Jesus Shall Be Great

Christmas Is Christ Series #2

1.jpgSermon Notes Luke 1:26-32 (KJV) And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, [27] To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. [28] And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. [29] And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. [30] And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. [31] And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. [32] He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Audio Of Sermon: 

We live in a world today in which faith is placed not in God nor His Christ nor even His world, but in institutions and people. Idolatry abounds in America, and it shows in the rudeness we see all around us. Many years ago Bible Scholar Arthur W. Pink wrote in his book the Godhood of God:

“When Christian theologians (?) accepted the Darwinian hypothesis, which excluded God from the realm of Creation, it was only to be expected that more and more God would be banished from the realm of human affairs. Thus it has proven. To the twentieth-century mind God is little more than an abstraction …. Man … is a “god” unto himself. He is a “free agent” and therefore the regulator of his own life and the determiner of his own destiny. Such was the Devil’s lie at the beginning – “Ye shall be as God” (Gen. 3:5). But from human speculation and Satanic insinuation we turn to Divine revelation.”1

There is a God, a Triune God, and during this season we call “Christmas” we turn our attention to this Loving Creator. Our focus is not on Santa Claus nor secular humanism, but the Lord and the miracle of this season.

Christmas cards speak of the Wise Men, the First Noel, the Little Town of Bethlehem. In our Church we light the Advent Candles. Everything we do is to bring honor and glory to the reality of Christmas, that God loved us so much that He entered humanity. He became part of His own creation. The Apostle wrote in amazement:

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, {5} To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Paul uses very precise language here. Christ was sent forth. He did not come into existence in Mary, but was with God from eternity past. He is the Living Word of Whom the Scripture says:

Colossians 1:15-17 (KJV) {Jesus} is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: [16] For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: [17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Jesus is co-equal with God, for the Father said of Him:

Hebrews 1:8 (KJV) … Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.

Jesus Christ is very God of very Gods. And our Great God humbled Himself for us.

God Is Great In His Faithfulness To Us

If God became man – and He did – where would you expect Him to enter our story? My expectation would be that He would show up at some well known and famous city, like New York or Washington DC. I would expect His entrance to be filled with ticker tape like the World War 1 hero Alvin York rode through, all to cheering crowds. Where did our Lord enter the world?

Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth ..

In the sixth month” is a reference to the conception of the Prophet John by Zacharias and Elisabeth. Gabriel had promised that couple, that precious older couple, that they would have a son who would be the Herald of Christ. Six months following this announcement God sends Gabriel to a place called Nazareth. A small town, a nondescript place like Sawdust or Culleoka or Garner. There was a saying that went about in those days:

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46)

Nazareth was no place, but two young people lived there who loved the Lord. These young people had been engaged to be married from birth as the custom of the day was, and were living normal and natural lives looking forward to their wedding day until God intervened.

Luke 1:27 (KJV) To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

Mary was a virgin. She was untouched by any man, and engaged to her beloved Joseph. Why did God come to a virgin? You have to look back to the beginning of the Book to understand this. When the serpent, that old devil, tempted Adam and Eve to betray God, God told the serpent:

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Theologians call this the protoevangelium, or the first preaching of the Gospel. What is recorded in Luke was the fulfillment of the promise of God in Genesis. Man sinned, and brought separation from God. But God came and closed the gap.

Romans 5:12 (NKJV) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

God promises the devil that through the SEED of the woman he would be destroyed.

Women do not have SEED
Women have EGGS
Men have SEED
I hope you understand this.
In a normal world, no woman can have a child without the contribution of a man.
So how would this be done?
God is going to show us.
The Scripture declares ..

1 Corinthians 15:22 (NKJV) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Through the natural man sin and death entered the world. But through the Supernatural Man, Jesus Christ, sin would be eradicated and death destroyed. God would do this through the Seed of the woman. The Prophet wrote that God would faithfully keep His promise.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a VIRGIN SHALL CONCEIVE, and bear a son, and shall call his name IMMANUEL.

Immanuel means “God with us”. God would come to us through a virgin. Not only this, God would come to us through the lineage of Abraham. God promised Abraham:

Genesis 18:18 … Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Here is threefold miracle of Christ. He must be “the Seed of the woman” or virgin born. He must be of the lineage of Abraham according to God’s promise. And what else?

