Matt. 1:18-25 MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB
Intro: In our childhoods, most of us learned the little song entitled,
Had A Little Lamb." It went something like this,
"Mary had a little lamb.
Its fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went.
That lamb was sure to go."
There's more to the story, but those few lines are enough to remind us of
that little childhood song. As we sang that song while we were children, we
had no idea that something like that had actually happened. It never
dawned on our childish minds that the Bible told the same story. That a
young girl named Mary did indeed have a little lamb.
Well, that's what is happening in these verses in Matthew's Gospel. It
seems that Joseph is engaged to a young Jewish maiden named Mary.
They were betrothed, which means that they were legally married, but were
not yet living together. During this time, word comes to Joseph that Mary is
pregnant. Joseph knows that he isn't the father, but he is sure someone is!
He believes that Mary has been unfaithful to him and he decides to get a
divorce, 18-19. Yet, because he loves Mary, he wants to do this thing
quietly because the penalty for committing Mary's crime was death by
stoning. However, before he can put his plan into action, God sends and
angel to tell Joseph that things aren't at all like he thinks they are. He tells
this Jewish husband that Mary is carrying a child that was miraculously
fathered by the Holy Spirit of God. He is told that this child will be a special
child with a special mission. That, in fact, this child is to be the Savior.
Joseph's reaction is to take Mary into his home and wait with her until the
day the baby is born. What they didn't realize is that this baby Who was
growing in Mary's body was none other than the Lamb of God who would
one day die for the sins of all men. Verse 25 tells us that Mary eventually
delivered this child. When she did, the Lamb of God was born. In one of
the greatest stories in all of Scripture, we learn the truth that Mary Had A
Little Lamb. It is that Lamb, the Lord Jesus that I would like to speak about
this morning. I would like to share three characteristics of Mary's little Lamb
with you today. May the Lord help us to see why Jesus, and His birth, are
I. V. 20 MARY'S LAMB WAS A SPECIAL LAMB
A. His Conception Was Special - Jesus Christ had no human father!
He Father is God Himself! What makes the conception of the Lord
Jesus so fantastic is the fact that He was born to a virgin! Now. We
all know the traditional method by which babies are conceived and
brought into this world. However, the conception of Jesus was
different! His mother was a virgin, Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:34-35.
(Ill. This is an essential doctrine! Without a virgin birth, we do not
have a sinless Savior and we have no hope of salvation. It is
impossible to be saved and deny the truth of the virgin birth of the
Lord Jesus Christ!)
B. His Conduct Was Special - From the day Jesus came into this world
until the day He ascended back into Heaven, He was a Person of very
1. Miracles - Ill. He could feed multitudes, open blinded eyes, heal
the sick and even raise the dead. Walking on water posed no
problem for the Lord Jesus, neither did stilling a violent storm.
Everything He did marked Him as being special. However, these
activities were merely proof that He was indeed Who He claimed
to be, Luke 4:18, Isa. 61:1.
2. Messages - When Jesus opened His mouth, people marveled at
the things He said. Even when He was only 12, the doctors of the
Law were astonished at Him, Luke 2:47. When He began His
ministry, He continued to amaze the crowds that heard Him speak,
John 7:46; Luke 4:22.
3. Methods - Even the way Jesus carried Himself set Him apart from
all the others around Him. Never did He stoop to the level of His
enemies, but He always kept His Father's will the center of His
focus. Nothing mattered to Jesus but pleasing the Heavenly
Father, John 8:29.
(My friends, there had never been another like Jesus and there never
will be! He was and is one of a kind! Mary's little was truly special!)
C. His Claim Was Special - Jesus was never shy about telling people
Who He was. In fact, His claims were what caused the Jews to seek
His death. What was the claim that Jesus made that was so
offensive to these people? The answer to that question is two-fold.
1. Jesus Claimed To Be The Son Of God - John 10:36. Jesus
claimed that He was the Son of God in Heaven. All the people
supposed Him to be the son of Joseph, Mark 6:3. However, Jesus
claimed a special relationship with the Father in Heaven.
(Ill. Just as the doctrine of the virgin birth is essential to salvation,
so also is the doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God. Until a person
comes to the place that they are willing to confess Jesus to be the
Son of God, they cannot be saved!)
2. Jesus Claimed To Be God - John 14:9; John 8:58; John 10:30 -
This claim was even more offensive to the Jews that the other
one! By making this claim, Jesus was telling them that He was
eternal, that He was their God, that they needed to bow before
Him and acknowledge Him as their God. This, they were no willing
(Ill. May I remind you that only those who can accept the truth that
Jesus is God can be saved! However, to believe that is as simple
as believing the Bible, John 1:1; 14.)
I. Mary's Lamb Was A Special Lamb
II. V. 21 MARY'S LAMB WAS A SACRIFICIAL LAMB
(Mary's little Lamb came into this world for one purpose. It was not to walk
on water, it was not to heal sick folks, it was not to open blinded eyes, it was
not to calm storms. Jesus came for the sole purpose of dying! He was
special Lamb, but He came to be sacrificial Lamb, John 18:37. You see,
Jesus came to die for the sins of humanity. Luke tells us that His mission
in this world was "to seek and to save that which was lost", Luke 19:10.
If He was going to accomplish this, there was price that had to be paid, and
He paid that price when He went to the cross and died for our sins. Notice
these three thoughts about the sacrificial Lamb.)
