.
  • Considers the sacrifice associated with God’s blessing 2:19
    • She is exhausted.  Had a baby.  No room for them to stay anywhere but a barn.  Then these excited shepherds show up.
  • Considers the ordinary made extraordinary 2:33
    • He’s a baby.  He cries.  She changes his diaper.  She feeds him and burps him.  And he is the only begotten Son of God.
    • Simeon proclaims the great work of God in this little baby.
  • Considers losing Jesus 2:51
    • Can you imagine Mary here?  Jesus has been lost for 3 days.  Mary is suppose to be taking care of the only begotten Son of God, her firstborn son, and she can’t find him.
    • We seem to have little reaction when we can’t find Jesus.

Mary’s question (vs 34)

  • How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? (vs34)
  • Mary asks what everyone asks before God makes clear he wants to use them. She asks HOW?
  • The work of God is always done by the Spirit of God.  This is significant because the flesh can never comprehend the work of God.  The temptation is to make something happen in the flesh through some natural work.  But God is in the business of doing supernatural work.
  • God of the impossible

Mary believes God (vss 38-45)

  • God uses believing people.
  • …be it unto me according to thy word. (vs 38)
  • And blessed is she that believed: (vs 45)
  • Conception in verse 38 probably.
    • Spiritual transaction, not physical transaction.
    • Notice immediately that Mary goes to see Elisabeth and John the Baptist leaps in Elisabeth’s womb.
  • Belief in spite of what it might mean to her relationship with Joseph.
    • Mary leaves to the hill country in haste (vs 39)
  • You find the same language in Daniel 6:23.  Someone believes God, therefore some work of God is accomplished in them.
  • Luke 11:27-28 One tried to worship Mary, but the Lord corrected them and said the believers are the one’s blessed.