Sermon Notes & References

“Messiah Announced”

Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-25

December 17, 2017

A.  Introduction

      1.  Announcements


      2.  Announcing Messiah


B.  The Timing of the Announcements

      1.  To Mary


      2.  To Joseph


C.  The details of the Announcements

      1.  In that Given to Mary 1


      2.  In that Given to Joseph 2


      3.  Given to Both 3


D.  Conclusion

      1.  Effect of the announcements


      2.  What of the Cost? 4

1 Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-25. . . . .  “Messiah Announced”


A. Introduction

    1. Announcements

        a. they usually come in the middle of the service

            (A)    say, just prior to the offering

            (B)    you can see everybody perk up in eager expectation – NOT!

                 (1)    some are fumbling looking for their offering envelope

                 (2)    others readying children for junior church

                 (3)    or just the eyes gradually glazing over getting ready for the sermon

                 (4)    I think a brass band might help?

            (C)   so we put the announcements in the bulletin

                 (1)    and send a copy out by e-mail

                 (2)    some help me out by reminding me they will see me on such and such a date – what’s that? when? where? oops, forgot!

        b. when God makes an announcement, He does so properly

            (A)    there is nothing so forceful as the appearance of an angel

                 (1)    angels are awesome and not easily forgotten

                 (2)    to make unforgettable announcements

            (B)    that’s what happened to Mary and Joseph

                 (1)    to Mary while she was wide awake

                 (2)    to Joseph while he was sleeping

                 (3)    they paid heed, for their lives were to be turned upside-down

            (C)   and today we are still talking about it!


    2. Announcing Messiah

        a. last week we looked at just one aspect of OT prophecy of Messiah

            (A)    that to David concerning an everlasting kingdom

            (B)    one of his descendants was to rule in that kingdom

            (C)   not Solomon, for his kingdom lasted only a few centuries

            (D)   but rather Jesus Christ, or Jesus Messiah: king of that kingdom

        b. today we are looking at the fulfilment

            (A)    what was prophesied through the OT is now at hand

            (B)    with angelic force it is announced to the principals, Mary & Joseph

            (C)   revealing facts of the incarnation hitherto kept secret


B. The Timing of the Announcements

    1. To Mary

        a. while she was living in Nazareth, legally betrothed as wife to Joseph, during the waiting period of a year of so until the wedding

        b. Elizabeth was in her sixth month of expecting the birth of John

        c. this Elizabeth was her cousin on her mother’s side– probably second or third – the Greek word is broad, referring to a “kinswoman”

        d. at this instant comes God’s word to her – that she should give birth without knowing a man: such a thing as had never before been

            (A)    she had no delusions as to what the gossip would be

            (B)    the early Jewish scholars circulated such an accusation

            (C)   “Behold, I am the bondslave of the Lord; I obey at all costs.”

        e. after the angel’s message, Mary went with haste to Elizabeth where she saw she would find an understanding heart – as indeed was the case

        f.  there she remained for three months, then returning from Judea


    2. To Joseph

        a. it seems that upon her return, Joseph learns of her situation

        b. Alexander MacLaren 2 gives a touching picture of Joseph’s state: “The shock to Joseph of the sudden discovery, crashing in on him after he was bound to Mary, and in what would else have been the sweet interval of love and longing ‘before they came together’; is delicately and unconsciously brought out in (Matthew 1:18): ‘She was found’ – how the remembrance of the sudden disclosure, blinding and startling as a lightning flash, lives in that word! And how the agony of perplexity as to the right thing to do in such a cruel dilemma is hinted at in the two clauses that pull in opposite directions! As a ‘just man’ and ‘her husband,’ Joseph owed it to righteousness and to himself not to ignore his betrothed’s condition; but as her lover and her husband, how could be put her, who was still so dear to him, to public shame, some of which would cloud his own name? ‘To put her away’ was the only course possible, though it racked his soul, and ‘to do it privily’ was the last gift that his wounded love could give her. No wonder that these things kept him brooding sadly on them, nor that his day’s troubled thinkings coloured his sleeping hours.”

        c. the angel’s words assure Joseph, as they had Mary, so he obeys to do his part in God’s wondrous plan of redemption through Jesus Christ


C. The Details of the Announcements

    1. In That Given to Mary

        a. Lk 1:28 – “Hail, favoured one!

