The Joy of Mary’s Faith

The Blessings of Just Believing!

Luke 1:26-54


Dec 14, 2014 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Luke 1:26)


A.     This is one of the most well known events in the Bible to the Irish people

B.     The Annunciation – the Announcement by an Angel to Mary, of her giving birth to the Son of God – the Hail Mary, as some people call it!

C.     But this is NOT a prayer to pray, but an actual Christmas event to learn from

D.     What you will find, is that, in every event surrounding the birth of the Messiah, whenever faith is at work, there is joy!


II.    Background (Luke 1:26-38)


A.     An Angel Greets Mary (Luke 1:26-33)


1.      Six months into the pregnancy of Elisabeth – we learned about this last week

2.      The very same angel (Gabriel) that had told Elizabeth and Zacharias that THEY were going to have a miracle birth…

3.      Now appeared to a woman way up in a little town called Nazareth

4.      Her name… was Mary

5.      She was a VIRGIN – by the way, that was NOT unusual back then. It IS unusual today! But it wasn’t back then!


a.       She had saved her best for her future husband

b.      Not thrown her body to the first DOG that winked at her, or drooled at her “beauty”

c.       She stayed a virgin until marriage


6.      Espoused (engaged) to a good man named Joseph – NOT an old man, but a young man, in love with Mary, eager to get married and start a family!


a.       Hail! Greetings! Howdy! Hi!

b.      Thou art highly favoured – you are cherished by God

c.       And you are a very special blessed woman – NOT lucky, but blessed!


7.      The Angel Terrified Mary


a.       That a man would just appear right in front of her would scare anybody

b.      He just started talking to her, and greeting her by name – this angel knew her name (1:30)!


8.      Praised! Then he praises Mary


a.       “Don’t fear!” Don’t be afraid

b.      You are not in trouble with God

c.       You have a very good reputation with God


9.      Makes a Promise to her – makes quite a few promises


a.       You will become pregnant

b.      And you will give birth to a Son

c.       And you will call him, JESUS – which means Jehovah Saves!

d.      He shall be great

e.       He will be the Son of God

f.       He will sit as King on David’s throne

g.       He will reign for ever and ever and ever


B.     Mary Points Out A Problem – How is this going to happen? (Luke 1:34)


1.      Mary raises her hand, like in school, and reminds the angel…

2.      Uh, there is one little problem…

3.      I am not married

4.      AND I am still a virgin!

5.      So, HOW is this going to work?

6.      It’s a great question. Because a virgin birth is impossible!


C.     The Angel Reminds Mary WHO is at Work (Luke 1:35-37)


1.      The angel gently explains, in simple words…


a.       What is about to happen to you, is not something to understand or to see, but to be in awe of!

b.      The power of the Holy Ghost will come upon you

c.       And He will overshadow you


2.      And because you will become pregnant, even though a virgin, that will prove the child is the Son of God

3.      The fulfilment of a prophecy made over 700 years earlier in Isaiah 7:14

4.      AND, by the way, your cousin Elisabeth is pregnant too! Another miracle!

5.      For with God, with God’s help, NOTHING shall be impossible!

6.      You see, God never worries about the problems. WE do, but God doesn’t


D.     And That Settled It (1:38)


1.      If God says it, if the Scripture promises it, if it is God’s will, then THAT settles it!

2.      Mary says, “I yield!  You win! I believe you!”

3.      “Let it be just as you said – give me the baby!”

4.      No debate, No argument, No more questions!

5.      Belief is not something you just do with your brain, but with all your heart


a.       The brain says, “This is impossible.”

b.      The heart says, “But God said it would happen.”

c.       The brain says, “But there is just no way.”

d.      The heart says, “Well, I believe God will MAKE a way.”


