December 20, 2020

Rev. Mark F. Bartels



Old Testament Lesson; 2 Samuel 7:8-16

Epistle Lesson; Romans 16:25-27

Psalm of the Day; Psalm 89                    

Sermon Text; Luke 1:26-38


The text we will look at today is taken from Luke, chapter one, verses twenty six through thirty eight.  This is in our Savior's name.


In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town in Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin pledged in marriage to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin's name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!  The Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women.”  But she was greatly troubled by the statement and was wondering what kind of greeting this could be.  The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found favor with God.  Listen, you will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you are to name Him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His Kingdom will never end.”  Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”  The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  So the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.  Listen, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age even though she was called barren, and this is her sixth month.  For nothing will be impossible for God”  Then Mary said, “See, I am the Lord's servant.  May it happen to me as you have said.”  Then the angel left her.


These are your words, Heavenly Father.  Lead us in the way of truth.  Your Word is truth.



Had you lived back in Old Testament, Bible times, if you were disabled, or if you were a child, or if you were a girl, or particularly if you were a young woman, if there was ever a time that would cause a knot to arise in your throat, and you to get extremely, extremely anxious and worried, it would be when there was an invading army, or a marauding army that was approaching your country, or your city.  They had every intention of breaking the walls of your city, and overrunning your city.  They had every intention of, well, if they were able to do that, they would quickly dispatch the disabled.  They would take advantage of the children.  They would take advantage of the girls, and young women in terrible ways.  Sometimes, they would take them off into slavery, and use them as slaves.  So, it was terrifying, when an evil army was advancing in your direction.

If that was happening, and you knew your husband was going to go off to fight, or your dad was going to go out to fight against the enemy, or your son was going to go out to fight against the enemy, you would have prayed in your heart: 

Dear Lord,

When that battle is over, and I see the people coming back, please help it be our loved ones, and not a marauding army, because it will be terrifying, if it will be the marauding army.

If you went, and hid in your house, while your husband, dad, or son was defending the walls of the city, you would have prayed:
Dear Lord,

When this battle is over, and the door to this room opens up, please help it to be my dad, or my husband, or my son that opens the door, and not the enemy.

You would have prayed that God would send a leader, a king, who was able to rally the men, lead the men, give them courage, as he led them in battle, and also a godly king who could protect you.  That is what you would have wanted.

For the first four hundred years, after The Children of Israel had taken possession of The Promised Land, there was instability.   There were times when enemies would attack cities.  And, those were terrifying times.  Then, the enemy, this group called the Philistines, developed, (what in our parlance might be considered) 'the atom bomb of the military'.  The Philistines had gotten 'a weapon' that absolutely terrified all of the fighting men, the husbands, the sons, and the fathers.  Even the king, King Saul, was terrified of this 'weapon' that the Philistines had developed.  'The weapon' was this huge, giant called Goliath.  You can imagine the hearts of the women, and the children, thinking, “What is going to happen now?  Are the Philistines going to overtake us?”

Then, along comes this young man.  His name was David.  David didn't have any fear.  He didn't even wear any armor!   All he took was a sling, and a few stones.  However, he had with him the promises, and trust in God.  And, with a sling, he slew this great, fearful giant, Goliath. 

When that happened, King Saul, and all of the fighting men, had hearts that were rejuvenated.  They gained courage, attacked the Philistines, and they defeated the Philistines. 

When the battle was over, the people, the children, and women saw who was coming back in victory, and they began to rejoice.  The Bible tells us the women began to sing, because they were so happy.  We even know the words of the song they sang.  They sang,

“Saul has slain his thousands.

And, David has slain his tens of thousands.”

They were so happy that they had a hero, who had kept them safe, and led their men in keeping them safe.

There is even an interesting phrase in The Bible talking about the women singing, and rejoicing in days of victory.  It is the phrase, “The daughters of Jerusalem”, or “the daughters of Zion” (Zion is another name for Jerusalem).  When you run across that phrase in scripture, it is almost always in the context of this mighty king, who has come back, and has the victory.  And so, the girls are singing.  They are so happy they have this hero, who has kept them safe. 

Or, the daughters of Zion are taunting the enemies, because they know, “Our king is going to keep us safe.”

Well, David eventually became king.  David did what nobody else had been able to do, with the power of God, of course.  David was able to absolutely secure the country of Israel.  As a leader of the army, he defeated all of the enemies that were in Israel.  He subdued them all, so there was no danger, anymore to the women, children, and disabled people.  In fact, he was able to subdue all of the surrounding countries.  And so, there was a time of golden peace, during the time of King David.  You can imagine, if you were a young woman, child, or a young wife, or disabled, you did not have anything to fear, because David was the king.

Then, David, having defeated all of these armies, and having built a palace to himself in Jerusalem, one day thought to himself, “Here I live in a palace.  And, the Lord still lives in a tent.”  He was still in the tabernacle.  And David, in his heart said, “I am going to build a house for the Lord.” 

Then, something very interesting happened.  This is one of the most profound messianic promises in The Bible.