            (A)    literally, “Greetings to the one on whom has been bestowed grace”

            (B)    note that this is something which had already been done at a time prior to when it is announced to Mary

            (C)   this is grace, or favour, which Mary has received; there is no idea here of Mary having a supply of grace to bestow upon others

        b. the verse continues, “The Lord is with you.

            (A)    which defines the nature of the grace or favour she has received

            (B)    it is the active presence of God to accompany her through what is going to be announced to her in the next few moments

        c. then Lk 1:30 – “…; for you have found favour with God.

            (A)    a reason for her not to fear the angel’s awesome presence

            (B)    that this message to Mary is not on account of any perfection in this young woman, but the same as was found by Noah (Gen 6:8), Joseph (Gen 39:4) and David (Acts 7:46) – none of them perfect who likewise “found favour with God.”

        d. Lk 1:32 – “He will be called the Son of the Most High” or, literally, “Son of Most High will He be called”

            (A)    there is no definite article (“the”)) in these three words in Greek

            (B)    this means that the quality of Son, and of Most High is emphasised

            (C)   the quality of Most Highness is that which is only possessed by God

            (D)   the quality of Son-ness is to bear the image of the Father

            (E)    so in these words is conveyed the truth found in the Hebrews 1:1-3 and in particular, “He (the Son) is the radiance of His (the Father’s) glory and the exact representation of His (the Father’s) nature.

        e. Lk 1:32-33 – “… the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.

            (A)    with these words the angel Gabriel relates this announcement to Mary back to the promise to David in 2 Samuel 7, to which we spoke last week

                 (1)    this Child is to be that promised Son of David; Messiah

                 (2)    His kingdom will be of a different character than the limited earthly rule of David, covering the land promised to Abraham

                 (3)    Messiah’s kingdom will be without cessation, for “then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.” (1 Corinthians 15:24) – at that time, Christ ends His work, delivering the kingdom intact to His God and Father.

            (B)    it is to Mary that the kingdom message comes

        f.  Lk 1:36-37 – “... Elizabeth has also conceived … she who was called barren … For nothing will be impossible with God

            (A)    to Mary a sign or evidence is given in response to her question

                 (1)    How can I have a child? I’ve never been in marital intimacy.

                 (2)    Mary was not ignorant, but she was innocent

                 (3)    Zacharias’ response to the angel was doubt – “How shall I know this for certain? “ (Lk 1:18)

                 (4)    Mary’s is rather wonder, a protestation of purity

            (B)    so God, through the angel, gives assurance that this is God’s work


    2. In That Given to Joseph

        a. Mt 1:21, “… for it is He who will save His people from their sins.

            (A)    to Joseph is given the explanation of the child’s name

            (B)    Jesus was a common name (Paul had a helper so named) – in full it was Yehoshua (the same name born by Moses’ successor who led the people into the promised land); a shorter form was Yeshua

            (C)   the name means Yah or Yahweh helps, saves or delivers

            (D)   this Jesus will not deliver from earthly enemies but from the deadly sin enemy; not into Canaan, but into heaven

        b. Matthew confirms that this Child is the ultimate fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy, being in very fact “God with us”, a truth enlarged upon by John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.


    3. Given to Both

        a. Mt 1:20, Lk 1:30 – “Do not be afraid

            (A)    in Mary’s case, do not be frightened by the angel or the message

            (B)    for Joseph, lay aside your doubts, but take Mary as your wife

        b. to Mary, Gabriel had said, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a Son” (Lk 1:31), but to Joseph the words are, “She will bear a Son.” Mt 1:21 – Joseph will provide a legal fatherhood to the child, and by it the right to David’s throne; but has nothing to do with its conception

        c. Lk 1:35, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; ...”; and Mt 1:20, “for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

            (A)    the explanation of this child’s birth by the virgin is given

            (B)    the same Spirit of God, who moved over the waters at creation is the One who has brought about the creation of this child

