This is the first in a series of entries written by my dad, Mike Stokes. My dad is, if you have been reading my blog, my hero. He has had the battle of his life in the last year. Yet at 66 years old he is a fighter and is ever an encouragement to me and all who know him. He is well loved by friends and family all over the place. He has a fabulous sense of humor and is quite possibly the wisest man I know. He is a listening ear and full of compassion. He will be guest posting for me occasionally. He has been a preacher for 31 years. Until he gets his preaching voice back he preaches through writing. We are the benefit of that.
Luke 1:31-34 (King James Version)
31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
This announcement to Mary is given in plain language. Gabriel’s statement has no less than seven distinct prophecies. I will give a brief summary of the first two now:
- “..Thou shalt conceive in the womb, and bring forth a son..” (v31a)
This statement emphasizes the miracle of His birth. Do you know the first person to doubt the virgin birth? Yes, Mary, understandably so. Note, in verse 34 she raises a question, “How shall this be?” This is without a doubt the deepest, highest, and broadest mystery of the age. The miraculous birth is the Bibles answer to the question of Mary. We dare not go beyond these words, “Thou shalt conceive in the womb, and bring forth a son.., in trying to explain the mystery of the virgin birth. Christ is virgin born, he must be. No one knows how, he just was. You either believe it or you don’t.
2.“..And shall call His name Jesus” (v31b)
God exercises His right to name His son. JESUS is His name not Christ (Anointed), this is His title. He did not come into the world to be a teacher, although He was; He did not come to be an example, although He was. Paul tells us plainly in 1 Timothy 1:15 “..Jesus came into the world to save sinners..” Saving sinners is enshrined in His very name. So, this clause deals with the meaning of His birth. After 2000 years we still know His blessed name. He is the only person to ever enter this world by miracle and leave by one.
This is the season of gift-giving, Jesus is God’s gift to you, a gift that is appropriate any time during the year, in return He desires one from you, your heart and life.