The God Without Limits

Title: The God Without Limits

Bible Book: Luke 1 : 37

Author: Steve Wagers

Subject: God, Mightiness Of; Christ, Birth Of; Christmas



I read about a fellow that had not been saved very long and he was so excited about what he was learning about God. One day he was on a bus reading his Bible and every now and then he would shout, "Glory to God, praise the Lord, amen!" A skeptic heard him and asked him what he was reading. He answered, "I'm reading the Bible and how God parted the Red Sea and let the Israelites cross. That was some miracle."

The scoffer said, "Do not believe everything that the Bible tells you. The truth of the matter is that it   was not the Red Sea they crossed but the Reed Sea which is only about 6 inches deep, so it was not a miracle."

The fellow nodded in disappointment but kept on reading. The skeptic walked away feeling proud that he had set the Bible reader straight. Suddenly the skeptic heard the fellow let our big "Glory to God, Praise the Lord, Amen!" Hearing this he went back and asked, "What is it now?" The fellow jumped up, pointed at where he was reading in the Bible and said, "Here is the real miracle. God drowned Pharaoh's army in 6 inches of water."

For the record's sake, let me say it was the Red Sea. But it would have been no difficulty for God to drown an entire army in 6 inches of water. He is a God that as Ephesians 3:20 declares, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."

In Genesis 18: 14 a question was asked to Abraham, and in Jeremiah 32: 17 the same question was asked to Jeremiah. It was not a question asked about God, or to God; it was a question asked BY God, "Is there anything too hard for me?”

When Jeremiah heard the question, he immediately gave the answer to the question, "Ah Lord God! Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee." (Jer. 32: 17)

I think of when the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea. There was anywhere from 3 to 3 1/2 million Jews that crossed that night. It has been calculated that for that many people to cross in one night they would had to cross 5000 abreast which would have required God to open a path in the Red Sea 3 miles wide.

For 40 years God sustained them in the wilderness. That number would have required a camping area of 750 square miles (two-thirds the size of Rhode Island). It would have required 1500 tons of food per day to keep them from starving. It would have taken 2 freight trains, each 1-mile long to haul in the daily food supply. At today's prices it would cost around $4 million each day to feed them.

It would have required 11 million gallons of water for the bare necessities (drinking, washing, etc) each day. This would take a freight train of tank cars 1,800 miles long to haul in that much water each day.

I ask you, who supplied the food and water for the children of Israel each day for 40 years? Who was it that sustained 2-4 million Jews for 40 years, in the wilderness, and we read nowhere that anyone died of starvation. It was God of Himself, in Himself, and all by Himself that did the impossible.

Yet, it is that same God who is the divine architect of Christmas. I want us to take these next few Sundays, which lead up to Christmas, and go into the delivery room with Doctor Luke. He shares insight into the birth of Christ that is unique to any other writer.

As we begin, I believe that, in order to properly understand the meaning, majesty, and miracle of Christmas, we must focus on God’s Word to Mary in verse 37, "For with God nothing shall be impossible."

The word "nothing" is the Greek word ou pas rhema. The Greek word ou is an absolute negative. The Greek word pas includes all forms of declension. It refers to the whole, every part, or all. The Greek word rhema speaks of a divine utterance.

Thus, the word “nothing” reminds us that, when the Word of God is spoken, it encompasses the whole, and there is absolutely nothing that it cannot accomplish.

The word "impossible" is a reference to God’s ability. Put together, the scripture is simply declaring that the God, who created this world, controls this world; and, can do anything with this world, for this world, to this world, by this world, or in this world that He chooses to do.

Little Johnny walked out of Sunday school and the pastor shook his little hand. The pastor said, “Johnny, what did you learn in Sunday school today?” Johnny said, “We learned about the power of God.” The pastor said, “Then, Johnny, if you can tell me something God can do I’ll give you an apple.” Johnny said, “Pastor, if you can tell me something God CAN’T do I’ll give you a bushel of apples.”

Let’s begin our visit to the delivery room with Dr. Luke and take a look at this amazing Christ of Christmas, who is a God without limits. We learn that:

I. God Is Not Limited By Ordinary People!

In these verses, we are introduced to a woman named Mary. In some religious circles today, Mary has been exalted to place where the Bible never ascribes or assigns her. Because of the role she played in the birth of Jesus, she deserves to be admired and revered. But she is not to be worshipped.

