Study # 3
January 4, 2004
Lincolnton, N.C.

<038> Thesis: Significant distress, as a knee-jerk reaction, must indicate a rather large body of inter-related concepts that dictate one's view of life's processes. When grace isn't the root of the joy of life, something else is! Luke must have wanted Theophilus to consider where "grace" was in his own perception of life. Introduction: As we meet for the first time in the new year, we have a text before us that has created a puzzle that needs to be solved. In our study last time we saw that the first part of the puzzle revolves around the question of just what Luke actually wrote to Theophilus. The manuscripts, and, thus, the translations of Gabriel's statement to Mary have multiple variations in them. However, as we worked our way through the material last week, we saw that the New American Standard Bible has the most dependable record of what was said. What that means is this: Mary was significantly disturbed when Gabriel told her that she was a special object of the grace of God. The puzzle before us this morning consists of one question: Why? Why would anyone be significantly disturbed to find out that they were specially favored by God? To answer that question so that we may fit the pieces of the puzzle together so that we may begin this new year with, perhaps, a new focus, we must look carefully into what this text tells us.