December 10, 2012

Do You See What I See?

Lessons from the Nativity


Over the next four weeks we will present a series titled, Do You See What I See? We will examine briefly the lives of those who first encountered Christ, the Messiah, the One who became flesh and dwelt among us, our Savior. Each of these people had different encounters, at different times and from different perspectives. Join us as we learn to walk worthy through some of the lessons we learn from the Nativity.
Christmas from Mary’s Perspective – Read: Luke 1:26-55
What do we learn about who Mary is from this passage?
  • From the city of Nazareth in Galilee
  • A virgin, betrothed to Joseph from the house of David
  • Favored one of the Lord
  • Relative of Elizabeth and Zechariah, parents of John the Baptist
  • A humble servant, blessed
  • Mother of Jesus
What does Mary see?
The angel of the Lord appears and tells her the Lord is with her and she has found favor with God. She will conceive a child, bear a son, name him Jesus and he will be called Son of the Most High. He will reign over the house of Jacob and of his kingdom there will be no end. Quite a proclamation!
How does Mary respond?
We read that she was greatly troubled – a natural response, I would say!  How would you take such news? Shock, disbelief, dismay? But we see more in her response …
Mary is humble before God – She calls herself a servant of the Lord. Literally, a bond servant, one who gives himself or herself freely to another as a servant. In verse 48, she identifies herself as His humble servant. Humility characterizes the manner in which she accepts this news -unlike Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, who has a similar encounter earlier in the story.
Read Luke 1:8-20. Zechariah questions that such a thing could ever even happen. He is later made mute until the birth of his son because of his unbelief.
Mary believes God – In contrast to Zechariah, Mary does not question who God is, what He is about to do, or the fulfillment of that act. She simply asks how. She accepts it will be accomplished. Her response in verse 38, let it be to me according to your word!
Mary praises God! Read Luke 1:46-55. Mary’s Song of Praise, also known as, The Magnificat.
How does Mary view God?
Mary believes God! She magnifies Him and rejoices in Him. Look at the many attributes she rehearses in her song of praise. He is her Savior. He is mighty and has done great things. He is holy. He is merciful to all generations. He shows His strength. He humbles the proud and exalts the humble. He satisfies and fills the hungry with good things.
What can we learn from Mary’s perspective?
Humility before God. Even when things don’t go as we expect, planned or desire, we need to remember that apart from God we can do nothing. He is the sovereign ruler of the universe and His plan is perfect, always for our good and His glory.
Believe and trust in God. Our level of trust in God is based upon our knowledge of God and belief in God. Mary knew her God. Mary believed God!   As you read the Bible look for how God reveals himself and then make it a practice to rehearse and remind yourself of who He is! This naturally leads us to Mary’s next response -praise.
Praise of God! Praise always takes the focus off ourselves and our situation as we focus on the greatness and majesty of God. Praise takes us into His very presence! 
Do you need to humble yourself before the Lord? 
Is there an area of your life where you need to trust and believe Him? 
Spend some time praising the Lord. Mary’s song of praise is a great way to begin. As you pray through this hymn of praise, reflect on each of these attributes of God. 
Rejoicing in Him!
Susan Cady
Women’s Ministry Bible study Team