A. He Was a Spotless Lamb - Before any lamb could be offered as a
sacrifice, it had to be examined thoroughly and be declared spotless,
Num. 28:9. An animal that was impure or deformed could not be
offered. For Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins demanded that He
be a perfect specimen. He had to be a human without spot or
blemish. Jesus filled this bill perfectly. Not only was He the Son of
God, but He was the sinless Son of God, 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:22.
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He was shedding innocent
blood. He was dying in the place of all the guilty sinners who had ever
and would ever live. He was a pure Lamb dying for a wretched world.
B. He Was A Submissive Lamb - Jesus wasn't forced into His role as
a sacrifice. He willingly submitted to all that He endured. He did it all
out of a heart of love for you and me. Remember, Jesus was God in
the flesh! This is the Creator of the universe that we are talking
about. He could have called down 12 legions of angels had He
wanted to, Matt. 26:53. He could have spoken the word and His
executioners and accusers would have vanished away into
nothingness. He could have expressed the thought and everything
would have been no more! But He didn't! He endured the shame
and the pain without uttering a word. He submitted to the Father's will
and paid the price for sin. He was a submissive Lamb, Isa. 53:7.
When He did speak, it was to pray for the forgiveness of His
tormentors. Jesus was surrendered to the Father's will. Even in the
Garden of Gethsemane when the cross was still hours away Jesus
could be found in prayer calling for the Father's will to be done, Luke
C. He Was A Sacrificed Lamb - All the rest meant nothing unless this
part was fulfilled. It wasn't enough for Jesus to be sinless and
surrendered. He had to suffer and die before sin could ever be done
away with, Heb. 9:22. Thank God, on that cross, Jesus paid the price
for our sins and literally became sin for you and me that we might be
made the righteousness of God in Him! That's right, they took the
Lord Jesus outside the city of Jerusalem, nailed Him to a cross and
there He died for your sins and mine! When that blood was pouring from His body and His life was ebbing away, it was as if a giant
billboard advertising the awesome love of God had been erected for
all sinners to see, Rom. 5:8.
I. Mary's Lamb Was A Special Lamb
II. Mary's Lamb Was A Sacrificial Lamb
III. V. 21 MARY'S LAMB IS A SAVING LAMB
(Ill. If the story ended here, with Jesus dead on a cross, this would be a sad
story to tell. There would be no reason to celebrate Christmas and no need
to come to church. There would be no salivation and no hope for our souls.
If He died and that was the end of Him, that would be the end of us as well.
But, thank God, the story doesn't end there! Three days after Jesus died on
that cross, He came forth, alive, from the tomb, Matt. 28:1-6. And, He is still
alive today. Heb. 7:25. Since this is true, I want to show you what the Lamb
of God, Mary's little Lamb can do today.
A. He Has The Power To Save Sinners - Those who are lost in sin
have hope today! They can turn to the Lord Jesus and He will save
their souls! There are three basic things that He will do in the heart
and life of every sinner that will come to Him by faith.
1. He Can Cleanse Sin - His blood has the power to wash away sins
forever! (Ill. Psa. 103:12; 1 John 1:7). When you put your faith in
the Lord Jesus Christ and accept His death and resurrection as
the payment for your sin debt, He washes you in His blood and
your sins are no longer an issue!
2. He Can Convert Souls - The human soul is a wicked thing, Jer.
17:9. It is lost and undone and cannot have fellowship with God.
However, when a sinner trusts Jesus for salvation, Jesus takes
that life that was so far away from God and brings it near to God,
Eph. 2:12-13. When Jesus does His saving work in your soul, He
makes you pleasing in the sight of God and allows you to enter
into a special relationship with God. Because when you are saved,
you too become a child of God, 1 John 3:1-2. No longer are you
black, corrupt and doomed to Hell, but in Jesus you are saved and
brought into a close relationship with the Father above!
3. He Can Change Sinners - When He saves someone, He also
changes that person. Notice 2 Cor. 5:17. We have heard this
verse until it seems commonplace unto our hearing. However, the
truth needs to be understood by everyone here this morning that
if you are saved, you have been changed! You cannot be like you
were before Jesus any longer! Everything has changed and can
never be the same again! Jesus takes the worst sinners and turns
them into the best saints, 2 Cor . 4:7.
B. He Has The Power To Secure Saints - Those who come to Mary's
little Lamb need never fear losing what they have been given. When
Jesus saves a soul, He does it for all eternity! If you are saved today,
you will always be saved, John 10:28; 1 Pet; 1:5; John 6:37-40. If you
have been putting off salvation because you are afraid that you
cannot do it, then let me encourage you to quit looking at yourself and
what you can do. Salvation belongs to the Lord! If He can save you
then He can keep you saved! If He can't keep you then He can't save
you to begin with. After all, that was His greatest miracle!
Conc: When you think about Christmas this year, try to keep things in
perspective. Christmas must not be allowed to continue its slide into
paganism, commercialism and the world of fantasy. You and I who have
been exposed to the truth of God's Word need to remember that Christmas
is about that special day when God sent His Son into the world to be the
sacrifice for our sins. Christmas is about you coming to know God. After
all, that is why God sent His Son into the world! Do you know Mary's Little
Lamb this morning? If not, why not come and let me introduce you to Him
today? If you do, but things aren't as they should be between you and the
Lord, then I challenge you to bring yourself and your need to Jesus right
now. He can fix what is broken in your life. Yes, Mary had a little Lamb, do