God promised King David:

Genesis 49:10 The scepter {symbolic of rulership} shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

This prophecy, given long before the birth of Christ, foretold that the Tribe of Judah would be God’s ruling Tribe in Israel. God said “the scepter – the rule – shall remain in Judah until SHILOH (meaning The One To Whom It Belongs) shall come. Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Judah would rule, and Christ would come from the lineage of Judah.

This is all fulfilled in what God does in Mary. Jesus Christ, the Shiloh of God, must be born of a virgin, born of the line of Abraham, born of the Tribe of Judah, born as an heir of King David. Do you not see? Do you not see miracle upon miracle heaped on our Savior? Yet, do not look at the miracles of fulfilled prophecy and become enamored with them. Do not focus on the vivid colors of the painting and fail to see the overall theme that is rendered here. My aunt Dorothy – now in the arms of Jesus – was assistant curator of the North Carolina Museum of Art. There were many times when I went to the museum in Raleigh and saw beautiful paintings and wondrous scenes. Most of these paintings, when they were first rendered by the artist, seemed to have little value. Many of the artists did not become famous, nor were their works prized, until after their deaths. After their works were examined over the passing years people came to understand how priceless and valuable these paintings were. So it is with the birth of Christ!

So many people this holy-day season will think of Jesus in passing. They will glance at pictures on cards that show the Baby in the Manger. They will look at the colors of Christmas, but not at the overall picture. Look what God accomplished for you! Look at the promises, the amount of time that passed, the precise control that God used, the love of God that passes all understanding. When we see the Cross of Calvary we can understand the love of God.

Unless we see and perceive how much God loved us, and how He proved that love in the virgin birth, then we only see a part of the picture. God is Great! He shall be great. This does not mean that Christ shall work His way into greatness, but as God is great He shall be great, for He is God.

Mary Is A Recipient Of Grace

Why did God choose Mary? Some seek to make Mary greater than she is. Some call Mary the “Queen of Heaven”, and some churches actually worship her. That would be wrong. Mary was a good and Godly woman who loved the Lord. Gabriel says to her:

Luke 1:28-30 (KJV) And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly FAVORED, the Lord is with thee: BLESSED art thou among women. [29] And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. [30] And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found FAVOR with God.

The words of Gabriel show us that Mary is not superhuman, but a child of God by Grace. The angel says:

Hail! – χαίρω chairō – REJOICE!
χαριτόω charitoō – You are filled with GRACE!
εὐλογέω eulogeō – You have been BLESSED!
χάρις charis – You have found GRACE with God!

Mary was not the winner of some prize that she was vying for. God bestowed Grace on her. She loved the Lord, and the Lord was going to bring the Savior into this life through someone who loved Him.

Listen to me, Beloved. God will not bless anyone in a great way unless they are faithful in the small things. Mary loved the Lord God. She kept herself chaste. She obeyed God’s precepts. God used her because she loved Him. God sat His love on Mary, and invited her to participate in that Great Plan of Salvation, just as He has sat His love on you and invited you to participate in His Great Plan.

Jesus Christ’s humanity was born of Mary. Not because Mary was best, but because God loved Mary. Jesus Christ’s humanity was born of Mary. Not because we deserved His love, but because He first loved us. Jesus Christ was born of Mary. Not because either she or we were sinless, but because God is faithful, and in His faithfulness wants to love us.

The Son of God lowered Himself in love to take on humanity to live and die for us. Look at the wonder of God’s Love! In the realm of humanity a king is always born in a palace. The high born are born of high born. This is the way of man. The child of the king will be king, and that child will be waited on hand and foot by nannies and butlers, fed the finest of foods, given the greatest of care. The king’s child will be taught, not in a common school, but with a special tutor, usually someone of great fame, a Plato or a Socrates. Not so with God! When the Son of God came to save the world, He was born of the Tribe of Judah, but Israel was under Roman bondage. He was not born to Herod, nor to Pilate, nor to Caesar, but to Mary and Joseph. He was not born to riches and wealth, nor to degrees and decrees. Jesus Christ was born of an unknown virgin because of God’s great love!

