Luke 1:32-35 Prophecy Fulfilled 12/22/2002

 

  • A Priest Named Zacharias (Luke 1:23-25)

 

 

#1. Call His Name Jesus (Luke 1:26-32, John 7:52,1:46)

 

 

  • Call His Name Emmanuel (Matt 1:18-25, Isa 7:14)

 

 

  • He Shall Be Called the Son of the Highest (Luke 1:32, Isa 9:6-7, Matt 1:21)

 

 

 

#2. The Throne of His Father David (Luke 1:32-33, II Sam 7:12-16)

 

 

  • God Works Out the Details (Luke 1:34-35)

 

 

  • The Providence of God (Luke 1:36-38)

 

 

 

#3. In the Fullness of Time (Gal 4:4-7)

 

 

  • The Power of the Highest (Luke 1:35)

 

 

  • Do We Believe What God Says? (Luke 1:38)

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel according to Luke, chapter 1, and verse 24 (2X). We do not consider December 25 to be a specific "holy day", and we do not set aside a particular day on the calendar to celebrate "Christmas", because God did not command us to do so. Nevertheless in our sermon today I want to dwell on those texts of Scripture that commemorate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. The title of our sermon today is: "Prophecy Fulfilled"(2X). As the title already indicates there were a few notable events preceding the birth of Jesus. First of all there was:

  • A Priest Named Zacharias (Luke 1:23-25)

To qualify as an OT priest, you have to be a descendant of Aaron, who was the first high priest in the nation of Israel. Zacharias had a wife named Elisabeth, who was also a descendant of Aaron. This couple was going to be the parents of John the Baptist. At the time the story begins there were no children in their household, because Elisabeth was barren. Zacharias and his wife were getting old, and Elisabeth was beyond the age of childbearing. Then, at a time when Zacharias was serving in the temple to burn incense, when he was all alone, the angel Gabriel appeared to him, and told him that his wife was going to bear a son. This son would go before God in the spirit and power of Elijah. But because Zacharias doubted God made him deaf and dumb at that very moment. The people waited, and when Zacharias came out he could not speak to them. And then we read in Luke 1:23,

Luke 1:23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

Luke 1:24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

Luke 1:25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

In other words, Elisabeth says, "The Lord has dealt kindly with me. He looked on me and He has taken away my reproach among men". In the OT as well as in the NT it was a blemish on a woman if she remains childless. We should not put this aside as some peculiarity of the culture of those days. God has His reasons for choosing the things He decides to place in the Bible. I believe it is a picture of a church that does not bring the true Gospel into the world, and therefore no new converts are made. She has no children. For a church that is a serious blemish.

It is interesting that the name Zacharias means: "God Remembers", and the name Elisabeth means: "God of the Oath". What does God remember? If you drop down to verse 73 (2X), you will see the answer. "God remembers the oath which He sware to our father Abraham". It was the oath that the Messiah would come from the loins of Abraham. And who is the Messiah?

#1. Call His Name Jesus (Luke 1:26-32, John 7:52,1:46)

Let us continue in verse 26 (2X). There we read,

Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

Which sixth month was this? Was this the sixth month of the Jewish calendar? No! This was the sixth month of Elisabeth's pregnancy. We see a confirmation of that in verse 36. In the sixth month of Elisabeth's pregnancy "the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth". Now, this was an obscure place. The Jews despised Galilee. The Pharisees said to one another, "Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet" (John 7:52). And Nazareth was even more despised. Nathanael said: "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth"? (John 1:46). They said that no good thing could come out of Nazareth, or out of Galilee, but the God of angels and prophets counted it worthy to descend there to be conceived in a virgin's womb. Let us continue in verse 27,

Luke 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

The name Mary derives from the Hebrew name Mara, which means, "bitter". The Romans had overrun the nation of Israel for many decades now, and there was no deliverer. In those days there were many girls named Mary, because the people grew bitter about the Roman yoke upon them. Why did God choose this virgin? Was it because she was eminently suited to be the mother of Jesus? Perish the thought. This was a gift from God, and God's gifts are bestowed upon people entirely by God's grace, which means: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done", and "Not of works, lest any man should boast". God chose Mary to receive this great gift because God decided that from before the foundation of the world, not that Mary would have certain character traits. Then verse 28,

Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, (thou that art) highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Luke 1:29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

The angel salutes her, but he does not pray to her. The angel speaks graciously to her, but he does not humbly worship her. She was to be the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, but he does not adore her as a divine being. The Roman church has elevated this greeting to the level of a prayer. That is pure idolatry. Only those deceived by Satan would pray to others than God alone. Sure they use the same words that are in Scripture. But remember that Satan can also take words out of the Bible and misinterpret them so that they become doctrines of devils. Let us continue in verse 30,

Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.

Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Literally, verse 30 says: "Fear not Mary: for thou hast found grace with God". It means that God has bestowed His grace of salvation on Mary. She too needed salvation, for there is NONE righteous, NO NOT ONE. This is the girl who would bring forth a Son, and she "must call His name JESUS, for He shall save His people from their sins". The Greek name Jesus is the same as the Hebrew name Joshua, meaning: "Jehovah is salvation". This is the foundation of her comfort. How can she be sure that she has found grace in the eyes of God? She shall find the Savior within herself. He that came to save the world will certainly save His mother. But then we read in another passage:

  • Call His Name Emmanuel (Matt 1:18-25, Isa 7:14)

Please turn about 100 pages to your left, to the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 1:18 (2X). There we find the same story as seen through the eyes of her future husband Joseph. Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David. In Luke chapter 3 we find the lineage of Mary, and in Matt chapter 1 we find the lineage of Joseph. Here we read in Matt 1:18,

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Here is an OT prophecy that must be fulfilled by the coming of the Lord Jesus. God said in Isa 7:14, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel". Did they indeed call Him Emmanuel? No! They called Him Jesus, because God commanded that to Joseph in Matt 1:21, and God commanded that to Mary in Luke 1:31. What about the name Emmanuel? It was not the personal name of Jesus, but it was the name that means "God with us". In other words, God was not present with us in some abstract way, but God was bodily present in this child, which they called Jesus. Let us continue in Matt 1:24,

Matthew 1:24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

Ma 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS

Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 9, and verse 6 (2X). You find Isaiah about in the middle of your Bibles, right after Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes. We find in Isaiah many prophecies concerning Christ, and prophecies concerning the NT church, written about 700 BC. Perhaps you remember that God gave in Luke 1:32 the third name for this child Emmanuel:

  • He Shall Be Called the Son of the Highest (Luke 1:32, Isa 9:6-7, Matt 1:21)

Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Lu 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end The Highest refers to God. Unquestionably this passage is referring to Isa 9:6-7. There we read,

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Here again the newborn child is called "The Mighty God". It is not sufficient to say that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He is the Son of the Highest, even though these are words found in Scripture. We must harmonize all of Scripture, or else God would be a liar. We must believe all of Scripture, or else we worship another god. Truly He is the Son of the Highest, because He is God the Son, the second Person of the Triune God, who took up residence in this baby, called Jesus. And how did He become "the Prince of Peace"? The Bible teaches that all mankind born after the sin of Adam and Eve came into the world as sinners, in rebellion against God, at enmity against God, and haters of God. Men do not actually say that they hate God, but they hate the commands that God has written in the Bible, and therefore they are at war with God. They are actually on the side of Satan, who also hates the commands of God and who is at war with God. Therefore all mankind is actually under the curse of condemnation by God, and is on the way to a place of retribution for their sins, which is Hell. The Lord Jesus Christ is called The Prince of Peace, because He alone is able to reconcile man with God, and to bring those whom He reconciled into His glorious Kingdom. He did that by taking upon Himself the guilt of the sins of all those whom He came to save, and pay for those sins on the cross the price that the righteousness of God required for those sins: The equivalent of an eternity in Hell. The Lord Jesus did not come to save everyone in the world, for no one in the world wants His salvation. Remember the words we just read from Matt 1:21, "Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins". He came to save only His people, which are those whom the Father had given Him before the foundation of the world. Their sins were paid, and they are the ones on whom God the Holy Spirit bestows faith and a new soul, so that each one of them becomes a new creation. And then we read in Isa 9:7 that His government is "upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever".

"The throne of David"? What is this? Do you remember that we have also seen this in Luke 1:32?

#2. The Throne of His Father David (Luke 1:32-33, II Sam 7:12-16). We have seen in Luke 1:32,

Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Lu 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end

Please turn about 550 pages to your left to the Prophecy of Second Samuel chapter 7:10 (2X). There in II Sam 12 God spoke in a vision to the prophet Nathan to give king David this message. God made a promise to David that God would establish his throne forever, just like we have seen in Isa 9:7 and in Luke 1:33. Forever! We read here in II Sam 7:12,

2 Samuel 7:12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

2 Sa 7:13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

2 Samuel 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

2 Samuel 7:15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

2 Samuel 7:16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

Who is God talking about? Is God talking about Solomon? Absolutely not! Solomon's kingdom lasted another 300 years and then the Babylonians destroyed it. But from Isa 9:7 and from Luke 1:33 we understand that this prophecy refers to Christ. He is the One who presently sits on the throne of His Kingdom. Christ has established a house for His name. It is a spiritual house, far more glorious than a house made of bricks or stones. It is the NT temple, the body of Believers, made up of individuals whose souls God has renewed, and in whose souls God lives forever. This is the Kingdom where Christ reigns, and this is the Kingdom that is established forever. There is no earthly kingdom that lasts forever, because this earth will be destroyed on the Last Day. How shall all this come to pass? Paraphrased the angel Gabriel said to Mary:

