By Russ Wilkins
Dir. of Missions, Shiloh Baptist Assoc., Adamsville
Focal Passage: Luke 1:26-38
A synonym for conceive is imagine or visualize. When I was a small child, I had a pretty good imagination and could envision myself playing professional baseball or driving a race car but not in my wildest dreams would I imagine doing the things God has called me to do. It definitely was not any type of professional sport!
How about you? Did you imagine doing the things that God has ultimately called you to do? This week in Luke 1 we will see God fulfill something that had to go beyond anything our patriarchs could have imagined when God gave them a promise that would take many lifetimes to be fulfilled.
We left off last time concerning God’s plans and the fact that they will always come to pass. They are more than plans, they are promises. Luke 1 includes two great promises. Last week we saw the promise of John the Baptist being fulfilled. Isaiah and Malachi both prophesied of a prophet making way for Jesus. Jesus is the second great promise of Luke 1 that we will discuss this week.
The second great promise happened when Mary conceived “the Son of the Most High”. Somewhere around 4,000 years ago, God spoke to a man named Abram (later Abraham) and told him that “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Genesis 12:3.
Roughly (very roughly, don’t judge) a thousand years after that, we have king David, who was also given a promise that we know as the Davidic Covenant found in II Samuel 7. David is promised that his offspring will always sit on the throne.
So here is a young teenage girl that has grown up in the tradition of understanding the history of her people, a people of promise, when this angel appears and tells her that “you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” In verse 32, the angel said that “the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” This young girl is literally going to see the fulfillment of a promise over 2,000 years old that generations have been waiting for!
How patient are you? What is the longest that you can remember waiting on something that someone promised you? Some of you are remembering that quarter someone borrowed from you in middle school that they promised to pay you back. Bad news, that one is a broken promise!
Most of us have made promises that we have broken but even 2,000 years later, God kept His promise. Here we are another 2,000 years later waiting on a promise … “I will come again.” Just like the promises made in Isaiah and Malachi for John and the promises of Genesis and II Samuel for Jesus; the promise of Jesus coming again will be fulfilled.
Sometimes we are called Christians or “little Christs”, other times we are called “believers” because we believe that Jesus is the Messiah and we believe the truths of the Bible, but another name that should accurately describe us is “follower.”
Just as Jesus said to His disciples in the first century, “Follow Me”, we are called to the same commitment. The promises of God are true, and He is worth following.
The final Scripture of today’s study is Luke 1:38 “And Mary said, ‘Behold, the Lord’s bond-servant; may it be done to me according to your word.” Mary could say this because she believed God’s promises are true. As we head into this season of remembering Jesus birth, remember that God’s promises are always true.