LUKE 1:26-38, MATTHEW 1:18-25 – GODLY PARENTS
LIFE OF CHRIST #2 of 61
(This Sermon may be used by itself or as part of a series)
I am going to make a bold assumption. I’m going to give you the benefit of any doubt and assume that you are in church because at some level you want to be godly. And if you want to be godly in general, it would follow that you would want to be a godly parent in particular.
We need role models to be godly parents. The Bible introduces us to people who are role models as godly parents.
This week we are about to meet up with Mary and Joseph as they find out that they are going to be the earthly parents of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will view the announcements made to each of them concerning the birth God’s Son, and in doing so we will also discover the qualities each one had that made them a godly parent. Even if you are not a parent now, these same qualities will also help you to be a godly individual.
Let’s begin by looking at Mary, the mother of our Lord.
Our text is Luke 1:26-38.
Vs. 26 – Gabriel is only one of two angels mentioned by name in Scripture. The other is Michael the Archangel. Gabriel seems to be God’s messenger. He had appeared to Daniel, and more recently to Zecharias. It was in the sixth month of the miraculous pregnancy of Elizabeth, the aged mother of John the Baptist.
Gabriel was sent to Nazareth, a little known hole in the wall town in Galilee. In fact, Nazareth is never mentioned in the Old Testament. This city housed a conglomerate of Jews, Gentiles, and Roman soldiers.
You would think that an angel sent from God would appear to someone who was well known and in the limelight. Not so!
Vs. 27 – Gabriel was sent to a young teenage girl, a virgin, who was just like thousands of other teenage peasant girls in Palestine at that time. Their plan was to marry young, have lots of children, raise them and eventually die. Not much excitement.
Mary was espoused to a man named Joseph, who was a descendent of David. Joseph and Mary had already made vows to each other. Usually within a year of the vows, Joseph would come for Mary. There would be a wedding celebration and they would consummate the marriage.
They were considered married although they were not yet living together. To break this commitment required a divorce.
Now, let’s consider the first quality that helped make Mary a Godly parent.
Vs. 28 – The word “hail” can be translated “rejoice”!
Mary was to rejoice because she was highly favored and blessed among women.
The reason is obvious. Only one woman throughout the earth’s history and could be chosen as the mother of Israel’s Messiah, the Son of God!
This doesn’t mean that Mary was sinless, but she was special and certainly had a heart for God.
And let me remind you that you are special this morning.
You are special because you either are or can become a “child of God”. That makes you special and highly favored. John 1:12, Ephesians 1:6
Vs. 29 – Mary was a close listener. Not only would she have been unnerved by the appearance of a stranger, but she paid attention enough to know that what he was saying was significant. She simply wondered what he meant by the saying.
Vs. 30 – Now if an any angel appeared to you, would you think yourself in trouble? “Oh no! What did I do now?”
God quelled any fears Mary may have had. “Don’t be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God!”
Vs. 31 – “Mary you are going to get pregnant.”
“Mary, it’s a boy!”
“Mary, name him “Jesus” or “Joshua”.
The name “Jesus” means “Savior”.
Vss. 32-33 – How great was Jesus? Just consider the power of His miracles, from feeding 5,000 to raising the dead!
He would be called the “Son of the Highest” because He is!
And the throne is coming when He again comes to earth!
He will than reign over Israel, and there will no end to His kingdom!
Vs. 34 – Mary is listening. You can tell she’s listening. She does not doubt, but, she is thinking. She asks the obvious question “How can this be, since I am not having a sexual relationship with a man?”
All through her life, Mary listened.
First she listened to the angel, later she listened to her Son.
She paid attention when he spoke!
The bottom line is that Mary listened for the voice of God!
If you are going to be a godly parent, you need to listen as well!
First, you need to listen to God in prayer and through His word. You can’t be a good parent unless you have God’s guidance! Psalm 127:1
Also, you need to learn to listen to your children!
You can only lead a child correctly if you take time to listen when they speak.
Instead of fretting or being distracted by the sheer enormity of what she had been told, Mary sought to learn.
Vs. 35 – Mary was told that the work of conception would be done by the Holy Spirit.
She was also told that the “power of the highest” would overshadow her. That means that the same presence of God that was in the tabernacle and in the temple in the “holy of holies” would come upon her.
Please note that the baby was “holy”.
This baby was entirely set apart for God.
This baby had no sin and no sin nature!
This baby would have been known as the Son of God because He was and is!
