- Sermon Notes
Let His Will Be Done
This morning we going to see a glimpse into the life of a teenage girl named Mary, who is engaged to be married. Surely, she had grown up with hopes and thoughts as to what her engagement and marriage would be like when she got there. But while engaged, she finds out that the path toward marriage would take a turn she was not expecting as the will of the Lord was revealed in her life. What was to come in her life may have been avoided, questioned, or rejected by some, but as God’s will is revealed in the life Mary, she responds by letting His will be done.
Read: Luke 1:26-38
What Mary was being asked to do would put much of her earthly priorities at risk, including her impending marriage. Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel was an affirmation of her commitment to the Lord and His word over her life. She could have said no. She could have refused and opted to place her daily priorities, or her reputation above what she was being called to, but she didn’t, she said yes and firmly placed her future in God’s hands.
This would make Mary the first of many to say yes to Jesus. Her “yes” to Jesus would make many throughout the generations call her blessed, yet in her life at that moment would put her trust and faith in the Lord to the test. Despite what was to come, Mary responded by letting God’s will be done.
When given the opportunity to respond to the will of the Lord in your life and mine, many of the same elements can be heavy on one’s mind. The choice one makes regarding that call will send them on a journey that can bring about degrees of inconvenience, or an interruption to the way they thought it all was supposed to pan out. But saying yes to Jesus, is turning from the way in which you had it all planned and realizing that the place you must get, is where you, like Mary, remain determined to let His will be done.
I. Embrace the Word He Gives
- At this time Mary was likely around the age of 14 years old, she was a virgin, and had already been betrothed (engaged) to a man named Joseph.
- In Bible times, Jewish marriage customs regarding a couple’s engagement were much more formal and stringent than what we know today.
- Marriages were arranged by the parents of the bride and groom, often even without consulting the couple. In this arrangement, the groom’s parents would pay a bride price and it was immediately deemed binding.
- Betrothal could only be voided by death or divorce. It lasted a year, and was a time whereby the bride would prove her faithfulness and purity, while the husband was to prepare a home for his bride-to-be.
- During this time, the couple was then considered married, even though the actual consummation of marriage would not occur for up to a year afterwards.
- In the midst of this season of anticipated marriage, Mary is greeted by the angel Gabriel with these words, “Greetings favored one! The Lord is with you.”
- Vs. 29, Mary was perplexed at the greeting given to her, that she was called “favored one.”
- She likely understood what the term meant, however, these words spoken over her are troubling. She was not a prophet or a priest, she was not in God’s temple performing acts of service. She was a young woman, most scholars believe around the age of 14, living at home and planning her wedding.
- The word spoken over her specifically was, charitoo, which means “highly favored,” “full of grace,” or “much graced.”
- The angel Gabriel was about to divulge the direction associated with the will and word of the Lord for her life, yet in that moment, she was perplexed by the assertion that she was “favored.”
- That favor, though perplexing to perceive, was the result of what the angel said next. It was because the Lord was with her.
Luke 18:19, No one is good except God alone.
Romans 3:23-24, All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.
- Interestingly, there is only one other time in scripture where the Greek word charitoo, meaning “highly favored,” “full of grace,” or “much graced” is used. And it is not concerning Mary, but concerning you and I.
- The grace that has been freely given to those in Christ, as found in Ephesians 1:6 is the same word used regarding Mary, which is translated, “highly favored, “much graced,” “full of grace.”
- You might be perplexed at the notion that you who are in Christ are highly favored, but know that the only other description of the great favor on Mary, is when those in Christ are described.
- We are highly favored, not because of who we are, but because of where we are. We are in Christ!
2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
- We are much graced, when we embraced the Word He has given. Blessed with every spiritual blessing, chosen, adopted in, children of God.
- When He calls you highly favored…Don’t be perplexed, look to what He has next as you….
- Place your plans in His hands
Luke 1:30-31, The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.
- After calling her “highly favored” the angel Gabriel gives the details of her assignment.
- She was going to have a Son, but not just any Son, THE Son of the Most High, the Savior.
- Gabriel is specific about the Son that is to come, and also about the plan in place.
- The assignment was to bear and birth Jesus. Yet, she was a virgin in her betrothal period. There were many potential and real ramifications of the divulged destination.
- When faced with similar, when something looks to put a block or a ban on the way we had it all planned out, certain questions come, many wrong conclusions are then considered.
- For Mary, it would put her impending marriage at great risk.
- There were other extreme social consequences: If Joseph did not believe her story, she could potentially have been stoned to death, if he chose not to marry her, she would most likely have remained unmarried for life. If her own father rejected her, she could be forced into begging, or prostitution in order to earn her living. Risked being called a liar, crazy or worse.
Illus. One year away.
- You may not understand where a perceived road block will lead you, but the Lord does.
- Sometimes it might be a road block, other times it is our inability to get beyond the course we have detailed out and plotted for ourselves.
- In Mary’s case, the Lord would take care of some of those concerns. After Joseph had planned to divorce her quietly, and angel of the Lord came to speak with him.
- Joseph continued on the path, the Lord made the way.
- You may be wondering, how will the Lord work it out?
B. Trust that He is who you need
- Surely, if the highest value was being placed on the natural, on the material, on the treasures of this earth, her call would seem a dead end or at the base level a street paved with deep difficulty.
- And there are many opportunities for you and I to do the same.
1 Corinthians 2:14, But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised.
- The question then follows, which appraisal am and looking at? The spiritual, or the natural?
- The “natural man” describes the materialist, who lives as if there is nothing beyond this physical life. Their appraisal of all things is without consideration of the Lord and His will.
- In verse 34, we see Mary ask the angel Gabriel a question, New King James Version, “How can this be, since I do not know a man.”
Isaiah 7:14, The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
- In asking this question, Mary was not questioning her call or expressing doubt, rather, she was wondering how this was going to happen, she was simply questioning the methodology.
- In doing so, she asks, how will I do this without what seems to be necessary, a man?
- As God’s plan is revealed in many of our lives, this is often the same question we put forth.
Illus. Pool of Bethesda.
- When the Lord is in it, there is no limit. How can it happen you might ask?
Zechariah 4:6, This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.
- Gabriel’s answer to Mary is that the Holy Spirit would bring this calling, this assignment, this miracle to fruition. And this is true in our lives as well; it is not man who will bring about fruitfulness, it is the Holy Spirit.
- He told her what the Holy Spirit was going to do in her and that the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God and then as evidence of the power of God, told her that Elizabeth had conceived in her old age; she who was barren was even in her sixth month.
- Would there be difficulty ahead? Yes. Embarrassment? Likely. An uncertain future in her mind? I would imagine so. But she embraced the call knowing that her help was from the Lord and He would be with her.
- Mary responds to the angel by saying, “Let it be done according to your word.”
- Mary made the decision to trust the Lord, to let His will be done. She didn’t wait until Joseph seemed open to the idea of the Lord doing this work in her. She didn’t wait until the most opportune time, or wait for another sign.
Proverbs 19:21, Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Illus. How will this happen?
Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.