by Roby Ellis
[Scripture Reading: Luke 1:5-17]
A. Have you ever had great news to tell that you just knew no one would ever believe (Genesis 45; Exodus 4; Numbers 14)?
B. The news delivered to Zacharias and to Mary and to the shepherds was great news indeed (1:19,28; 2:10-11; 4:18-19).
C. If it was hard for the Jews to believe it, imagine how difficult it must have been for the Greeks (1 Corinthians 1:22-24) whom Luke was trying to reach.
I. This story was hard for the Jews to believe.
A. When John and Jesus were born, there had been no new revelation from God for nearly 400 years.
B. Zacharias had trouble believing the story (Luke 1:18-20).
C. Mary wondered how it could be true (Luke 1:34).
D. Many of the Jews doubted (Matthew 21:25,32; Luke 7:30), including some faithful ones (Luke 7:19).
E. When Jesus was risen, even the disciples found it nearly impossible to believe (Luke 24:11,40-41; John 20:25).
F. This unbelief persisted in spite of centuries of work by the prophets who foretold it (cf. Habakkuk 1:5).
II. Although we have a great story to tell, some will never believe it.
A. Some won’t believe because it isn’t scientific (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:20-29).
B. Some won’t believe because of the way the world is (Habakkuk 1:1-2:1; Matthew 24:12-13).
C. Some won’t believe because of the way that believers are (John 17:20-23; Matthew 5:13-16).
D. Fortunately we have the same help that Luke had (Matthew 28:19-20), but some will still abide in unbelief (John 15:18-21).
We need to show the world that we are not ashamed of the Gospel, for even though it is foolishness to many, it is the only thing that can save us!