"Why Mary was Highly Favored?"

By Pastor Jim Alter

Grace Baptist Church, Sidney, OH

Text:  Luke 1-2

Introduction:  Luke 1:30


    A. This was the most unique requirement of
            the prophecy in Isaiah.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

        1. There would be nothing unusual in a young woman
            conceiving. This happens all the time.
        2. There was no room for error.
        3. She had to be pure.

    B. Her simple and honest question is in Verse 34 is
            her own testimony to the virgin birth.

        1. This had never happened before!
        2. Before this every time there was a conception there was
            also a human father and mother.

    C. Webster says that chastity is the abstention from
            unlawful sexual activity.

        1. “She couldn’t have done it today.”
        2. “She doesn’t live in a society like ours.”

                a. Nazareth was a city of about 15-20,000.
                b. It was located about seventy miles northeast of
                c. It sat on a hill overlooking the Roman Road that
                    traveled between the cities of Tyre and Sidon and
                d. Roman soldiers and Greek merchants traveled that
                    road continually.
                e. Nazareth was a stopover point between the two
                f. It was a hotbed of corruption.

        3. Nathaniel said in John 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him,
            Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip
            saith unto him, Come and see.
        4. The angel flew past the temple, palaces, gates of the city.

    D. The Doctrine of the virgin birth is an underlying
        assumption in everything the Bible says about

        1. To throw out the virgin birth is to reject Christ’s deity.
        2. It is to reject the accuracy and the authority of Holy 
        3. No issue is more important than the virgin birth to our
            understanding of who Jesus is.
        4. Everything else the Bible teaches about Christ hinges on
            the truth we celebrate at Christmas—that Jesus is God in
            human flesh.
        5. The virgin birth is as crucial as the resurrection in
            substantiating His deity.  It is not an optional truth.
        6. Anyone who rejects Christ’s deity rejects Christ 
            absolutely; even if he pretends otherwise. (1 John 4:1
            KJV)  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits
            whether they are of God: because many false prophets are
            gone out into the world. (1 John 4:2 KJV)  Hereby know
            ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that
            Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (1 John 4:3
            KJV)  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus
            Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that
            spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should
            come; and even now already is it in the world.

            a. The Pharisees in John 8:41 challenged his virgin birth
                then in verse 48 they accused him of being a Samaritan
                and being demon possessed.
            b. Contrast this with peters answer in Matthew 16:13-17
                Who do men say that I the Son of Man am?

    E. This most important of doctrines required a chaste
        virgin young woman and Mary was “highly
        favored” because of this chastity.


    A. We are not told what she looked like but from the
            text we see that she possessed a rare beauty of 

            1. The casting of the mind.

                a. The sight is marvelous.
                b. The salutation is strange.
                c. She is troubled but instead of any display of 
                    excitement or of alarm, there is only the quiet self 
                    possessed casting of the mind.

            2. There is no reply like that of Zacharias.

                a. No word of skepticism.
                b. No demand for a sign
                c. She does not doubt that it shall be she just questions
                    how it shall be.

            3. The answer to her question is given by the angel.

                a. Verse 35.
                b. Verse 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

            4. Her amazing response to this information.

                a. Difficulty, trial and sorrow for her self was certain.
                b. How’s and why’s and when’s and what for’s must
                    have been beating at the bars of their cage but she 
                    displays a meek and quiet spirit; she says:

    B. Behold the hand maid of the Lord.

            1. 1399 doulh doo-lay AV - handmaiden, handmaid
            2. A female slave, bondmaid, handmaid.

    C. “be it unto me according to thy word”

            1. Pulpit commentary: “She is a type of the believer for 
                all times, in that quietness and confidence which are 
                the believer’s strength, in that receptiveness of soul 
                which is his life, in that entire self-yielding to God 
                which is his reasonable service.”
            2. Herbert Lockyer said: “Mary exhibited a true and 
                genuine piety, as well as a profound humility—the 
                accompaniment of holiness.”
            3. “…The witness of Scripture is that in circumstances of 
                unparalleled responsibility she displayed a true and 
                Godly character."

        OF PRAISE. VERSES 46-55. THE 

    A. My soul doth magnify the Lord.

            1. Magnify - to make conspicuous.
            2. Who did she make conspicuous?  The Lord!!

    B. “God my Savior”

            1. Mary was not sinless. She needed a savior.
            2. Augustine said “Mary first conceived Christ in her 
                heart by faith before she conceived in the womb.”

C. “For he hath regarded the low estate of his

            1. This is her humility showing again.
            2. Handmaiden.  She was a slave for the Lord.

D. The message of her praise. From Pulpit 
        Commentary on Luke Vol. I

            1. His divine power.

                a. “He that is mighty hath done…great things” vs 49
                b. “He hath showed strength with his arm” vs 51

            2. His divine holiness.

                a. “Holy is his name” vs 49
                b. “He hath scattered the proud,” etc. vss 51, 52
                c. His holiness was revealed in his son.

                    1) The mission of His Son; he came to put away sin.
                    2) The life and language of His Son; He illustrated 
                        all purity and condemned all iniquity.
                    3) The death of His Son; Who by the sacrifice of 
                        Himself uttered God’s thought and feeling about 
                        sin as nothing else could speak it and struck it a 
                        death blow as nothing else could strike it.

            3. His divine mercy. vs 50
            4. His divine faithfulness. vss 53-55.

 Mary was indeed blessed “among women”.  She had prepared herself to be used by God and then allowed herself to be used by God.  She had beauty of character.

She was highly favored because of:

Her Chastity
Her Conformity to God’s will
Her Confession of faith in God’s will


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