The simple honest truth is, Mary was nothing more than an ordinary person who was the channel and vessel or extraordinary happenings. In fact, we learn that Mary was simply:

A. A Common Person

It is interesting that Mary does not play a high profile in the Scriptures. Little is known or revealed about her personal history. Her genealogy is given in Luke 3 that shows that she was of the tribe of Judah and of the lineage of David.

In his book, “The Greater Men and Women of the Bible,” James Hastings writes of her, "Mary first meets us at a time when she scarcely has crossed the threshold of womanhood.” [1]

Marriage came at an early age for young Mary. Seeing that she was not yet married, we know that she was but a teenager, perhaps 18-20 years of age, when visited by the angel.

When we meet Mary she was but a village maiden, a peasant girl. She did not hold a great position in life. She did not hold great possession in life. She did not hold great prominence in life. She did not hold great power in life.

She was but a simple, ordinary, plain, and common person. However, it was this common person that became:

B. A Chosen Person

Even though she was but an ordinary and common person, one day she received some extraordinary news. We read in Luke 1:28, "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."

We also read in verse 30, "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God."

The word "favoured" in verse 28 is the Greek word charitoo, which means, "to grace, or to endue with a special honor." Mary was "highly favored" in the sense that she was given the honor of being the earthly mother of the Lord Jesus. Mary was the woman chosen by God to birth a body for the Lord Jesus to indwell while upon this earth.

The word "favor" in verse 30 is a word that describes someone who has experienced a gracious act of God in their life. The choice of Mary for this divine event was not because she deserved it or merited it. It was an act of God's grace in her life.

I love how Andrew Tellford defines grace, “Grace is any move of God in our direction.” I remind you that anything God does for us, any time God acts, moves, or looks in our direction; we must never forget, is an act of grace. We would never deserve, we could never deserve, and we should never deserve anything God does for us. Whatever He does on our behalf is an act of His amazing grace.

Mary was no different. She was but a common, ordinary teenage girl but God in His grace chose her for extraordinary happenings.

Why? I can’t help but believe that God chose a common person to remind us that He is not limited by ordinary people. With God, He is not limited in doing great and mighty things by ordinary people.

Let me enlarge on what I am talking about. As you look at certain women in the Bible we are reminded that God can supply our needs, answer our prayers, etc. I think I would be safe in saying that no one here would deny, dispute or doubt such things.

But in all probability there are many here who really doubt that such things will actually happen in their life. When you think of God doing extraordinary and supernatural things you associate those things with someone like Elijah, Moses, and Paul etc.

You think, "I'm not a prophet, priest, patriarch, or preacher. Those things can never happen in my life. I'm just an ordinary church member. I don't hold any great position in the church. I have no special talents. God would never do things for me."

I want you learn something from Mary's example. God is not limited by ordinary people. You may be a plain, everyday, common, ordinary person; but, so was Mary, and look what God did in her life, for her life, and with her life.

If you are a child of God, you can see God supply your needs, answer your prayers, solve your problems, lift your burdens, and do great and mighty things in your life. You don't have to be an Elijah, a Moses, a Joshua, an Elisha, or a Paul to experience God's mighty work. All you have to be is a child of God.

I remind you that God has never had anything, or anyone to work with but vile, low-down, good-for- nothing sinners. He is not looking to call the qualified; He is looking to qualify the called. He is not impressed by credentials, degrees, fame, fortune, popularity or prestige. Such things HAVE NEVER qualified anyone to do great things for God.

No, all God is looking for is a not a person’s ability, but a person’s availability. Mary made herself available to God in verse 38,

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”

The word “handmaid” is the Greek doule, which speaks of a female slave. In other words, Mary seemed to say, “God, I have no idea why You have chosen me to have a part in the birth of the Messiah. But, if it is Your will to use me to accomplish Your work, then I am Your slave, and I am at Your service, Lord.”

God is not limited by ordinary people. God can do the impossible in your life if you will let Him. He can supply your needs. He can answer your prayers. He can do great and mighty things in your life, regardless of who you are.

God is not limited by ordinary people. What He has done for others He can do for you. Praise God, He can do the impossible and even do it in your life!