6.      So, Faith is…


a.       Not understandable, not explainable

b.      Is in response to the will of God, not to what YOU want

c.       Something that pleases God the most – just to believe Him, take Him at His word (Heb 11:6)

d.      Turns into obedience

e.       Always rewarded


7.      And Mary, a virgin, became pregnant from that very hour!


E.     When she meets up later with her cousin Elizabeth, Elizabeth rejoiced that Mary was experiencing the blessings of just believing (Luke 1:45)!

F.      Let me show you the benefit of believing God, and Trusting God like Mary did, that first Christmas!


III. Message – The Joys of Mary’s Faith


A.     What Are the Blessings of Believing God?


Because Mary Believed God…


1.      The impossible gets done! She got pregnant


a.       That’s one big miracle!

b.      One of the biggest in the Bible!


2.      Great peace about everything going on now


a.       In her heart

b.      And in her home! As we will see!


3.      Never ending surprises (2:33,35,48)


a.       Living by Faith never gets boring

b.      God will never stop surprising us with the wonders of His will


4.      All her needs supplied (Matthew 2:11) – she was well taken cared of


a.       Gold is a precious metal to honour Him as King

b.      Frankincense as perfume or incense, to honour Him as our High Priest and Mediator between us and God

c.       And myrrh as anointing oil, pointing to His future death

d.      God just knows how to take care of us!

e.       But you say, “God has never brought ME some gold, frankincense or myrrh!”


5.      She Got Through all the Hard Times


a.       Mary didn’t have it any easier than we do


1)      At almost every step of the way, Mary had a hard time just living like everything will turn out fine. It was not easy believing God back then, just like it is not easy now. But Mary does it!

2)      You see, there will always be obstacles, and rough roads to travel as we just trust God as He leads us and shows us the way to live for Him!


b.      She missed out on the beautiful wedding that she had planned


1)      As any woman getting married does

2)      But God had other plans

3)      Joseph said, we need to have a rushed marriage – that very night (Matthew 1:24-25) – rushed to a local Rabbi, and it was done!


c.       She kept her marriage – almost lost it


1)      She Expected her soon-to-be-husband to understand her and trust her when she said she was pregnant with the Son of God (Matthew 1:18,19)

2)      Uh, no! He DIDN’T understand at first!

3)      He was understandably upset

4)      So much so that he could only think about calling off the wedding and separating from her and taking care of her from a distance for the rest of their lives!

5)      There was no reasoning with Joseph

6)      So Mary learned what all women must learn… sometimes you need to just let GOD explain things to your husband

7)      Which is exactly what God did do! (Matthew 1:20-23)


d.      She had no one to talk to about all this


1)      Except her husband – and he probably wasn’t all that helpful

2)      And, except for her cousin, Elisabeth – at least SHE knew and understood, and believed with her!

3)      It is nice to have family or a friend who believes God too!

4)      But not many people just believe this Bible, and believe God

5)      Most people believe the weatherman more than they believe God


e.       She had to wait to live with Joseph until Jesus was born (1:25)


1)      That was hard for her AND Joseph

2)      But believe me, they caught up after Jesus was born (Matthew 13:53-56) – they had 6 more children!


f.       She had to give birth to this promised Baby in some harsh circumstances


1)      Travelled 60 miles (2:1-5). She had to travel to Joseph’s hometown at the very time of her delivery

2)      Rejected by family (2:3,7). She was rejected by Joseph’s family

3)      Turned away by the Innkeeper. She was turned away from the few places to stay in Bethlehem – the Inn

4)      Stayed in a barn for shelter. She had to accept desperate shelter


a)      With feeding troughs, animals, hay, poo, rats, cats, dogs, sheep, cows, mules

b)      For several DAYS - not just one night


5)      No family around, no friends, no clean room, no one but her husband, and no help but from God!

6)      THAT was how Mary faced that long last night of her pregnancy

7)      And you never find her complaining ONCE ladies!


g.       Through it all, GOD took great care of Mary, and Joseph, and the Baby in her womb. Mary truly was a blessed woman!


