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Jesus: Our Everlasting


Week One: Hope

Sunday, December 3 | by Dr. Brent Thomason

Filmed September 30, 2023

We are standing here by a well in old Nazareth, at a site traditionally held by the early church where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus.

Now, if an angel were to appear to us today and make an announcement, that may be terrifying to us, but to the persons in the Bible, the appearance and message of an angel were, more often than not, instilling hope for the people.

Let’s consider some examples. In the Old Testament, angels visited Father Abraham and announced to him that Sarah would bear a son, Isaac, within the year.

Again, the angel appeared to Manoah’s wife and announced the birth of Samson.

In the New Testament, the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, the priest in the temple, and announced the birth of John the Baptist.

Now, those are all incredible announcements instilling great hope for what that future baby boy would become. After all, when you think about who those boys were, Isaac, Samson, and John the Baptist, they are some of the leading characters in the biblical narrative.

These are the front and center stage characters.

God brought forth some incredibly gifted men from these barren women.

But with Mary, he has to pull off a double miracle and extra wonder because Mary is not married; it’s not that she’s barren and trying. She’s not even trying because she’s not yet wedded to Joseph.

So, just imagine the awe that she must have felt upon hearing that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and make this conception possible.

And then imagine how her awe turns to hope as the angel announces that this child would inherit the throne of his forefather, King David.

And if that wasn’t enough, his dominion, his kingdom, his rule, and his reign had no expiration date.

It would be an everlasting Kingdom.

Imagine the Old Testament narratives that begin swirling in the back of Mary’s mind. The stories, promises, and prophecies of the arrival of this awaited king: perhaps the prophecy of Daniel came to mind that the Son of Man walked up to the Ancient of Days and was handed an everlasting dominion and a kingdom that would not be destroyed.

Perhaps the prophecy of Zechariah, who foretold that one day God himself would come to dwell in the midst of his people Israel.

Zechariah even sounds a lot like Isaiah’s own prophecy that a virgin would conceive and give birth to a son. Or even the promise foretold in the Garden that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent.

These narratives, these promises, and these prophecies instilled hope in Mary.

And from the depths of that hope springs forth this joyous song, what we call the Magnificat, a song of Mary praising God that he has had mercy upon generation after generation, that he has exalted the humble hearted, that he has filled the hungry, and that he has given help to Israel, just as he promised Abraham and his descendants that followed.

So, on this first Advent Sunday, may we ponder afresh the announcement Gabriel gave to Mary and perhaps at this very location, and may our hearts be filled with hope this Advent season.

Dr. Brent Thomason serves as Dean of the Graduate School of Ministry at Dallas Baptist University.

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