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Luke 1:5-20, 26-38

Author: Scott Foutz

Text: Luke 1:5-20, 26-38
Proposition: You cannot grow in your faith without first submitting yourself completely 
to God

I. the character of Zechariah
	1. Priest - division of Abijah
	2. Married to a priest's daughter
	3. both upright in the sight of the Lord (& observing... blamelessly)
	4. "But" (contrast) they had no child

II. The encounter of Zechariah
	1. Zech's division on duty (semi-annual)
	2. chosen by lot to burn incense (out of 750 in division, 18,000 total)
		a. this is a once in a lifetime duty
		b. incense symbolizes prayer. 
		c. Incense altar in the center of the Holy Place
		d. Zech places incense on the heated altar and kneels to prayer
	3. The Angel appears, "Your prayer has been heard." (personal or priestly?)
	***What would you expect Zech's reaction to be (considering status & situation)?
	4. Zech doubts (18)

III. Mary's situation (cf. 26-38)
	A. Virgin (young woman & sexually pure) in a patriarchal society
	B. Not of the line of David (though related to Aaron)
	C. The angel appears and brings incredible news
		a. you are favored by God and He is with you (personally)
		b. you will have a son and he will be called... son of Most High
		c. God will give him a throne that will never end
		***This is great news but who is the father?
		d. thru the Holy Spirit & power of the Most High you will bear this child!
	D. Mary's reply: I am the Lord's servant. (faith & submission)

	1. Zech's righteousness, position & proximity to the religious center of Israel 
       could not prepare him for a word from God. Zech needed more evidence to believe.
	2. Mary knew only the nature and power of her God and submitted herself to His 
        hand. She knew that God would inevitably have his way.
	3. We must also be careful not to grow content with righteousness, position or 
       constant presence in the church as a replacement for an actual faith and submission to 
       God's word to us, no matter what that word might be.


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