  • God Works Out the Details (Luke 1:34-35)

Please turn again to the Gospel according to Luke, chapter 1:34 (2X). Mary asked the same question from the angel: How shall all this work out? Mary's question was not a statement of unbelief. She did not doubt the conception, but she asks, "How shall all this work out?" She did not ask, "How can this be"? But she asked, "How shall this be"? Let us read here in Luke 1:34,

Luke 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of

thee shall be called the Son of God.

The angel does not tell her exactly HOW God is going to accomplish this, but he tells her of the Author of this act, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee". Why the Holy Ghost? We know that the incarnation of the Lord Jesus must be ascribed to the whole Trinity, because the Lord Jesus is never spoken of as the Son of the Holy Spirit. Why then is it ascribed to the Holy Spirit? Firstly, it is because God the Holy Spirit is frequently the agent of the free grace of God. And so it is with the conception in Mary's womb: It was entirely a free gift of God, not earned or deserved for anything in Mary. Secondly the Father and the Son made it effective by the Holy Spirit, just like in salvation. We must be thankful to all three Persons of the Triune Godhead for our garment of salvation: To the Father for ordaining it, to the Holy Ghost for weaving it, to the Son for wearing it, and to the Triune God for clothing us with it and declaring us righteous by it.

"The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee". Mary was satisfied with this answer. Why should we not be satisfied? The Holy Spirit cast a shadow over this virgin, and thereby God has cast a shadow over this mystery. Why should we seek a clear light where God Himself will have a shadow? The Light of the world was conceived in a shadow. Leave the shadow alone, and look unto the Light. The Light was conceived in a shadow, so that we who were in the shadow of death might come to the Light of life. Thus it is a shadow of secrecy from our curious heads, and a shadow of mercy to our humble hearts. The Holy Spirit did it, and we pray that the Holy Spirit give us the faith to believe it and be comforted by it. Let us now continue with:

  • The Providence of God (Luke 1:36-38).

What is providence? Providence is that attribute of God where God is conceived as having the power that is sustaining and guiding human destiny. It was in the providence of God that Elisabeth had conceived a son, and it was the providence of God that Mary was chosen to bear the Lord Jesus. We read here in Luke 1:36,

Luke 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Why did God mention Elisabeth at this point in time? It was to give Mary comfort in companionship Both Mary and Elisabeth had miracle conceptions. Both were going to have miracle babies. In this announcement God is tying together the birth of John with the birth of Jesus. Moreover, Elisabeth's baby was John the Baptist who in his ministry would be the forerunner of the Lord Jesus. The birth of John would set into motion God's plan for the coming of the Messiah. John was "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight". John came in the spirit and power of Elijah. He was not Elijah, but he was like Elijah. When Elijah came on the scene the nation of Israel was spiritually a dry wilderness. When John began to preach the nation of Judah was spiritually a dry wilderness. It was still dry when Jesus started His ministry, but through the preaching of John the Holy Spirit had shaken up the people so that they were willing to be taught by someone who was not a Pharisee or a scribe.

And then the angel said: "For with God nothing shall be impossible". Could this also apply to us? This should be of no little comfort to us. If we are to be saved, then we too must become "Born Again" It means that we too must be "born of God" like the Lord Jesus was. It means that no human father is involved in making us new creatures in Christ. It means that each one of us can say: even for me, the chief of sinners, there is hope that I too may become "born of God". "For with God nothing shall be impossible".

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

What a beautiful statement of submission is this. Mary submits herself to the providence of God. She submits herself to whatever God wants to do with her, because He is altogether trustworthy. As the Lord wills, so be it. Even though it means that I am going to face a lot of trouble, I will submit to His will for me. And the word "handmaid" really means "female slave". She submits herself as a slave of God. Is that not what we all are called to do? We all were created to give Him al the glory. Therefore it is nothing less than our duty to submit to God as His slaves. Only if we are in rebellion against God will we refuse to submit to Him as slaves.

The title of this sermon is "Prophecy Fulfilled". Let us therefore look now at point number 3.

