December 24, 2017

Pastor Mark F. Bartels

Old Testament Lesson; 2 Samuel 7:8-16

Epistle Lesson; Romans 16:25-27

Sermon Text; Luke 1:26-38

In 1000 BC the Lord established the house of David the king.

Saul had proven to be a poor king. The Lord anointed young David as the next king, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power. By the power of the Spirit he defeated Goliath. By the power of the Spirit, he led the Israelites in battle, so that they cried out, “Saul has slain his thousands, David his tens of thousands.” He was looked on with love by the people. When he became king he captured the unconquerable city, Jerusalem and made it the city of the King. He won victory after victory. He built a palace for the king. He brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. His kingdom was one of peace and prosperity. He wanted to build a house for the Lord in Jerusalem.

But the Lord through Nathan the prophet told him, “No.” David would not build a house for the Lord. The Lord would establish the house of David. God chose David. God would make his name great, like the greatest men on earth. And God would raise up a Son for David who would reign over an everlasting kingdom. The term “Son of David” was a term that made the people’s hearts long for the day he would come. The thought of him was synonymous with greatness and peace and prosperity. They waited for him, while the kingdom fractured, 10 tribes disappeared. The other 2 were taken into captivity. By the year 500 BC it appears as if the reign of the house of David had come to an end, and no Son of David would sit on the throne. In fact, a thousand years passed from the time of David, until we get to 0BC, which is when we get to our text. Was this Son of David ever going to come? It appeared as if all hope was gone. There would never be someone who would sit on the throne of David, and restore this kingdom of peace, safety, and security in an eternal kingdom. Luke takes us right here in a house, in Nazareth, in Galilee. What does our text say?

“In the sixth month, (that would be six months after Zachariah and Elizabeth were told they were they were going to have a child), the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town in Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin pledged in marriage to man whose name was Joseph...”

Right here, if you were a Jew, 'the theological brakes go on', because what does it say next?

“...of the house of David.”

That is like a big antenna that goes up, and people start to say, “Is this it? Is this the One? Is the house of David going to be restored?”

It goes on, and says,

“The virgin's name is Mary.”

You will notice, twice she has been called, “a virgin”. So, all of a sudden we hear, “House of David”, and now we hear, “a virgin”, twice. Certainly, a Jewish reader would go back, and say, “Wasn't' there a promise in Isaiah, chapter seven, that says,

“The virgin will conceive

and give birth to a Son,

and they will call His name Immanuel,

which means God with us.”?

Well, the angel goes on, and he needs to assure Mary that God's grace, mercy, and love are hers, because he has appeared to Mary, who is a sinner, just like we are. So what does he say?

“The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.' But she was greatly troubled by the statement and wondering what kind of greeting this could be. The angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found favor with God.'”
So, God announces His mercy, and grace. She has nothing to fear. She has nothing to be afraid of, because God is going to be good, and kind to her, just like God, in His mercy, and grace is kind, and good to us.

Then, he makes this announcement. He says,

“Listen, you will conceive and give birth to a son.”

Now He is given four titles.

“ are to name Him Jesus.”

'Jesus' means, 'The Lord saves'. You are to name Him The Lord Saves.”


“He will be great...”

I challenge you to get your phone out right now, and Google 'Greatest people who ever lived'. Guess who is probably going to show up as number one on the list? Even the secular world puts Jesus right at the top.

“...and will be called the Son of the Most High.”

The angel is going to explain it a little further, in just a little bit.

“The Lord will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His Kingdom will never end.”

This is it. The Son of David is here. The prophesy is fulfilled. A time of absolute peace, rest, safety, and security eternally, is what the angel is announcing.

We know Jesus was from the blood line of Mary, and Mary was a descendent of David. We find that out later on, in Luke.

And while Joseph was not the father of Jesus, he was the adoptive father of Jesus. It is only through the father's line, whether you are blood child, or adopted child, you were the legal heir, with rights to the throne. So, Jesus had the legal rights to the throne, through Joseph, and the blood line of the throne through Mary.

What Mary said to the angel was not a word of doubt. Zachariah doubted six months earlier, when the angel, the same angel, Gabriel, told him and Elizabeth that they were going to have a child. The Bible tells us Zachariah laughed. And, the angel asked him, “Why did you doubt?” Mary is not laughing. She is simply asking a question of faith. She believes God's Word, but she asks the question, “How can this be? How is it going to be possible that I am a virgin and have a child?” “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

“The angel answered her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy One to be born of you will be called the Son of God.'”