The Christ Child Shall Be Great

Luke 1:31-33 (KJV) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. [32] He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: [33] And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

The Child promised to Mary shall be GREAT! The clue to His greatness begins with His name. Thou shalt call His name JESUS. His name means God is our Savior. Jesus is a great Savior. Jesus is great because He is the one and only Son of the Highest. He is THE Son of God. As the Son of God He possesses the Throne of David, and rules over Israel. His Kingdom never ends. Earthly kingdoms come and God, but Christ reigns forever.

The Child shall be great in power. Jesus’ creative power is seen in how He healed and restored those around Him. The lepers cried out to Jesus:

Jesus, Master, have mercy on us! (Luke 17:13)

Jesus healed the ten lepers, but only one leper returned to Jesus after his healing. This leper …

Luke 17:16-18 (NKJV) …. fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

Jesus is great in power, and great in love. He healed whosoever would come to Him. Jesus is a great Healer. Jesus is the Son of God. He is great in power and majesty. But most of all, Jesus is great in love. He is the Great Shepherd Who lays down His life for His sheep.

John 10:11-16 (NKJV) I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. …14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

Oh how Jesus loves His people. Oh how Jesus shall be great in love. This Holy Child of Mary’s is no mere human mortal, but He is God in the flesh. He is the God Man of whom the Apostle said:

Acts 20:28 Feed the church of God, which He has purchased with His own blood.

This Baby that Mary would have would be the “Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). No other man would ever speak as Jesus spoke – but His greatest greatness lies in the truth that He is God’s payment for sin. We are told in Romans:

Romans 11:36 (NLT) For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.

But He lowers Himself to enter this earth for us. He would be born of Mary so that we could be saved. We who were chained in sin, He came to save! Spurgeon said:

He has undertaken great things, and glory be to His name, He has achieved them. His people’s sins were laid upon Him, and He bore them up to the cross, and on the cross He made an end of them, so that they will never be mentioned against them any more forever. Then He went down into the grave, and slept there for a little season, but He tore away the bars of the sepulcher and left death dead at His feet, bringing life and immortality to light by His resurrection.”

Jesus is greater than death, the defeater of sin and the giver of eternal life. He is great. He is great in that He will save whosoever will, if they will but come to Him. He invites you into His Kingdom that has no end.

Will you come? He is a Great Savior for a Great Sinner. This Child to be born of Mary was born to die for us. The Scripture says:

Romans 5:8-10 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

God has a GREAT WRATH reserved for the sinner who rejects Him. Rejecting Christ you have no where to go but a burning lake following this life. But Jesus was born of a virgin so that you could be reborn of God. Jesus entered humanity so that saved humanity can enter Heaven. Will you not receive of His Greatness!

If Jesus had not been virgin born, then you would not be saved. If Jesus had not taken on human flesh, then He could not shed His blood for you. If Jesus Christ had not agreed to make payment for your sinful nature, you would still be under the wrath of God. But because Jesus lowered Himself to be born of a virgin, you have – if you have believed – eternal life in Him!

This is Love Personified, this Jesus Christ our Lord! Though born of a lowly virgin, He is nonetheless Eternal God. The Bible tells us:

Hebrews 1:6 …when [God] bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him

How Shall This Be? God Will Do It!

When Mary was told that she was going to have a Child, she quite naturally asked:

Luke 1:34 (KJV) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

How is it possible that I, a virgin, conceive a Child such as this? Perhaps you who are bound in sin and hopelessness wonder how your life can be changed and be made new. The Angel told Mary:

Luke 1:35-37 (KJV) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. [36] And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. [37] For with God nothing shall be impossible.

The Angel’s answer to Mary was, basically, “God will do it”. How can your life change from sinner to saint, from lost to saved, from wanderer to a Child of God? It cannot come through your own power. Jeremiah (13:23) asked “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” No, there are things we cannot do.

But with God all things are possible. You just need to say “Yes” to God, to trust Him, to let Him work in your life. Trust Christ. Say with Mary:

Luke 1:38 (KJV) …. Behold the {servant} of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

God is great, and will bless you if you but trust in Christ. May God touch your hearts with His Word.

1A.W. Pink, Godhood of God,

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in Christmas, Christmas Sermons, Following Disciples, Luke, Sermons Preached and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Jesus Shall Be Great

  1. embracegodwithconnie says:

    This is nice and very informative!

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