Vs. 36 – To give further proof, the angel told Mary that her barren cousin, Elizabeth, was pregnant. That was proof of the power of God, and that what Gabriel was saying was the truth.
Mary was learning!
She absorbed these things and tried to understand them to the best of her ability.
Mary would go on to learn more about her Son, as he was growing up, as He ministered and as He died on the cross.
Mary meditated on the things she heard. Luke 2:19
Luke 2:19 – But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
We too, need to learn from God, as we listen to Him.
We too, need to learn about our children so that we understand them.
As parents, we should ask God for the wisdom to understand our children.
Vs. 37 – This is a powerful reminder.
THERE IS NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!
There is not one thing that God can not do.
When He makes a promise, He keeps it.
When we pray by faith He answers.
If nothing is impossible God, then there should be only one source of power in our lives – HIM!
We are to lean on Him in faith. That’s what Mary did.
Vs. 38 – First Mary yielded herself to God.
She was God’s “handmaid”, a female slave.
Be it unto me according to thy Word – She was willing to accept whatever God had planned for her life and lean on Him through it.
This was not something to be taken lightly.
Many would be the times of misunderstanding, people not believing that she was really the Messiah’s mother.
Many would be the times of sorrow, especially at the cross.
Being a parent to a martyr would not be easy.
Being the parent of the sinless son of God, who was martyred, would be extremely agonizing.
Mary accepted the role God had for her and leaned on Him.
Have you accepted the role God has for you as a parent?
Do you have a particularly trying child?
There is only one place to go, and that’s to the Lord!
Lean on Him. It’s the only way Godly parents make it through.
Now turn please to Matthew 1:18-25.
Here we see the other Godly parent, Jesus’ stepfather, Joseph. We learn from Him as well.
JOSEPH WAS RIGHTEOUS
Vs. 18 – The Holy Spirit had done His work, as promised.
Mary was discovered to be pregnant.
The news came out, probably in a hush, Mary was pregnant!
Vs. 19 – Joseph knew that he wasn’t the father. Mary had been away visiting her cousin Elizabeth… Perhaps when she was away…
Joseph, who loved Mary, would have been devastated.
He was a just or righteous man, he would divorce her.
He was a righteous man, he would do it quietly so as not to publicly embarrass her.
He was a righteous man, he would do what was right, kindly!
He would quietly grant her a divorce, and go his own way, devastated.
Joseph was a righteous parent.
A parent should always do what is right!
If a child needs to be corrected, we should correct the child. Proverbs 22:15, Proverbs 22:26
Remember however, part of being righteous is being kind.
A parent who only knows how to criticize and correct will harm the child.
A righteous parent will encourage, because that’s part of righteousness.
A righteous parent will express love, because that’s part of being a righteous parent.
A righteous parent will forgive, because that’s part of being a righteous parent.
JOSEPH WAS RECEPTIVE
Like Mary Joseph was open to what would say to Him.
He was planning to do what was right and what was kind.
Vs. 20 – Joseph had a dream. It was the first of a few.
Joseph was told not to be afraid to take Mary as His wife.
Joseph was told that the Holy Spirit of God was responsible for the birth.
He was let in on the secret.
Vs. 21 – Joseph was told the name of the boy, “Jesus”.
The name means “savior”. It was the name of the general who saved his people by leading them to military victories as the land of Canaan was conquered.
Joseph was told why the name would be Jesus. He would save his people from their sins.
That’s why Jesus came. He came to die for us that we might have forgiveness and everlasting life.
Vss. 22-23 – Matthew tells us more. He tells us that the birth of Jesus was the fulfilling of prophecy. He tells us that this prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 says that Jesus would be called “Emmanuel” or “God with us.”
Please note that Joseph was given new information and he was receptive. He was willing to have his mind changed by the facts.
This is a good lesson for us who would be Godly parents.
Sometimes your children will give you more information and will want you to change your mind.
Sometimes God will show you that your child is right and that you are wrong and will want you to change your mind.
There are times when a receptive parent will change his or her opinion because it is right!
JOSEPH WAS RESPONSIVE
Vss. 24-25 – Joseph did what he was told.
He responded immediately in obedience and took Mary to be his wife.
God did not have speak twice or twist his arm. Joseph acted.
Good parents are responsive parents.
They do what is right, when God shows them what is right.
They act in obedience to God.
There is no better role model for a child than a parent who is obedient to God and will obey no matter what the cost.
The birth announcement was given to two Godly parents.