15. December, 2019Sermon Notes No comments

confronting-predicaments-with-faith

Scriptures: Luke 1:26-38; Matt 1:18-25

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

 

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

 

1. Mary’s Predicaments

A. First Predicament (vv.26-29)
  • Greeting from an angel
  • Reaction of Mary: greatly troubled wondering what kind of greeting it might be
  • Assurance from the angel: Don’t be afraid. You are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

B. Second Predicament (vv.30-34)
  • Will be pregnant and give birth to the Son of the Most High
  • Reaction of Mary: very human … how can it be… I am a virgin
  • Tsunami of negative thoughts and emotions
  • Maintains a faith of that awaits God’s explanation, direction and wisdom
C. Third Predicament (vv.35-38)
  • It is the Holy Spirit Who will cause her to conceive by His Mighty Power
  • Angel assured her that even her relative Elizabeth in old age could conceive
  • Mary responds with a faith that believes and submits to the Sovereign will of God

 

2. Joseph’s Predicaments (Matt 1:18-25)

A. First Predicament (vv.18-23)
  • His whole world came crushing down… his fiancée carrying another man’s baby
  • He will divorce her quietly
  • The angel appeared to Joseph explaining the whole situation to him and giving him a godly solution
  • He had bold faith when he dared to trust in the voice and guidance of the angel
B. Second Predicament (vv.24-25)

Joseph showed obedient faith:

  • went ahead to marry Mary inspite of knowing she was pregnant but not with his baby
  • refrained himself from consummating his relationship with Mary while she carried Baby Jesus

 

Mary and Joseph teaches us that in times of predicaments, we need faith that:

  • trusts God is always with us
  • awaits for God’s explanation, direction and wisdom
  • submits to the sovereign will of God, knowing that He does all things right and good for us
  • is obedient to do the will of God… even though it calls for sacrifice and discipline.

 

 

By: Rev. Maureen Seow

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