Secondly, Dr. Luke shows us that this Christ of Christmas is:

II. God Is Not Limited In Ordinary Places!

Notice Luke 1:26, "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth."

One of the few things that we know is that when we meet Mary, she was from and lived in a town called Nazareth. In those days, being from such a place was not something that you put at the top of your resume. Being from such a place, like Nazareth, was not something of which to brag or boast.

But, it was in the place called Nazareth where God chose to prove that He is not limited by ordinary people, and He is not limited in ordinary places. Let me point out a couple of things about Nazareth. First, it was:

A. A Place of Unimportant Location

The name "Nazareth" means "branch, shoot, or sprout." I guess you can say it was nothing more than a "bean sprout" town. It is located in lower Palestine in the hill country. In other words, the city of Nazareth was a little mountain town, of approximately 15,000 people. It was a small village that only had one spring to supply fresh water.

An interesting fact about Nazareth is that you don't even find it mentioned in the Old Testament. We find the names of cities/towns like Bethlehem, Judea, Damascus, and Samaria, but the Old Testament never denotes the name of the city of Nazareth.

In fact, the only time you have it mentioned in the New Testament is in association with Jesus. It was just a little village tucked away in the mountains. There was nothing special, unique, or significant about the town. It was a place of unimportant location, as well as:

B. A Place of Unimpressive Reputation

As I said, being from Nazareth was not an impressive fact on a person's resume. Nazareth did not possess a good reputation and did not possess great respect.

In John 1:46 we get a hint at how people felt about Nazareth. We read that Nathanael said to Philip, "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?"

The opinion of the day was that if you were from Nazareth you were underclass, second rate, or, as we would say, "A hick from the sticks.”

We read in Acts 24:5 that the early church was referred to as the Nazarene sect. That was not a compliment, or a bat on the back of the early church. It was a phrase of contemptible ridicule and scorn.

The lack of respect Nazareth and its people received was due to an unpolished dialect and a lack of culture. As I said earlier, Nazareth was located in the mountainous region of Palestine. Simply put, Nazarenes were mountain people.

They talked like mountain people, lived like mountain people, and acted like mountain people, and were made fun of by everyone around them. To put it simply they were hillbillies and were stereotyped as being dumb, ignorant, mountain people. Jeff Foxworthy would have made a fortune with “You Might be a Redneck” with the people from Nazareth.

Yet, the God that can do the impossible is not limited in ordinary places. You see, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, in verse 26, it was the first time in hundreds of years anyone had heard from God or had a visit from God.

Between Malachi and Matthew, or Luke, we find comprised what is referred to as “The Silent Years.” After the ministries of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, the prophetic voice of God was silenced for the next 400-600 years.

For 300 years, Persia (modern day Iran), experienced world domination, only to be overthrown by Alexander of Macedon, which introduced the world to Hellenism for the next 136 years. Finally, in 200 B. C. Rome took over the world stage, and would be in power, at the birth, and throughout the life of Christ. [2]

However, during these 400-600 years, there was no word about God, no word of God, and no word from God. It was complete and total silence.

But where is this silence broken? Where is the first visit from God experienced? It was in the little bean sprout, redneck, mountain town of Nazareth! Of all places for such a great, grand and glorious message to be announced. In the most unlikely of places, God shows up and speaks up!

I don’t know about you, but that's encouraging to my heart. It reminds me that we don't have to be listed among who's who as churches; we don't have to be the biggest or the best to experience God's power and blessing.

We don't have to be considered a “mega church” for God to do something impossible. He is not limited in ordinary places. We can be just ordinary people in an ordinary place and experience an extraordinary visit from God.

I said a moment ago that the only time Nazareth is mentioned in the Bible is in relation to Jesus. You could say that it was Jesus that put Nazareth on the map and endeared it to the heart of the world.

But, ladies and gentlemen, if you get Jesus in a place people will sit up and take notice. You let God visit a place and people will learn who they are and where they are. You let God show up, show out and show off, and you will need to rent a billboard, or place an advertisement in the newspaper. It is Jesus and a God that can do the impossible that will make the difference in any place, and I repeat, any place.

I think of the Welsh revival that shook the world in 1904. It started in the most unlikely of places; a little coal mining village in Lougher, Wales. When I say little, I mean little. There is hardly anything there.