6.      But best of all, she was used of God


a.       The devil is a user, and an abuser – he just grabs and uses, and then throws us away

b.      But God seeks our permission to use us, and do strengthen us, and to bless us!

c.       Mary got to be used of God to:


1)      Carry the living Word of Life in her womb for nine months (John 1:1-3,14)

2)      Give birth to the Son of God

3)      Hold and care for, and be a mother for this new-born baby

4)      Let Him go one day, to do HIS Father’s will

5)      And watch Him draw all men to Himself as he ultimately hung on the cross dying!


d.      There really is not much worse than being USELESS to God!



B.     Listen to Mary Praise GOD (Luke 1:46-54). This kind of faith will cause ANYONE to praise God!


1.      She Magnified the Lord – makes HIM look big, not herself!

2.      She Rejoiced in God her “SAVIOUR” – who needs a Saviour, but sinners!


a.       She does not say, “I rejoice in God THE Saviour”

b.      But rather, “I rejoice in God MY Saviour!”


3.      She saw what GOD has done just in her life!


a.       Notice what all GOD – not Mary had done in her life…


1)      The Lord God has done great things to me – she didn’t do anything great, except believe!!!

2)      Holy is HIS name – not hers!


b.      HE has had mercy on people – don’t look to Mary for mercy (1:50), look to Jesus!

c.       The Lord has shown how powerful and strong He is in this miraculous conception

d.      And THROUGH this virgin birth, GOD has defeated the proud, the rich, the haughty, and the arrogant who say there is no God

e.       GOD has removed kings, and replaced them with THIS baby Boy

f.       GOD (NOT Mary) has supplied the needs of the hungry

g.       God, through this little baby, yet to be born, has helped His people, Israel, just like HE promised Abraham that he would!

h.      Mary was glad to be a small part of God’s will – she was used as a vessel

i.        It was ALL JESUS that was the reason for Mary’s praise!


4.      She Realised just how blessed she was for God to choose to use her

5.      All because, she just BELIEVED…


a.       That SHE herself needed the Lord God to save HER from the penalty of her own sins (1:47)

b.      That her first duty was to please GOD (1:28,30) by her life

c.       That God’s ways are the right way


1)      She believed that staying a virgin, waiting for marriage before having sex, like the Bible says, it worth it

2)      Looked forward to a life-long marriage, with one man – not living together, or casual sex – but having a real, till-death-do-us-part marriage!


d.      And THAT way of thinking and believing helped her to believe what God was now promising her – the ultimate purpose…

e.       To be the woman who would give birth to the Promised Messiah, who would HIMSELF be the Saviour of the world!

f.        The faith Mary had, didn’t make everything easy – it just made all things possible!


6.      I hope that you see that … Mary was not God – she is not Deity (Luke 1:47) in heaven now, hearing and answering prayers


a.       Mary is blessed! But we are MORE blessed! Even her own Son, corrected Mary, and said the real blessed are those that follow HIM, not follow her (Luke 11:27,28)

b.      She was not perfect

c.       She was not sinless

d.      She was NOT the immaculate conception

e.       She was a sinner, just like everyone in this room! Maybe not as bad as some people you know, but she was still a sinner because this same Bible, that you claim to believe says, “For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” and “there is NONE righteous, no not one!”

f.       Mary herself needed GOD! She depended upon Him

g.       When there was a need (like there was at the family wedding in Cana), Mary didn’t rely on herself, she told people to do whatever Jesus said do (John 2:3-5) – because Jesus is the only answer to all our needs!


