CENTRAL THOUGHT: Only the chosen of God can fulfil God’s purpose.
HYMN: ALL TO JESUS I SURRENDER
TEXT: Luke 1:26-56
Being chosen by God for special use is an honor. Mary certainly had a unique role in God’s plan. Though she may have known that the Savior would come, she did not know that she would be the vessel by God to fulfil that purpose. She was taught God’s commandment as all other Jews, she obeyed and sincerely followed the precepts of the Lord until this visitation. A poor understanding of God’s word and will for His people can weaken and shatter the hope of achieving God’s purpose on earth. Mary determined to please God with her life and like Esther, Deborah, and Ruth, was able to fit into God’s purpose and fulfilled it.
To identify the lineage of Mary the mother of Jesus and Joseph her espoused husband.
To understand why Mary was troubled at the greeting of Angel Gabriel
To understand the difference between the question of Mary and that of Zacharias.
To appreciate the value of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and the lesson to derive from it.
Q1A. FROM WHAT LINEAGE DID BOTH JOSEPH AND MARY COME?
Luke 1:26-27; 2:4
Both Joseph and Mary were of the lineage of David the king of Israel, from the small city of Nazareth in Galilee.
Q1B. WHAT WAS MARY’S RELATIONSHIP WITH JOSEPH AT THIS TIME?
At the time Angel Gabriel visited Mary, she was espoused to Joseph. This means that Mary had given her consent for the proposal made by Joseph to marry her. They were not yet husband and wife; they were only preparing for marriage hence the response of Mary “…. how shall this be seeing I know not man”. Luke 1:34, Matt. 1:18-19 which says “… when as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost…. And Joseph not willing to make her a public example was minded to put her away “privily”. Mary was a virgin and both of them were about to contract marriage when she became pregnant by the Holy Ghost.
Q1C. COMMENT ON THE CHARACTER OF JOSEPH AND MARY AND THE LESSON DERIVABLE THEREON.
Matt. 1:18-24, Luke 1:34, 38
JOSEPH was described as a just man, who was not willing to make Mary a public example when he discovered that she was pregnant; this shows that he was a man that feared God, and had respect for human being, humble and disciplined. Obedience is seen in his character. He obeyed the Angel and still accepted Mary to be his wife.
MARY was a holy woman who feared God and kept HIS word. Though she grew in a place where the youth were living any how; she determined not to corrupt herself. She was not promiscuous but maintained her virginity even when she was espoused to Joseph. She accepted the message of Angel Gabriel and submitted that the will of God be done in her life. The lesson we can learn from their characters is that we should have right standing with God all the time, be obedient to God and His word, and humble for we know not the time of God’s visitation.
Q2A. WHY WAS MARY TROUBLED AT ANGEL GABRIEL’S GREETINGS?
Mary never regarded herself worthy to be visited by an angel of God. She did not count herself righteous enough or different from any other person. This shows that she was not proud hence when the angel said “hail, thou art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women”. She was surprised and wondered what kind of greeting that could be.
Q2B. READ LUKE 1:31-33. POINT OUT WHAT WAS SAID ABOUT THE UNBORN CHILD?
The Angel of God said that Mary shall conceive and bring forth a son and shall call HIS name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of His father David. He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever and of His kingdom there shall be no end. These qualities remain manifest eternally.
Q3A. HOW DID MARY’S QUESTION DIFFER FROM THAT OF ZACHARIAS?
Luke 1:18-20, 34
Zacharias was a matured servant of God. He had served God in the temple for years to make him not to doubt Him and His word. His question doubted God’s power to reverse condition in one’s life.
He felt himself and his wife were old and could no longer have any child.
Mary on the other hand was a young woman who never knew man was ignorant of God’s promise of the virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14). She was sincere in her question that without marital relationship no woman can conceive. She found herself not worthy and not qualified for such purpose. Mary’s answer shows how she understood the angel’s promise. She does not question the fact as Zacharias did, but only inquiries as to the mode.
Zacharias said “whereby”. Whereby means where is it going to happen at this age. Mary said “how shall”. “How shall” means how possible can this be, seeing I know no man. It showed that she was still a virgin. Whether young or old, every believer should learn to trust God always.
Q3B. HOW DID JESUS’ CONCEPTION DIFFER FROM THAT OF OTHER HUMAN BEINGS.
The conception of Jesus differs from that of other human beings in that:
a.) It was foretold by an angel
b.) He was conceived by a virgin
c.) It was the Holy Ghost that came upon His mother Mary while other human beings were as a result of marital relationship.
d.) No male blood came in contact with Mary’s own. This is a fulfilment of Gen. 3:15
Q3C. IS IT RIGHT TO WORSHIP MARY?
It is not right to worship Mary because she was only used of God to fulfill the purpose of bringing the Savior into the world. When Satan tempted Jesus, he promised to give the kingdom of this world to Him if Jesus could worship him. Jesus said “Thou shall worship the Lord thy God and Him only shall thou serve” Matt. 4:8-10, Exodus 20:4-5. God never commanded anybody to worship Mary so whoever does so whether as an individual or as a group disobeys the word of God.
Q4A. OF WHAT VALUE WAS MARY’S VISIT TO ELIZABETH?
“And when it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost…. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
…. For there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord”. Mary’s visit was a turning point in Elizabeth’s life. She was filled with the Holy Ghost and recognized that Jesus Christ her Lord and Savior was in Mary’s womb. It revealed that the babies in both wombs were great and divinely connected.
Q4B. WHAT LESSON CAN WE DERIVE FROM THE CONTENT OF MARY’S SONG OF PRAISE?
Mary’s song of praise has great lesson for us today. She recognized that it was God that exalted and honored her, having regarded her low estate and putting the proud to shame. That God had remembered His servant Israel in His mercy, the promise He made to Abraham and His seed forever and rejoice that the fulfilment came through her.
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION
Mary presented herself as “The handmaid of the Lord” to be the means for God’s power to bring about the birth of Christ. When we humbly place ourselves at the Lord’s disposal, as Mary did, His power can accomplish great things in us, with us and through us.
Then Mary said “behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word”.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL GUIDE
Mon: You are wonderfully made for a purpose.
Tue: You are a chosen generation.
1 Peter 2:9; John 15:16
Wed: Make your visitation meaningful.
Thu: Do not doubt, God’s word.
Luke 1:18-20, 34
Fri: If you live for God, He will honor you in due time.
Sat: Humble yourself before the mighty hand of God.