            (C)   the Scriptures teach that it is through the father that the sin nature is passed on to the child (see Romans 5:12-19), as this Child, Jesus Messiah has no earthly father, He was born without sin

            (D)   on the other hand, He is still fully man, and therefore able to take our part: “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, … He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest …” (Hebrews 2:14, 17 NAS)

        d. Mt 1:21, Lk 1:31 – “You shall call His name Jesus

            (A)    Biblical names are important: in many cases they were given not at the time of birth but as description of a person’s character

            (B)    when God names a person before birth, it is His solemn affirmation of the nature and work that person will do

            (C)   Both Mary and Joseph are assured that this Child is the one through whom the Lord God of Israel will bring salvation


D. Conclusion

    1. Effect of the Announcements

        a. what a change these announcements made in the life of Mary & Joseph

        b. Mary hastened away to Elizabeth where she found further assurance of what God was going to do in her life, and poured out her soul in praise in that song called the Magnificat

        c. Joseph arose from sleep, freed from the turmoil within, for God had answered in such a way to satisfy both his righteous spirit and his merciful and loving heart


    2. What of the Cost?

        a. being the parent of the Jesus Messiah would be costly

            (A)    there would be innuendo and hardship

            (B)    it would mean fleeing to Egypt, and then later to Nazareth

            (C)   and Simeon would prophesy to Mary, “and a sword will pierce even your own soul” (Lk 2:35)

        b. but nothing like the cost for the Son of God to enter this world in order to carry out His work of eternal salvation

        c. surely these announcements should give us the encouragement to follow Jesus regardless of the cost

        d. Prayer: “Lord, may we learn from the Sovereignty of God seen in your earthly parents, and how they were sustained by the Father’s power, that as we follow You as Lord, His power sustain us until the end.”

        e. may our response be positive in this regard as we are reminded again of these truths in our closing hymn, “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne”.




© 2017 by Garth Hutchinson, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church of Aurora (Ontario): may be distributed or quoted freely, only let this be done to the glory “of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus ii.13). Except as noted otherwise, quotations are from the New American Standard version, used by permission. Various other English versions of the Holy Bible may be used in this sermon. Various Greek Texts have been used, principally those of Westcott & Hort and of Nestle. Explanatory additions to the Bible text are shown in [braces]. Version identifiers are:


              AV          Authorized (King James) Version of 1769

              NAS        New American Standard version © 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation (usually the 1995 edition)

              NIV         New International Version © 1984 by the International Bible Society

              NKJV       New King James Version © 1979 Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers

              Philips     The New Testament in Modern Englis, J. B. Phillips, Geoffrey Bles Ltd

              NRSV      Revised Standard Version © 1946, 1952 National Council of Churches of Christ; Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd

              WEY        The New Testament in Modern Speech © 1902, 1912 R. F. Weymouth

Some of the commentaries and resources used in the preparation of this message are identified as follow:

              ACNT –    An American Commentary on the New Testament, by John A Brodus, American Baptist Publication Society

              Barnes –  Barnes on Luke & John, by Albert Barnes; Gall & Inglis, Edinburgh

              CB        Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, Matthew by A. Carr; Cambridge at the University Presss, 1908

              BM       Biblical Museum, Editor James Comper Gray, ca 1870

              EBC –     The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, © 1986 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 49530, MI:

                             Matthew, by D.A. Carson; Luke, by Walter L. Liefeld

              EGT –      The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Hodder & Stoughton; 1903

                             The Synoptic Gospels, by A. B. Bruce

              JFB  -      Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown; S. S. Scranton & Co. 1872

              Gill       Exposition of the Old Testament, Exposition of the New Testament, by John Gill, D.D.

              Kerux –   The sermon & illustration data base compiled by Rev. David Holwick at the web-site,

              Maclaren –      Expositions of Holy Scripture, by Alexander MacLaren

              Quesnel –       The Gospels with Moral Reflections on Each Verse, by Pasquier Quesnel; Parry & McMillan, 1855

              RWP –     Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, by Dr. A. T. Robertson

              TNTC –    Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: Luke, by Leon Morris; Eerdmans


‘Expositions of Holy Scripture – Matthew’, by Alexander MacLaren, Hodder & Stoughton, 1905