Christmas Eve Services and offering
What Child is this Part 3 – Mary
In the song, it goes like this
“What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?”
We saw the prophetic importance of the shepherd’s story two weeks ago, last week the wise men, and this week Mary’s story here is where it begins
Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom, there will be no end.” 34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be since I do not know a man?” 35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Great story think about the practicality
– small village where everyone knew everyone else – gossip central
– Had a pre-arranged marriage with Joseph her dream and his
– could have cost her, her life
– this would have been a mark against her whole family not just her
– who would believe her?
To Mary that day, this baby was merely going to be her child a miraculous one, one she could not fully understand, but her child all the same
What do we know about Mary that also reflects the nature of Christ?
- From this passage, we see she was committed to God so much so of all the women in Israel she was the one who “found favor with God.
Jesus – Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
– This child, like us understands growing pains, understands the difficulty of growing up and going through stuff. Sometimes it is hard for children to relate to God but our God grew up going through all of the things we have gone through and understands
2) She was a woman of integrity wanting only to honor God – “How can this be I have not known a man”
Jesus – Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
– This child grew so much so and went through so much that he was tempted in every way like we are. He understands what you are going through the fears, struggles, concerns, misunderstanding he understands completely all of our weaknesses and overcame them maintaining his integrity
3) She was a humble servant – “Let it be according to your word”
Jesus – Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
– This child is so humble that He was willing to lay down His own life for ours how much more do you think he will do whatever it takes to reach you where you are going through whatever you are facing
As we look at this child through the eyes of Mary this week…there is another aspect of God’s nature I want us to understand
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them
Many of the things we attribute culturally to women are really a reflection of God
This is extremely important in our age because so many cannot relate to a loving Father, they have suffered abuse at the hands of a Father or other male role model and assume that is all there is to our Father but even though He is our Father, He is our protector, defender, provider, guide he loves nurtures and cares better than any mother ever could.
Scripture verses about what our culture would call the “feminine nature of God”
- God comforts his people like a mother comforts her child (Isaiah 66:13)
- Like a woman would never forget her nursing child, God will not forget his children (Isaiah 49:15)
- God is like a mother eagle hovering over her young (Deuteronomy 32:11)
- God seeks the lost like a housekeeper, trying to find her lost coin (Luke 15:8-10)
- God cares for his people like a midwife that cares for the child she just delivered (Ps 22:9-10, Ps 71:6, Isa 66:9)
- God experiences the fury of a mother bear robbed of her cubs (Hosea 13:8)
- Jesus revealed this heart in many ways with his care and compassion for people and we see it very clearly in Luke 13:34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.”
It is important that we understand that all of the nurturing, compassion, love and care that is intrinsic in most Mother’s comes naturally from the Father
Today if you struggle with the idea of God as “father” because your Father was not very loving or compassionate, you can see that every mother gets her ability to nurture, love and care from God as well…let Him heal you and show that part of who he is to you
Last but not least the greatest way we see Jesus through Mary is she willingly gave up her life to do the Father’s will
Jesus lived doing the Father’s will…
– he did only that which he saw the Father doing John 5:19
– He was such a reflection of the Father that when asked “show us the Father he said you see him when you see me John 14:9,10
– In Gethsemane, he made the ultimate decision to reflect the Father
not my will but yours be done Luke 22:42
What child is this?
Today he reveals to us the tender nature and nurturing side of the Father through a Mother’s heart
All of your brokenness he wants to heal
Every tear and wound he wants to wipe away
Every bit of encouragement that you need
He reveals to us to be a true Christ-follower you must be willing to lay down your life, your agenda, your future for Him
In order to win, to overcome, to be a success in this life…His dreams for you are bigger than you could ever imagine
You need to be willing to say, as Mary did “whatever you want Lord” and as Jesus did “not my will but yours”
Exchange the best you can do for the best He can do through you today!