Text: Luke 1:37
By: Orhosere, James
The gospel of Luke begins with the following words: inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed (Luke 1:1-4).
The writer was writing to Theophilus, but his book was undoubtedly intended to benefit others, including us.
We, too need to know the exact truth about the life of Christ.
This gospel account tells us about the promises of a child to Elizabeth and Zacharias (the parents of John the Baptist) [Luke 1:13-17].
Next, we read about the promise of the birth of another child, Jesus, to the virgin Mary (Luke 1:30-33).
Third, we are told of Mary’s visit with Elizabeth before John was born (Luke 1:39,40).
Then, we find the fulfillment of the promise to Elizabeth and Zacharias – the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:57).
This chapter is full of promises made and kept and praises offered to God the for the fulfilment of His promises.
It is difficult to identify a single theme for Chapter 1, but if we must choose one, perhaps we would focus on the idea we find in verse 37: Nothing is impossible with God.
Gabriel, God’s messenger had told Mary that she would have a child (Luke 1:26-31).
She thought this was impossible, for she was a virgin (Luke 1:34).
Then, the angel said for nothing will be impossible with God (Luke 1:37).
The rest of the chapter and the next one (which tells about the birth of Jesus) illustrate that in fact, God accomplishes the impossible!
Elizabeth, who was barren and past the age of having children, had a child. Mary who was a virgin became pregnant by the Holy Spirit and had a child.
The point is that God did the impossible! The question is How? He did it miraculously!’
Paul wrote one the greatest attributes of God’s power in the New Testament – Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20).
God can accomplish what we might think impossible, but He does it according to the power that works within us.
The question then becomes what kind of people can God work through today to accomplish His purpose? Luke 1 helps to answer that question.
Through Righteous People
God can accomplish one part of His plan by into the world the person who would prepare the way of Christ. He did this through a godly couple, Zacharias and Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-7).
The inspired writer said they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord (Luke 1:6).
If we want God to do the impossible then we need to be righteous, keep His commandments and do the will in everything.
Through Those Who Pray
Zacharias was a priest. One day, during the time for him to serve in the temple, an angel appeared to him at the right side of the altar of incense (Luke 1:11). The angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John (Luke 1:13).
How long had they been praying for a child? No one knows, but surely, they had prayed for many years for a child.
Their example should encourage us to pray and to keep praying even when it seems impossible for our hopes to be fulfilled.
God has promised to hear and answer our prayers but we can never be sure how and when they will be answered.
Through Those Who Yield To His Will
The angel Gabriel told Mary who was betrothed to Joseph, that she was the woman God has chosen to be the mother of Jesus, the Son of God. Mary indicated her acceptance of the message by humbly saying “Behold the bondservant of the Lord! May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
Mary’s attitude illustrates that God accomplishes the impossible through those who are willing to be used by Him.
He works through those who are compliant, who are willing to let the Lord do with them, or direct them as He chooses.
Through Those Who Praise Him
Luke 1 is full of praise and prayer and rejoicing.
Mary praised God for what He has done and would do through her (Luke 1:46-55).
Elizabeth’s neighbours and kinfolk rejoiced with her at the birth of John (Luke 1:58).
Zacharias praised God when he regained his speech (Luke 1:64).
Zacharias praised God while he prophesied concerning his son (Luke 1:68-79).
These individuals – all good people – were the kind of people who praised God. They understand that when God does great things in a person’s life, the appropriate response is praise.
Through Those Who Have Faith
Luke 1 begins and ends with the story of Elizabeth and Zacharias. Gabriel appeared to Zacharias and promised him that his wife Elizabeth would have a son.
One interesting fact revealed in this story is that at first, Zacharias did not believe the angel. After Gabriel had told him that His son would prepare the way for the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17).
Zacharias replied How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years (Luke 1:18).
This incident reveals that one’s faith does not have to be perfect before God can choose and use one. We grow in faith, just as we grow in other Christian attributes.
Zacharias lacked faith when he doubted the angel’s word, as a result, he was made mute later when he demonstrated obedient faith in the naming of his son, he was able to speak again.
We are challenged to have the kind of faith Zacharias acquired, in order to believe from the beginning that God can do what would otherwise be impossible.
He is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or thinks (Eph. 3:20).
Jesus said if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains.
Regardless of your present circumstances, you don’t need to worry about what the future holds nor dread the things that are yet to come.
Just remember God can accomplish the impossible.
The past may have been bitter and the present may be painful but the future can always be better if you anchor your hope and confidence in God.
He has not abandoned you nor has He forgotten your needs.
To be such a person you must be one of those who are righteous and are always trying to obey God’s requirements.
We need to be such people: people of faith and prayer who constantly praise God and yield ourselves to His will, eager to be and do whatever He asks of us.
To be such a person, begin by obeying God’s requirements to become a Christian, believe in Jesus, confess your faith, repent of your sins, and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.