But in that remote, out of the way place, in an ordinary Welsh village, God took 17 young people, and a young man Bible college student named Evan Roberts and touched the world with perhaps one of the greatest revival of history.

All God has ever looked is a people and a place that are more hungry for Him than for anything else. When God finds such a people and such a place, watch out! Something big is getting ready to happen.

Such was the case with an ordinary person named Mary, and an ordinary place named Nazareth. But, we should not be surprised to discover that God is not limited by ordinary people, God is not limited in ordinary places; and:

III. God Is Not Limited To Ordinary Procedures!

The heart of the angel's visit and message, to Mary, is found in verse 31,

"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus."

Gabriel was sent to bear the news to Mary that she was going to be a mother and that she was going to have a son. However, the news informed her that this was not to be your everyday birth, and this was not going to be your everyday boy. The message announced that this would be:

A. A Momentous Birth

In verses 32-33, Mary receives some special instructions. You could say that Gabriel hand-delivered the Baby Name book to Mary. "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: [33] And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."

Verse 35 tells us that He would, "…be called the Son of God."

In other words, Gabriel informs Mary that she was about to give birth the Saviour of the world. That which would be conceived in her would the Perfect One, the Prophetic One, and the Promised One. He would the One who would save His people from their sins.

This birth was be the hour when God stepped out of eternity into history, out of prophecy into reality, out of the pages of the written Word to become the Living Word. This birth was a momentous birth because this was the birth the Lord Jesus.

As August Van Ryn said, “Through the womb of a virgin, the eternal Son of God would become the earthly Son of Man. He was the Son of Man without becoming the son of a man. He would be the Son of Man so that the sons of men might, by grace divine, become the sons of God.” [3]

He would not be all God, and no man; nor, would He be all man, and no God; nor, would He be half- God and half-man. He would be the God-Man! He would be fully God and fully man. He would be so much God as if He was not a man; and, yet, so much man as if He were not God.

In marvelous, mysterious, momentous, and matchless grace, He took upon Himself an earthly body, so that every soul that trusts Him as Savior might have, one day, an eternal body.

I believe you would agree, this birth would be like no other birth. It was a momentous birth, and it was:

B. A Miraculous Birth

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), Tuesday is the day most babies are born and Sunday is the least. The CDC says that the average age for first time moms in the US is 25 years.

Also, average birth weight is 2.5-3.4kg, or 5.5 to 7.5 lbs. An average female baby weighs 7.5 lbs, and an average male baby weighs slightly more at 7.7 lbs. The average length of a female baby is 20.9 inches, and an average male is 21.3 inches. [4]

But, again, that is in regards to a natural birth. However, this birth, the birth of the God-man was not a natural birth, but a supernatural birth. It was not only a momentous birth, it was a miraculous birth.

Get the picture. Young Mary is just going through her late teenage and early adult years. Perhaps she is planning for college, or perhaps she is just beginning to enjoy the freedoms of her adulthood.

Then, suddenly, after hundreds of years of silence, the voice of God breaks through the realm of eternity, and shows up in a little mountain town called Nazareth. Gabriel delivers the morning newspaper and informs Mary that she has “found favour with God,” and would be used of God to bring Jesus into the world.

As great, grand as glorious of news that it is, there was only one problem; Mary was not married, and she was still a virgin. Apparently, this news baffled Mary, because she asks in verse 34, "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"

700 years earlier, the prophet Isaiah declared that, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Cp. Isaiah 7: 14)

With great specificity, God revealed to the prophet that the vehicle chosen by God to bring Jesus into the world would be, must be, and had to be a “virgin.”

The virgin birth of Christ is a doctrine that has been attacked, maligned, and ridiculed more than any other. The liberals have attempted to explain it away by saying that Mary had probably been raped by the one of the Roman guards; hence, Jesus was born illegitimately.

Nels F. S. Ferre, a “so-called” well-respected American theologian writes, "Mary, we remember was found pregnant before her engagement to mild Joseph. Nazareth was guarded by a Roman garrison where the soldiers were German mercenaries. Jesus is also reported, throughout a continuous part of the history of art, to have been blonde. This is supposedly unnatural for the Mediterranean countries where this same tradition started and was continued. Hence, Jesus must have been the child of a German soldier. After all, the claim develops that such was the experience of many young girls near military camps."

