Sermon from the Gospel According to Luke | Blessed among Women | Luke 1:39-45

Blessed among Women (Luke 1:39-45)

For several years, I dreamed of being a college professor, and I got my chance—for one semester. A few weeks after that semester started, the academic dean came to me and said that the college president wanted to save money and let me go. I was devastated.

But I immediately started looking for a place where I could go back to the pulpit (honestly, I belong in the pulpit, not the classroom), so I sent out resume after resume. Church after church called to interview me. And we did multiple interviews—around 14, I think. I could not have asked for the interviews to have gone any better whatsoever. Church members and elderships always seemed extremely pleased. Tammy, RJ, Wilson, and I left those congregations Sunday afternoon confident that I would be offered the position. But the eldership would invariably call a few weeks later and say that they were going with another candidate.

That happened over seven long months—I was rejected and rejected and rejected. And I’m going to tell you the absolute truth: I became extremely depressed, impossible to live with, and I wanted to get out of ministry altogether. I went to far as to tell Tammy that I was confident that God was done with me and didn’t plan to use me anymore. I had completely lost my faith.

But God is faithful. Although I had given up, God hadn’t. He led me to Roanoke, Virginia, where I preached for 3 years. As I look back, I believe God providentially led me to Roanoke, and Roanoke was a step closer to coming to Deer Park. I really believe God has brought us together, and I am thankful. Although I lost faith and was ready to give up, God had plans for me. And I greatly sinned when I failed to trust God, his timing, his will, and his plan.

Have you ever struggled with your faith? Were you ever laid off, and, as you struggled to find something else, wondered why God would allow that to happen? Have any of you had trouble in your marriage—I mean, serious trouble—and you struggled to believe that God really wanted you to stay married? Have you ever had significant health challenges, and you struggled to see God’s hand and his goodness? Did any of you question God when you lost a loved one?

We’ve all struggled with our faith; Mary did not. As a young virgin, she was about to marry her “Prince Charming” when the angel Gabriel told her that she would soon bear a Son. Mary told Gabriel that wasn’t possible, for she had never been with a man. But the angel said, “Nothing will be impossible with God” (Lk 1:37). Mary responded with faith: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).

In this morning’s text, Mary traveled to Zechariah and Elizabeth’s home, and Elizabeth praised Mary’s faith. Elizabeth said: “Mary was blessed because she believed God can do the impossible.

Scripture (Luke 1:39-45)

verses 39-40:

Mary “went with haste” to Zechariah’s home. The Greek word for “haste” refers either to being in a rush or being eager. Mary might have left Nazareth in a hurry to avoid the scandal of an unmarried girl’s being pregnant in a small town.

Mary greeted Elizabeth. Greetings were extremely important in the first century, and the most common Jewish greeting was “shalom,” a wish for God’s peace and blessings.

verse 41:

Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, and Elizabeth’s unborn baby—John—leaped in her womb. Leaping signified great joy.

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, so what Elizabeth said here came from God himself.

verses 42-44:

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

The word “blessed” can mean “to praise” or “to provide benefits.” The first “blessed” surely means that God had been kind to Mary and given her the great benefit of bearing the Son of God. The second “blessed” means that Jesus deserves praise.

verse 45:

“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Mary would receive benefits from God because she believed God would do what he said he would do. It couldn’t have been easy for Mary to believe Gabriel—Mary had never had a sexual relationship with anyone, and she knew it took a man and a woman to have a baby. Gabriel told Mary that God’s power can do the impossible, and Mary believed God can do the impossible.


Mary was blessed because she believed God can do the impossible.” You, too, believe God can do the impossible. You believe that God created the universe out of nothing; that’s not scientifically possible. You believe Mary bore a Child as a virgin; that’s impossible. You believe that God raised Jesus from the dead; it’s scientifically impossible for someone to come back from the dead. You believe that God answers your prayers, even if you ask for things that no mortal can do.

Would you like that faith to grow? Would you like to know with certainty that regardless of circumstances in your life that God will walk beside you and strengthen you? Would you like to know beyond any doubt that if Jesus delays his coming and you die that you will be raised to life? Would you like to know with conviction that God will answer every single prayer that you pray?

You must remember that God answers prayers according to his will, not yours. Jesus prayed that he, if it be his Father’s will, avoid the cross, but he still laid down his life at Golgotha. God apparently doesn’t plan to remove my dystonia, and it’s tiring to have pain and to take pill after pill and to see doctor after doctor, but God promised never to leave me and to strengthen me every step of the way—no one else can do for me what God is doing.

How do you increase your faith in God’s doing the impossible in your life?

One: Pray.

Ask God to increase your faith. A father brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus for healing, and Jesus told this father that everything is possible for the one who believes. The father then cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24).

Take that father’s prayer and make it your prayer; ask God to help your unbelief.

Two: Plunge.

Take the plunge into Scripture. The word of God was written to increase your faith. John 20:30-31. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17).

Spend at least 30 minutes a day in the Book increasing your faith. Yes, I know you’re busy, but what is more important than growing closer to God and knowing with complete confidence that he can do the impossible in your life?

Three: Ponder.

When you doubt what God can do in your life, ponder the great things he has done in the past. Look at the night sky; look at the stars and planets; ponder that testimony to a God who can do the impossible. Ponder how God opened the Red Sea and allowed his people to cross on dry land. Ponder God’s providential care of Joseph and how, with Joseph’s life, God saved his people. Ponder how God allowed David to slay Goliath. Ponder how Jesus healed horrible diseases. Ponder how Jesus raised the dead. Ponder how God raised Jesus himself from the dead. Ponder how God has long done the impossible and how he still has power to do the impossible.


Mary was blessed because she believed God can do the impossible.

Where are you struggling with your faith this morning? Are you struggling with health issues? Are you struggling with financial woes? Are you struggling with family problems? Are you struggling with sin? Know that our God can do the impossible. No, I cannot promise you that everything will turn out the way you want, but I can promise you that through your faith and your prayers, God will be there every single step of the way.

Do you need God with you this morning?

This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at Church of Christ Deer Park in Deer Park, Texas.

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