You will notice these are all future verbs. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” There is a rare form of Greek called The Intensive Present. It uses the future verb. It is like this is the most intense present you can possibly be. It uses a future verb. We even do it in English, sometimes. I will give you an example. Did you ever put your arm around one of your kids, and while you are walking to his bedroom, you say, “You WILL come to the bedroom with me.” It is not happening in the future. It is intensely happening, right now. You get to the bedroom, and you find the toys. You start picking up toys, and say, “You WILL pick up toys with me.” It is happening. It is intense. It is right now.

How does the Holy Spirit work? The Holy Spirit works through The Word. And so we believe, as these words were being spoken, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”, because The Word was being spoken at that time, the eternal Son of God left His throne in Heaven, His local, and enters the womb of Mary.

Now, Mary conceives a child. The Father is God, Himself, and Mary is the mother. It says,

“So the holy One to be born of you will be called the Son of God.”

This child is holy, because He has no human father like you and me. He inherits no sin from His human father. Jesus is born without original sin. He is holy and innocent.

Then, the angel goes on and says,

“Listen, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age even though she was called barren, and this is her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”

Technically, in Greek, it says,

“Nothing is impossible with God's Word.”

Whenever God says something, it happens, no matter what God says.

Then Mary, with this wonderful, pious reaction of Christian faith, simply says,

“See, I am the Lord's servant. May it happen to me as you have said.” Then, the angel left her.

It wasn't until about 33 years later that a few people on the fringes, some blind people, some crippled people, some outcasts from society, had the guts to say it out loud. There was a guy by the name Blind Bartimaeus. One day he was at the side of the road, and Jesus was walking by. He cried out, “Lord, Jesus, Son of David.”

Everybody heard him call Jesus, “Son of David”. That was a show stopper. “Son of David”. That is the Messiah. That is the Anointed One. That is the King who is going to sit on the throne of David forever, and ever. Blind Bartimaeus cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”

The crowd told him, “Be quiet. Be quiet!”

But, the more they told him to be quiet, the more Bartimaeus cried out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Bartimaeus got it.

It was not long after that, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, and all of the crowds began to say, “Hosanna!”

And, they were saying “Hosanna to the Son of David.”

The Jewish leaders heard it, and their hearts burned with anger.

-Five days later, five days later they crowned the King.

-Five days later, the King was given a scepter. That scepter was taken, and He was beaten with the scepter that was placed in His hand.

-Five days later the King was given a robe, a kingly robe. It was put over His shoulders, as He was beaten, and mocked.

-Five days later, our King was crowned with a crown of thorns.

-Five days later, our King was nailed to a throne, the throne of the cross.

       -There on the throne, our King was at His work place.

       -There on that throne, the King, the Son of David, defeated every enemy you have. Sin's punishment. Sin's guilt. Sin's power was defeated by that King.

       -There on that throne death, spiritual death, eternal death, temporal death, were defeated by that King, the son of David.

       -There on that throne, the power of Satan was destroyed by that King, the Son of David.

That is my King! That's my King! And, He is your King, too.

I love how our Catechism has captured everything about this text so beautifully. This is just beautiful, beautiful! When we go to what is called The Explanation of The Second Article of The Apostle's Creed, first of all we confess who Jesus is.

I believe that Jesus Christ is (and this captures this text perfectly) true God, begotten of the Father from eternity.

That comes out so clearly in this text. Jesus is God's Son, but also true Man, born of the virgin Mary. This is God and Man in the flesh. And, then what does it say?

He is my Lord.

That's my King. And He is yours, too.

What has He done? What was He to be named? He was to be named Jesus. Jesus means, “God saves”.

Who has redeemed me a lost, and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sin, from death, and from the power of the devil.
How did He do that? Well, He was to be called the holy One of God.

Not with gold or silver, but with His holy precious blood, and His innocent suffering and death.

Why did He do it?

In order that I might be His own, live under Him in His Kingdom, and serve Him...

How long will that Kingdom last? everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He has risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.

The Son of David is on His throne.

Tonight, we are going to go with the angels. What was the announcement to them?

“This day is born to you, in the city of David,

a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

We are going, to worship Him.