C.     Mary Decided to NEVER Miss ANY of God’s Blessings (2:16-19; 2:48-51)


1.      She could have focused all her attention on the hardships that she had to face, but instead…

2.      So she LOOKED for the blessings – actively looked for them in her everyday life


a.       People are way too good at finding faults, and problems

b.      Mary CHOSE to look for how GOD was blessing her, and using her


3.      She KEPT every memory fresh in her heart. Never wanted to forget the goodness of God

4.      And, she kept herself in the place of blessing – if only you knew the value of GOD’S blessings, over popularity, wealth, entertainment, political power!


a.       The place of a Christian’s blessing is Not


1)      In the sports stadium

2)      It is not in the shopping centre

3)      It is not in front of the TV for hours on end

4)      It is not on your SmartPhone, and internet

5)      It is not “hanging” with your friends


b.      It is in your daily walk with God in prayer, and praise – seeking God’s favour, pleasure with your life. When it was time for prayer by the church, THAT is where you found Mary (Acts 1:13,14) – praying with everyone else

c.       It is making the effort to be where Jesus’ words are taught and preached and loved

d.      It is in obedience to doing what God says – even when it is hard

e.       So she followed Jesus herself – THAT was where the blessings were always going to be


IV.  Invitation


A.     BOY was Mary blessed for just believing God


1.      God Made Mary a Promise – that she would become a Mother

2.      Mary Pointed Out A Problem – a BIG Problem - she is a virgin. That kind of stops that train!

3.      The Angel Reminded Mary WHO is at Work – it was GOD’S doing, not hers!

4.      And That Settled It for Mary – And it should settle for every one of us!


B.     What Are the Blessings of Believing God?


1.      The impossible gets done!

2.      Great peace

3.      Never ending surprises – never bored

4.      All our needs supplied

5.      God will get you THROUGH all the Hard Times


a.       In your marriage

b.      In your loneliness

c.       Through all the delays you face

d.      Through all the harsh circumstances you may have to go through


6.      But best of all, you will be used of God, for good! There really is not much worse than being USELESS to God!


C.     That Kind of Faith, Causes ANYONE to Praise GOD!


1.      Magnify Jesus – make HIM look big, not yourself!

2.      Rejoice in God YOUR “SAVIOUR” – I still get excited about being SAVED! ARE YOU SAVED? BORN AGAIN?

3.      Take a LOOK what GOD has done just in your life!


a.       HE has had mercy on you – not condemned you, but had compassion, and given you THIS chance to get saved

b.      He has probably shown how powerful and strong He is in answering some of YOUR impossible prayers

c.       He always defeats the proud, the rich, the haughty, and the arrogant – that was probably what YOU were before YOU got saved!

d.      He removed ALL the kings/authorities and gods in your life, and replaced them with THIS baby Boy named Jesus!

e.       God probably has supplied all your needs – not your wants, but your needs

f.       And God has probably used YOU, in some crazy ways!


4.      Realise just how blessed you are for God to choose to just use you – He could use anyone else!

5.      It all only happens when someone decides to just BELIEVE…

6.      Remember, Faith doesn’t make everything easy – it just makes all things possible!


D.     Don’t Miss ANY of God’s Blessings!


1.      LOOK for the blessings of GOD in your life, not of people, or of wealth, but of GOD!

2.      KEEP / STORE AWAY every memory in your heart. Never wanted to forget the goodness of God

3.      Keep yourself in the place of blessing!


a.       It is in your daily walk with God in prayer, and praise – seeking God’s favour, pleasure with your life. When it was time for prayer by the church, THAT is where you found Mary (Acts 1:13,14) – praying with everyone else

b.      It is making the effort to be where Jesus’ words are taught and preached and loved

c.       It is in obedience to doing what God says – even when it is hard

d.      So she followed Jesus herself – THAT was where the blessings were always going to be


E.     It all begins with the NEW Birth


1.      Starting over, admitting you are NOT okay with God, but a sinner, a law-breaker

2.      Now understanding that there is none righteous, no not one

3.      That ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God

4.      That the wages of our sins is eternal death

5.      But the GIFT of GOD is eternal life, through JESUS CHRIST our Lord – not through Mary, or anyone else!

6.      And believing Jesus to be all you need to be saved from your sins, and made right before God!

7.      Will you decide to believe On Jesus this morning? Asking HIM to save you, and not Mary anymore!

8.      THAT is when you will start to experience ALL the same JOYS that Mary experienced that first Christmas!