(Luke 1: 19) “And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.” The angel Gabriel was a special messenger from God to give “glad tidings” to all who rejoiced at the coming of Jesus Christ. “Glad tidings,” meaning he was sent to announce the great and glad gospel story, and each person in God’s gospel’s story tells us something about the Christmas story. 1)“Zacharias,” the father of John the Baptist, his name means “The Lord remembers his oath.” Through Zacharias, God’s promise to Israel was sent not just in Jesus Christ (Messiah), but also through John who would come in the Spirit and power of Elijah to prepare Israel to receive him. 2) Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Her name means “Consecrated to God.” Through Elizabeth the Lord remembered Israel, by sending John to those who are the consecrated of God. In the Christmas story, Elizabeth and Zacharias also gave John back to God, in consecration. 3) John the Baptist, his name means “The Lord is gracious.” Answering the prayer of Elizabeth and Zacharias in their old age was a very gracious act by God, but John was also a very gracious act of God in that he prepared Israel to receive Jesus. 4) Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her name means “gift.” Mary was indeed the bearer of God’s gift to the world. 5) Joseph, Mary’s husband. His name means “He will add.” Just as Zacharias and Elizabeth were descendants of Moses and Aaron, Joseph and Mary were descendants of the kingly line of David. Jesus was added to this lineage. 6) Jesus, his name means “Savior.” He therefore is a prophet, priest, and King.
( Gen 41:41-43) “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt... A nd he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.” When Joseph was introduced to us in chp.37, he was a young inexperienced 17 year old boy, and yet 13 years later God raised him up to rule the nation of Egypt. So, what made him different ? The Answer : “ Time,” and his faith in God ! You see time is a wonderful teacher; 1) Time strengthens endurance . Endurance and faith can only be strengthened over time. Like exercise, we start out not able to do much but over time we find that we can do more. You see, God allows us to go through the ups and downs of life, to help us gain not only spiritual maturity, but also spiritual abilities. Spiritual endurance therefore enables us to handle life’s trials better. 2) Time strengthens patience . Although Joseph, consistently did right, God allowe