Luke 1:26-38




Most of us want to be successful in life.

But what is success?



Is success the same as making money or overcoming difficulties?

The same as being first or reaching the top?



Some define success that way.

But a better definition says, “Success is finding God’s will for your life;”



“And carrying it out.”

We will leave this life as a successful person, if we have done what God        

wanted us to do.



He has a plan.

Every believer who ever lived;



Every believer alive today;

And every believer who lives in the future is a part of that plan.



When we stand before the judgment seat of God, our success in life will not

be measured by the fortune we amassed;

Or the people we supervised;



Or the problems we overcame;

Or anything like that.

Our success in life will be measured by our response to the things God         

wanted us to do.

Did we say yes when He asked us to accept Christ?



Did we say yes when He asked us to serve in the Church?

These things will determine our success in life.



Mary is an example.

God had a special plan for her.



It was an unusual plan.

It seemed impossible.



But Mary responded in a positive way.

God sent an angel to her;



Not just any angel;

The angel Gabriel.



This seems significant to me.

It’s the angel Gabriel who told Daniel that the Messiah would appear in 483   

years (Dan. 9:24-27);



It’s the angel Gabriel who told Zacharias that John the Baptist would be born.

And now it’s the angel Gabriel who is delivering this message to Mary.



He went to a place called Nazareth.

This was a small city.




We would call it a small town;

A relatively insignificant little town.



Not much went on there.

But a virgin named Mary lived there.



And Luke does not want us to miss this point.

He mentions it twice in the same verse.



Gabriel appeared “To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of        

the house of David;”

“And the virgin's name was Mary.”



The Bible is clearly teaching that Mary was a chaste woman;

That Mary had never been involved in a sexual relationship with a man.



This is emphasized because God knew men would deny the virgin birth.

He knew men would say it is a biological impossibility.



So He picked a doctor to record this event.

And doctor Luke tells us twice in the same verse that Mary was a virgin.



There are at least six Mary’s mentioned in the New Testament.

This Mary lived in Nazareth.



She was engaged to a man named Joseph.

We don’t know for sure, but Mary's parents probably arranged this     





That was the custom back then.

Mary was poor.



And she was probably a teenager (perhaps 13 or 14 years old).

Joseph was of the house of David;



A descendant of the old royal family.

He was poor too.



He and Mary were too poor to offer a sheep when they took Jesus to the      

Temple to be circumcised.

This is the kind of people God chooses.



He can overcome things like age and poverty;

Where we are from, where we live, etc.



God can overcome our circumstances.

It’s things like pride, unbelief and rebellion that stop Him.



Gabriel greeted Mary in a special way,

“Hail, thou who art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou      

among women.”



This needs our attention.

Some Catholics make too much of it.



And some Protestants make too little of it.

Some Catholics worship Mary.




And some Protestants put her down.

God was not making a deity out of Mary.



But the Bible DOES say that she was highly favored.

And God DID choose her for a very special task.



What did she think about this angel?

“When she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered in her    

mind what manner of greeting this should be.”



Mary was troubled and perplexed.

The mere presence of this angel would be enough to make any teenager        




How would you react if you turned around,

And an angel was standing there with a message from God?



Mary pondered the meaning of this greeting.

Is this a joke?



Is this really an angel?

Is this really a message from God?



Am I really being favored by God?

What does blessed art thou among women mean?



Gabriel sensed her alarm.

He tried to assure her.




He repeated part of the greeting.

“Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God.”



Don’t be afraid Mary.

God is pleased with you.



God has something special for you.

“Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt   

call his name Jesus.”



You will have a baby;

A baby boy.



God wants you to name Him Jesus.

Jesus means “The Lord is salvation.”



Dr. J. Vernon McGee points out that a woman brought sin into the world.

Eve led Adam into sin.



But Dr. McGee also points out that God chose a woman to help do something       

about that sin.

He chose Mary to bring the Savior into the world.



One woman was very instrumental in the fall of mankind.

And another woman was very instrumental in the salvation of mankind.



Next, Gabriel began to tell Mary what her child would be like.

Only God can do that.




Only God can reveal someone's future before they are born.

Gabriel said five things about Jesus:



1st---Gabriel said, “He shall be great.”

Jesus showed great power by raising the dead, healing the sick, walking on   

water and casting out demons.



He was great in compassion;

Great in knowledge;



Great in wisdom.

A greater person never lived.



He changed this world.

And everyone knows it.



2nd---Gabriel told Mary, “He shall be called the Son of the Highest."

Who is “The Highest?”



“The Highest” is God;

And the “Son of the Highest” is the Son of God.



Gabriel was saying Jesus will have a special relationship with God.

He will be related to God in a unique and intimate way.



He will even be called the “Son of the Highest.”

3rd---Gabriel told Mary, “The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his

father David.”




Several hundred years before this, God promised King David a descendant to        

sit on his throne.

And to rule over an eternal kingdom.



God put that promise in the form of a covenant.

He made it binding and unconditional.



Gabriel was saying Jesus will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to King      


He is the promised heir;



The anointed one;

The King of kings and Lord of lords.



4th---Gabriel told Mary, “He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever.”

Jesus was, is, and always will be, the King of the Jews.



Isaiah said the government of Israel will rest on His shoulders.

And the nation of Israel will be very special to Him.



The world needs to be very careful about how it treats Israel.

The Bible calls Israel the apple of God’s eye;



It says harming Israel is the same thing as sticking your finger in God’s eye.