As we heard, it was from an Angel:
“Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1.28)
But, we are told, she “was greatly troubled” at what she heard. She learnt she would be pregnant, though in a secret and miraculous way. However, such a pregnancy before marriage could mean rejection by Joseph, her husband to be, and a tarnished reputation for life. Learning the truth is sometimes hard.
Perhaps you have recently learnt something regarding your family or health or work that means you, too, are “greatly troubled”.
Well, the message of Christmas provides true hope and encouragement for all. It teaches you not only that God is real but God loves you (the evidence is Christ’s coming in history); God is for you (the evidence is Christ’s death on the Cross); and God is with you (for Christ is “Emmanuel” – meaning “God is with us”, as we shall be singing). So how you need to trust him!
But what did Mary learn new from that angelic message that is still important for today? Three things.
First, she learnt she was to give her son “the name Jesus” which, originally in Hebrew, means “God saves”. The one born, therefore, is our “Saviour”.
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1.15)
Christ came to die, in our place, for our sins to restore our relationship with God; and then he rose from the dead conquering death, to give new life for now and for eternity by his Holy Spirit. And none are too bad to be saved, or too good to need saving.
Secondly, Mary was told:
“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (Luke 1.32)
“The Holy Spirit will come upon 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.” (Luke 1.35)
So Mary learnt her baby would be none other than the divine Son of God
Thirdly, she then heard these words:
“The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1.32-33)
The following quote deserves its own space:
She was being told that Jesus would be the one the ancient prophets looked forward to and predicted. He was not only “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father”, but would also be “Prince of Peace.” He was truly unique, with no equals and no successors. And, as we can now see, his resurrection confirmed that he would indeed be not just the King of Israel but the eternal King of all kings, and Lord of all Lords.
Merry Christmas to everyone who visits this site. I hope you have a blessed and meaningful Christmas.
Perhaps next Christmas will be spent in New Jerusalem. We can hope.