INTRO: In 2018 I began to go through the Christmas story in chronological fashion. I began with the account of the birth of John the Baptist as he was the forerunner of Jesus Christ and was born some 6 months before Jesus was born. So, to follow the birth of Christ in chronological fashion, we begin in Luke 1:1-80. Here we saw the angel's promise to Zechariah; and later his promise to Mary, and then Mary's visit to Elizabeth, the mother of John. After Mary was expecting she went to visit Elizabeth, who was also expecting.
Then, still in Luke 1, we saw the birth of John the Baptist. Let me just mention that after Adam and Eve sinned God promised a Redeemer. He would be the Christ, or the Messiah. Then a hundred years went by and no Redeemer, then 500 and still no Redeemer. That went to 1,000, then 2,000, then 3,000, and still no Redeemer. At about this time, King David came on the scene. Then followed years of kings, both in the northern and southern kingdoms. The prophets of Israel prophesied and many prophecies related to the coming Messiah.
But Israel's spiritual life declined more and more. And then when Malachi had written his book, the prophets fell silent altogether. God had stopped talking to Israel altogether. Then one day the lot fell on Zechariah, a priest, to offer incense in the temple, and there, in the temple, God once more began to speak to man. He first spoke to Zechariah. Then He spoke to Mary. And in today's message, He will speak to Joseph, Mary's betrothed.