#3. In the Fullness of Time (Gal 4:4-7)

Please turn in your Bibles about 230 pages to your right to the Epistle to the Galatians 4:4 (2X). The Apostle Paul under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit says to us that before we were saved we were in bondage under the elements of this world. We were slaves of Satan and in bondage to Sin without actually being aware of it. But then God says in Gal 4:4,

Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Galatians 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Galatians 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

"When the fulness of time had come". The exact time had arrived when all things were ready for Christ's coming. You might ask: Why did mankind not have the benefit of Christ coming sooner? Why did we have to wait so long for the printing presses to roll? Why did we have to wait so long for the medical sciences to develop? We do not know the answer to all these questions. Only God knows, and only God knows the end from the beginning. It was seen by God to be the best time. God saw it as the best time for the whole human race to benefit from Christ's coming. Certainly it was just the right time for all the prophecies to be centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, and that there would be no doubt about their fulfillment in Him. Certainly it was the right time for the world to see their need of a Savior. Certainly it was a time when the world was at peace and that the Greek language would be known throughout the Roman Empire. There were many circumstances that were favorable to the rapid spread of the Gospel at that time. But we also have to say that the world was spiritually in utter darkness as never before.

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son", which means that the Son did not come into existence when He was conceived in the womb of Mary. He already existed in eternity past with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Father sent the Son into this world according to the plan of God. And why did the Father send the Son? To redeem them that were under the Law. Christ became one of us. He became our Kinsman, and therefore He qualified to be our Redeemer. He became as one of the human race, and therefore He became subject to all the requirements of the Law of God. God made sure that all these things were in place before Christ came

And how did He redeem us? It is in our redemption that we truly can see:

  • The Power of the Highest (Luke 1:35)

God's plan of redemption is truly the most stupendous demonstration of the power of the Highest. We see this for example in Luke 1:35 where God writes:

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

A tiny egg in the womb of Mary became the habitation of God the Son. The omnipotent God who created the universe, the ends of which have not been measured yet, took up residence in a tiny human egg. He, who in His infinite wisdom created all the living organisms in this world, took up residence in a tiny human egg. Here was Infinite power and wisdom concentrated in a tiny human egg, so tiny you need a microscope to see it.

When Christ redeemed us at the cross He, who knew no sin, took upon Himself the guilt of the sins of all the millions of elect people, each having more than one million sins, so that the total equals many trillions of sins, and He paid for those sins the penalty required to satisfy the righteousness of God in less than 24 hours. Just one of those sins would require the penalty of an eternity in Hell.

When God in His providence must guide and determine human destiny, He knows the thoughts and intents of the heart of every individual that ever lived on this earth, not only for His elect but also for all the reprobate. Consider the complexity of one human mind, and multiply that by the history of about half a million hours of one human existence, and multiply that by about 12 billion human beings and you will have a tiny inkling of the infinite knowledge and wisdom of God. This almighty God took up residency in a tiny egg in the womb of Mary, because He cared so much for me that He was willing to take on a human body and take my place before the judgment throne of God. This is more than I can understand. This is what I have to believe. The question I have for us all is this:

  • Do We Believe What God Says? (Luke 1:38)

Can we take our place alongside Mary who said in Luke 1:38,

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Do we see our need for a Savior, who will suffer our penalty as our substitute, who will clothe us with His righteousness, who will break the power of sin in our life, who will reconcile us to the Father, who will grant His Holy Spirit to dwell in us, and who will secure our adoption into he family of God? This is not only a Savior we embrace; this is almighty God, our Lord. Now we can ask ourselves:

Is He the Lord of our mind? Are we actively seeking to have our mind ruled by this Savior? Is Jesus actively teaching us to use our mind for His glory and honor?

Is He the Lord of our moral standards? Do we take the Lord's judgment on moral issues as the final word? Do we submit to His judgments concerning all that is good and all that is evil?

Is He the Lord of our time, and our gifts, and our talents, and our abilities? Does He have the right to tell us what career, or job, or ambitions to make on our own?

Is He the sovereign Lord of our church? Do we realize that we do not have the right to create a church that meets our needs? The church belongs to Christ. He sets the agenda. He sets the rules and the standards. Things like worship, discipline, order, service, missions and fellowship are not a list of options that we can decide on individually.

Is He the Lord of our life? Does this not mean that we pay attention to the great commission He gave to every believer? He gave this great commission to each one of us individually. We hold His great commission in our hands, in this book we call the Bible. Don't we have some responsibility in this area? If He is our Lord, this great commission ought to be a burning obligation in our heart.

Can Jesus be our Savior without being our Lord? Of course not! If we claim Jesus as our Savior, then His Lordship must be a living reality in our daily life. Each one of us will know in his heart if Jesus is Lord or not.

This week all over the USA people celebrate Christmas. Most people do not remember that this feast day is all about Christ, about His coming to earth to become a man, and about His suffering and dying on a cross on Golgotha. Will you remind them what the reason is for this feast day?

Amen. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.