Introduction: Luke 1:26-35 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Can you imagine how Mary must have felt when she got the news that she was going to have a baby? What a shock that had to be seeing that she questioned the angel as to how it was possible because she was a virgin. She must have thought that she was hearing things. An angel comes to her with the news that she is going to become pregnant in a supernatural way. He even tells her that the baby is to be named Jesus. But I think that the most shocking news to her was not that fact that she was about to be an un-wed mother, but more importantly who the father was. He was known in the Old Testament by many names. One of those names is used in this account. He is simply identified as “Highest.” When the angel explains it to Mary the translation in Greek reads this way: (He) shall be called son of Highest.
When people are famous enough they are known by just one name. Utter names like Tiger, Payton, and Lebron and sport’s fans know exactly who you are talking about. Some famous people are even known by animal names the golden bear, the bird, the walrus. None of these names and none of their accomplishments will ever hold a candle to the One that the Scriptures identify as the “Highest”
This morning I would like to take some time for us to get to know the Highest a little better. Since tomorrow we are going to celebrate His Son’s birthday I thought it would be a good idea.
He is powerful.
Psalm 18:13 (KJV) The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
Luke 1:35 (KJV) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
He is incomparable
Psalm 83:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.
The Old Testament form of the word is more often translated Most High God or just most High. The idea is not that there are any other real gods and that He is just the best. It means that He is the only One and that He is unable to be compared to anything or anyone else!
He is awesome
Psalm 47:2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.
He is praise worthy
Psalm 7:17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.
Psalm 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.
He is eternally King
Psalm 92:8 But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.
Luke 1:32-33 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
He calls us to be His children and to live like Him.
Luke 6:35-36 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
He protects me and provides for me
Psalm 57:1 NIV Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
Psalm 57:2 I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
The message of Christmas is that the Highest loved us so much that He sent His Son to save us from our sins. To do that He had to become one of us, to live with us, and to die for us.
Matthew 1:21-23 KJV And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
To the Hebrew to be identified as the Son of the Highest had a huge significance.
To be the son of, meant that He was a carbon copy of the Father. We look at some children that way and we see the likeness and the manerisms of the parents. Mary is told that she is going to have the Son of Highest. He would become King one day and it would last forever.
No wonder that the multitude of angels who had been in the presence of God for quite some time experiencing His majesty, dominion, love and power, just to name a few of His attributes, burst into a unanimous refrain of praise to those shepherds outside of Bethlehem!
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
They could have stated, “glory to the Highest in the highest”! As that would have been fitting!
Tomorrow we commemorate one of the three equally most important days in the history of mankind. It is the day that we set aside to remember that the Highest sent His Son to come and live among us in order to one day be able to offer us the forgiveness of our sins.
It is not about the gifts, the food, or even about the gathering of families. (A pastor friend of mine told me that six families left his church last Christmas because he dared to mention that Santa Claus was ficticious!) That is disturbing! When people are more concerned about perpetuating a story about a white bearded guy in a red suit than they are about the Highest!
When you celbrate Christmas I hope that the Highest will be in the center of it all! Take some time to reflect on how privelidged we are in that the Son of the Highest came down to offer a relationship with Him and His Father that will last forever!
Do you know Him personally? It is more than just a story about the baby Jesus. Jesus lived a perfect life and offered His life as the only sacrifice that will be accepted to make us righteous before the Highest. Jesus, being the son of the Highest would take His life up again after three days to validate His offer to us. The Bible says that we must believe that He is the Son of God and invite Him to be our savior. Have you ever done that? Have you ever taken the advantage of the opportunity that God in His love has extended to you? I hope you have!
If not, why not make this Christmas special and give your life over to the most High God today! You will never be sorry that you did!
Glory to the Highest in the highest!