Sermons

The Miracles of Christmas (Luke 1:26-37)

Pastor Anthony Bacino, December 23, 2018
Part of the Holiday Preachings series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

Introduction

In 1931, Ed and Julia Stewart were driving home on Christmas Eve when they suddenly got a flat in the middle of the Arizona desert. While her husband changed the tire, Mrs. Stewart wandered off for a bit, what happened next was amazing. Mrs. Stewart came across an old hatbox, with an abandoned (but totally healthy) newborn baby girl inside. Now, this all took place a few miles outside of Superior, Arizona, a tiny town in 1931. Today it is the home of the Bob Jones Museum but there is not very much else surrounding the town of 2800 people. So just think what kind of astronomical odds it took for the couple to get a flat tire in close proximity to the discarded baby, allowing them to save her life. What’s even more incredible is that the Stewarts then decided to give this little Christmas miracle over to the authorities so she could be legally adopted by properly vetted people.

We think of Christmas as a time of miracles when miracle above all other times can happen. Why? Because Christmas celebrates the miracle of the virgin birth, and the even greater miracle of God stepping onto the plane of humankind in order to relate to us, as John 1:14 so profoundly states, And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

This wonderful miracle spawned many others wonderful miracles. C.S. Lewis gives this definition, “A miracle is an interference with nature by supernatural power.”

I A Miracle Birth vv. 26-34

1. 2,000 years ago, God usurped HIS natural way of bringing children into this world through a virgin who gave birth to a child. Mary’s response to the angel’s announcement was predictable. She was “troubled vv. 29.” The Greek word means that she was thoroughly confused and perplexed. Why shouldn’t she be? This had never happened before in all human history. Mary asked the only question that made sense at the time: How shall this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘seeing I know not a man” or in other words, I am a virgin?’ (Luke 1:34).

2. The angel’s response showed that this would have to be the result of the Holy Spirit’s activity. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow thee. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
Miracles just don’t happen without the activity of the Holy Spirit. It was true then for this amazing event and it’s true now. So here is a lesson for all of us from the Christmas story, and it applies to us not just at Christmas, but every other day of our lives. We cannot live the life God wants for us, and achieve the dreams he has for us, without the power of the Holy Spirit.

3. The work of the Holy Spirit was God’s part of the miracle, but what about Mary’s responsibility? Tucked away in the original language of her conversation with the angel was a word that isn’t noticed from a quick reading of the exchange with Gabriel. The angel said to Mary, “For with God nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37). Mary responded to the angel: be it unto me according to thy word. (Luke 1:38). “May it be to me as you have said”.

Literally, the angel said to Mary, “No rhā’-mä of God is powerless.” A rhema is a Greek an utterance or expression for a “word.” When God speaks, what He says isn’t powerless but is able to bring a miracle to pass. She got the message. She responded, literally, “Let it be to me according to your rhema.” Mary was saying, “If the rhema of God is powerful and does not fail, then let that word work for me.” God wants that to be our response. “Since your Word is not powerless, let it be to me according to your Word.”

4. We learn from Mary to never give up on the rhema of God. There may seem to be obstacles to God’s promises, but those obstacles can’t stop us if we hold fast to what God has said. His word is powerful. The power of the Holy Spirit and the power of God’s Word are still available. This is why we have miracles even today because God’s Word is all powerful. It worked for Mary and it will work for us. The virgin birth of Christ is not the only miracle in the Christmas story.

II. Other Christmas Miracles.

1. John the Baptist’s birth was also miraculous. His father, Zechariah, was a priest of the line of Abijah (a priest during David’s time descended from Aaron) who served at the temple in Jerusalem twice a year. John’s mother, Elizabeth, was a cousin of Mary and also a descendant of Aaron (the first high priest). Zechariah and Elizabeth faithfully followed God’s laws, yet they were “very old” and were childless because Elizabeth could not conceive (Luke 1:5–7). God miraculously blessed this elderly couple with a child—and no ordinary child. Their son would be “great in the sight of the Lord” (v. 15) and “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (v. 17).

2. God sent the heavenly host that welcomed the lowest of Bethlehem’s people, the lowly shepherds—to be the first to come and adore the newborn King of kings. We recall the magi, who traveled far from the east—following a special star—to humbly worship this child. Jesus’ birth was marked by angelic visitations, prophecies, dreams and miraculous signs. Yet, the miracles don’t end here the miracles of Christmas follow with…

III The Miracle of God’s plan for all our Lives

1. That is the miracle I want all of you to see…the miracle of God’s plan.
1 John 4:9-10 – In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. [10] Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

2. The word “manifested” – means to be made visible, the ultimate act of self- sacrifice. It was the ultimate act of love: to die in another’s place in His death on the Cross. Jesus paid the price of His enemies because God loves all men. They are all precious to Him! He places value on all human life! Therefore we understand that… verse 14 states that, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

3.The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into the world as an actual man — a real man of a particular height, with hair of a particular color, speaking a particular language, weighing so many pounds. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but our Redeemer.

4. Just as God orchestrated circumstances in Jesus’ day to make the way for His birth, He works out every detail in our lives “in the fullness of time” and sets the stage for the things He desires. Like the salvation of your eternal soul. Christmas reminds us that each one of us who are “born again” is a continuing miracle of God. God too has a plan a time and a way of making everything come together in our lives for our good. God loves you and can grant you the miracle of restore health, delivery from addiction, freedom form sins effect. It your chose to make the connection to the first miracle that is faith in the Christ…

Conclusion:

Do you need a miracle right now? God cares deeply about you and your situation and He wants you to trust Him. God desires good things for you. He wants the very best for you and is actively seeking to bring about his plans to prosper you. You may have tried many times before to believe God in your situation but He hasn’t given up on you yet, don’t give up on Him. You can trust Him. He is your Heavenly Father who loves you dearly.

Every Christmas season we remind each other that it is not enough for Christ to have been born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. What really counts is Christ being born in the human heart. Your Bethlehem is when Christ came to you and was born in your heart.

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