The Shocking Word and God’s Purposes

What do we learn from the Shocking Word

God often chooses to accomplish His purpose in unexpected ways

If you had never heard this before, wouldn’t this be the last way you’d guess God would save the world?  A wide spot in the road in Hicksville?  A barely mature 14 year old girl?  A betrothed couple without two cents to rub together?  A virgin pregnancy?  The whole thing is so incredible because the whole thing is unexpected.  We would expect the story to center on the rich.  Famous.  Glamorous types.  But it starts in obscurity and lowliness.  Like Luke Skywalker of Tatooine, Frodo of the Shire, and “Jesus of Nazareth.”  Think of those words for what they mean.  Savior from nowhere.  [This is such a strange way to save the world]

Why would God do it this way?  What better way to show that salvation is not from us or our human ingenuity or human effort?  If God can bring salvation from a place like that and a girl like that, than there isn’t anyone too low or any place too small for God to accomplish His purpose.

Can God use you?  Not me, I’m too old.  Not me, I’m too young.  Not me, I am not educated.  Not me, I am not that gifted.  Not me, I’m poor.  Not me, I’m all alone.

You are precisely where God can, and often does, His greatest work.

Gabriel’s words ring true. With God, nothing is impossible.

3 Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.  Ps. 115:3

17 ‘Ah, Lord God!  It is You who have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm!  Nothing is too hard for You.  Jeremiah 32:17

27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

When God works this way, He alone receives the glory, which is why He does it.  Looking around.  We here are great opportunities for God to work in an unexpected way.  We’re not the rich and famous.  We are Nazareth types.  Galileans.  Hoosiers.  Just the sort God likes to use.  Let’s pray He does and submit ourselves to His will as Mary did.

Salvation is from God

Mary didn’t come up with this.  Joseph certainly didn’t.  Gabriel was just a messenger.  The hero here, the one to rejoice in, is God.  Only God could do something so wonderful and unexpected.  Why would He go to all the trouble?  It’s Jesus’ name.  God saves.

That message is as fresh today as ever.  We are broken and sinful people in need of salvation from God’s just wrath toward us.  That’s why Jesus came; to take our punishment and to die in our place.  Only God could do that.  Salvation is from God to all who believe.

So that the shocking word is also a saving word.  Maybe today God is speaking to your soul that this is truth you have been searching for.  I urge you to act on that and to put your faith and trust in the Son of David, the Son of God, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  He will forgive your guilt and restore a relationship with you and God.  He also gives us eternal life.

The Shocking Word is a saving word if you will believe.

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

© 2009 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address ( on the copied resource.

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1 comment

Add Yours
  1. Christine

    Pastor Steve,

    I do not attend Bethel (I attend another church), but I really enjoy your messages. I have been devouring them. THANK YOU for feeding me. To God be the glory!

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