But, the simple truth of the matter is that had Jesus Not been born of a virgin, then His birth would have been no different than your birth, or my birth. It would have just been another common, usual, normal, and ordinary births.

It was R. L. Moyer who wrote: “The God, who brought forth a motherless woman (Eve) from the body of a man (Adam), brought forth a fatherless man (Jesus Christ) from the body of a woman (Mary).

There are those who say that it makes no difference whether or not Jesus Christ was virgin born, but it makes a profound difference whose Son He is. Only a divine birth could provide divine Son-ship, and only divine Son-ship could provide a divine Savior, and only a divine Savior could achieve and provide a divine salvation for sinful man."

The normal procedure of procreation is for a male and female to have sexual relations. That is the ordinary procedure. And apparently Mary knew that, because she asks, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"

But God is not limited to ordinary procedures. The angel told her how in verse 35, "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."

This was not to be a birth by ordinary means but by extraordinary means. This was not to be a natural birth but a supernatural birth. How could it happen? How could a young woman who had never been married, or never been with a man conceive a seed, and give birth to a baby?

The answer is found in our text, verse 37, "With God nothing shall be impossible."

Someone might say that it is absolutely impossible for a virgin to conceive and give birth to a child. And they would be absolutely correct. It is impossible from a human standpoint.

But I would also like to remind you that the first man got here without a man or a woman; therefore, it would be no problem for God to see that a man get here with just a woman. From a human standpoint, it was impossible. But from a divine standpoint, it was no problem.

I want you to understand that God can be God, do the impossible in our life, and He can even do it in unconventional, non-traditional, and in supernatural ways.

If God wants to use a widow woman to supply our needs, He can; but if He chose to, He can also use a raven. If God desires to use a lad with 5 loaves and 2 small fishes to feed us, He can; but if he chose to, he can even use a fish with a coin in its mouth.

If He wants to use the blood of bulls and goats to redeem our fallen souls, He can; but, if he chose to, He can send His Son, wrap Him in swaddling clothes, laid in a manger to be the “Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”

God is not, cannot and will not be squeezed into the ordinary.

He is not limited by ordinary people. He is not limited in ordinary places. And, He is not limited to ordinary procedures. He is God, and He can do whatever He sees fit to do.


I once read of a Japanese woman whose heart was yearning for ‘a god’ in whom she could trust. She said, "I went to the temple and drew lots to see if I could not get some comfort. I opened the little package which fell to me and inside it said, 'There is no help for you. Lean on your own shadow and go on.' I was more desperate than ever. I looked to the great sun by day and the moon by night and felt there should be someone somewhere who would care for one so needy as I."

Then, one day, she met a missionary that told her of God's love and redeeming grace; and, of a Heavenly Father who cared so much for her that He sent His only Son to be born of a virgin, to die on a cross, and to rise from the dead to live forevermore. With tears started rolling down her face she shouted, "I knew there had to be a God like that! I want that God!”

Ladies and gentlemen, Christmas tells us that there is a God like that who can redeem, reconcile, and restore to give help to the helpless, hope to the hopeless, and a haven to the homeless.

If He can:

Step out from behind the curtain of nowhere onto the platform of nothing, and speak everything into its existence.

Provide a ram in the bulrushes to spare Isaac from imminent death.

Part the waters of a sea so that 2-4 million people could cross, on dry ground; and, then sustain 2-4 million people on manna, quail meat and water so that none died of starvation.

Cause the walls of a fortified city to come crashing to the ground simply by the sound of a trumpet. Sustain one of his servants by a brook with heavenly ravens.

Deliver 3 young boys from a fiery furnace so hot that it smote the servants who threw them in; and, bring them out without a hair of their head singed, coats changed, or without any smell or smoke.

Speak to the womb of a virgin, cause her to conceive and give birth to child, call His name Jesus to be the Savior of the world.

If He can do all of that, then there is nothing in your life, my life, or any life that He cannot do. He shall not be, He cannot be, and He will not be limited by ordinary people, in ordinary places, and to ordinary procedures. The Christ of Christmas is the God without limits.


1) "The Greater Men and Women of the Bible," James Hastings.
2) Thompson’s Land of the Bible, pg. 294-297.
3) “Meditations in Luke,” August Van Ryn, pg. 20.
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