When David, in his heart said, “I am going to build a house for the Lord”, the Lord sent a messenger to David.  The messenger's name was Nathan.  Here is what the Lord said to David.  “David you are not the one who is going to build Me a house.”

Now, do you think that broke David's heart?  I don't know if it did, but listen to the promise God said to David.  He said, “You are not going to build Me a house.  David, I am going to build you a house.  I am going to build you a house.  And, I am going to put one of your sons, one of your descendants on the throne.  It will be an everlasting throne, with an everlasting Kingdom.  And, He will be the One who builds the house for me.  Not you, David.”
This was a promise that a greater King than David was coming.  It was a greater King who would bring even greater safety than David.  It would be forever safety.  It would be eternal safety.  It was a promise that this King would come from David's own family, from the same DNA as David, David's genetics.  It was this dynasty, this house of David, which would rule forever.  That was the promise.

David died, and his sons after him.  The house of David, over time gradually, essentially became more, and more wicked.  They led the people more, and more in to wickedness.  And, as they grew more, and more wicked, they grew less, and less able to defeat their enemies, and win the battles.  Times in Israel grew more, and more fearful.  The young women grew more, and more fearful.  The children, and the disabled grew more, and more fearful of, “What is going to happen?  Are we going to be invaded?  Are we going to be overtaken?”

Finally, about four hundred years after David, somewhere around the year 600 BC, finally the worst possible thing you can imagine happened.  This invading army, the Babylonians broke down the walls of Jerusalem, and swept in.  They did terrible things to the disabled, the women, and the children. They carried them off in to captivity.  It was the last of David's family that sat on the throne.  They were taken into captivity.  Eventually, they came back, but it was not the same.  They didn't have a king from David's family sitting on the throne.  It was one super power, after the next that was ruling over the land.  It was a frightening, scary time. 

Then, all of a sudden, our text happens to Mary, a young, poor, woman in a little, unknown town called Nazareth, who was engaged to a poor, young, man who was a carpenter.  They were people of no means, no fame.  They were able, each of them, to trace their genealogy, and they actually did come from the house of David, the line of David.  So, in our text, the angel, Gabriel, appears to Mary.  Just listen to what our text says. 

“...the angel, Gabriel was sent from a virgin, pledged in marriage to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.”

Now, which one of them was of the house of David?  We learn from scripture they both were.  We learn that Mary was of the house of David, and so was Joseph.  Jesus, born of Mary had the genetics, the lineage of David.  And with Joseph, as His step father, he had the legal right to the throne of David.

So they were from the house of David.

Look at the promise the angel gave to Mary.  “The Lord will give Him, the throne of His father David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever.  His Kingdom will never end.”

So, now it is happening.  This great David's greater Son, the One who is going to bring safety, unlike anything David ever brought is now entering the world.

And so, when the angel appeared to the shepherds that night, over Bethlehem, what did he say?  “Unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior.”

There was a 'tip of the hat', when he said, “in the city of David”.  Now, great David's greater Son, King, was born.

When the Wise Men came from afar, and they went in to the city of Jerusalem, what did they say?  “Where is He that was born King of the Jews?”
And, all of Jerusalem, became astir, because, “Could it be that great David's greater Son has now been born?” 

But then, Herod had all of the baby boys in Bethlehem killed.  So, everybody probably wondered what ever happened to Him.

Then, thirty years later, the Man begins to preach, and teach.  And, He begins to do things that nobody else has ever been able to do, before.  All of a sudden, some people began to recognize who He was.  “This is great David's greater Son.” 

And do you know who it was who began to recognize that?  It was the women, the young girls, the disabled, the children.  It was the people who knew they needed a hero who could keep them safe. 

One of the first ones to actually have it come out of her mouth was this Syrophoenician woman.  She was not even an Israelite, but she knew the promises.  And, she had a problem.  The problem was her daughter, her little daughter, was terribly demon possessed.  She needed a hero.  She needed somebody who could do something that no king had ever been able to do, before.  She needed some King who could fight against the principalities, and powers of darkness.  She is the one who came up to Jesus, and it came out of her lips.  She said, “Jesus, (and then listen to what she said), Son of David, Son of David, have mercy on me.  My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.” 

She recognized, “He is great David's greater Son.  And, He can bring safety like no one else.”  

Jesus, with just a word, defeated the demon possession of that young girl.

Do you think there was rejoicing in that home, that night, when that had happened?

Twice there were two blind men who were sitting by the side of the road.  When you are disabled, you are somewhat at the mercy of others, and easily can be taken advantage of.  So, they needed somebody, a hero, who could do what no king had ever been able to do before, and somehow be able to defeat physical illnesses.  It came out of their mouth.  They wondered if He was it.  They said, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us.”

He restored their sight, and they were absolutely safe.  I am sure they rejoiced like you cannot imagine.

Then, there was Palm Sunday, when Jesus rode in to Jerusalem.  By this time the crowds were beginning to wonder, “Is this the One?  Is this great David's greater Son?” 

Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey to fulfill an Old Testament prophesy.  “Rejoice daughter of Zion!  Your King comes to you, meek and lowly, sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.”  Then, it talks about the victory He brings. 

As Jesus came into Jerusalem, the people shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David.”
Later that day, (and this would have been really something to see), The Bible tells us in the temple courts, as they saw Jesus, it was the little children who were repeating what they heard.  They were saying to Jesus, “Hosanna, Son of David.”  That means, “Save us now, Son of David.”

Great David's greater Son was here. 

Do you know how great David's greater Son finally silenced the Pharisees, the leaders, and Teachers of the Law who were constantly trying to trap Him with questions?  One day He said something.  The Bible says,

“After this no one dared ask Him anymore questions.”

No one dared ask Him anymore questions after this happened.  The Pharisees were gathered around Him, and Jesus asked this simple question. 

“The Messiah, the Christ, whose Son is He?”

The Pharisees, knowing The Old Testament very well said, “He is the Son of David.”

Then Jesus asked them this question,

“If He is the son of David,

if the Christ is the son of David,

then why does David call Him Lord?”

Then Jesus quoted this from Psalm 110, which is a description of great David's greater Son. 

He said to them, “Then how can David in the spirit call Him Lord, saying, 'The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.'”

In other words, David was calling somebody who had come from his line, “Lord.” 
Jesus asked, “Well, how can that be?”
The Bible says,

“From that time forth,

nobody dared ask Him anymore questions.”

Now, how can that be?  How could David, who was the father of ultimately Christ, how can David call Him Lord?  We learned that from the angel's message to Mary.  The angel said to Mary,

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you. 

The power of the most high will overshadow you. 

The holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.”

You see, this was not just the son of David, but this was the Son of God, Himself.  He is the One who came to fight against enemies that no king, no other king could fight against.  And so, finally that great battle came.  That great King, great David's greater Son, went out to battle, not with a sling and a few stones, but even something weaker than that.  He went out to battle against somebody far more powerful than 'the atomic weapon', Goliath.  He went out to battle against Satan, the power of this dark world, who has taken all people captive, gotten them all to fall into sin, and into his kingdom.  This great David's greater Son went with the simplest little weapon of all.  In fact, the only thing He had in His hands were two nails, along with a crown of thorns.  That was it. 

-And there, He crushed, He crushed Satan's head.  He defeated sin. 

-And, He died. 

-Then, He took a breath on Easter Morning, and He crushed death. 

Great David's greater Son brought safety like no one else could ever, ever bring. 

It is an eternal safety. 

-It is a safety from all of your sins.  They are all forgiven. 

-It is a safety from death.  Death can't hurt you.  It can't harm you. 

-In fact, that great King, great David's greater Son, is ruling over us in His Kingdom right now.  He is using the simplest of tools.  Not swords, and guns, and bombs. 

He uses a simple thing called Baptism. 

        -In Baptism, He brings little children, helpless, little children from the kingdom of Satan, into the Kingdom of God, just by the power of His Word. 

We don't have anything to be afraid about, anymore.

        -Through simple bread and wine, and The Word of God, He comes to you, this King, this great King, and He does something no one else can do.  He delivers to you the very forgiveness of your sins, and declares you washed clean. 

When your sins are forgiven, you are God's friend.  Nobody can hurt you.  Nobody can harm you.  Just through the spoken Word, that is all it is, just the spoken Word, but it is so powerful! 

He delivers to you promises that nothing can defeat. 

-I don't care what is happening in your family. 

-I don't care what is happening in your personal life. 

-I don't care what is happening at work. 

-I don't care what is happening with your finances. 

-I don't care what is happening with your help. 

You are safe. 

His promises cannot be shaken. 

And, we are in His Kingdom. 

Six hundred years before Jesus came, the Children of Israel were led into captivity in Babylonian.  It was a terrifying time, but there was a prophesy that was spoken.  It was a prophesy that someday there was going to be safety. 

I want to end with this prophesy, because it is really talking about us.  It refers to you and me, the holy Christian Church, as the daughters of Zion, the daughters of Jerusalem.  We have this hero, King.  We do not have anything to fear.  Here is how it goes.

Sing out, daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, you daughter of Jerusalem.  The Lord has removed the judgment against you. He has turned back your enemy. Israel’s king, the Lord, is in your midst! You no longer need to fear disaster.  In that day Jerusalem will be told, “Do not be afraid, O Zion. Do not give up.  The Lord your God is with you as a hero who will save you. He takes great delight in you. He will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Why did Mary get chosen to be the mother of Christ?  It says she was “highly favored”.  The word there is she was “highly graced”.  It was just grace. 

And, why has God chosen you to be part of His Kingdom?  It is just grace, and He takes great delight in you.  He will quiet you, with His love.  Nothing to fear, and eternal safety. 

And so, in just a few days we say,

Come and worship. 

Come and worship. 

Worship Christ,

the new born King.”



Now, may the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts, and minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord, and King.