Mary’s joy was certainly great. Later in his ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ would speak of childbirth, and he would say that a woman, though she experiences great pain in childbirth, nevertheless forgets it and rejoices once the child is born. If that is true of nearly any child, as no doubt it is, it was certainly true in the case of the birth of Jesus Christ because this was no mere baby. If he had been, Mary would have been joyful. But this was no mere baby; this was the Savior. This is the one who had been announced to her by the angel, the one miraculously born. And so Mary’s joy certainly exceeded the joy of the others.

There is no emotion so characteristic of Christmas as joy. The whole atmosphere of Christmas is joyful, and it has been joyful since that very first night when the angels announced their message of joy to the shepherds in Bethlehem. And that’s why we sing about joy so much at Christmas.

I like something the great English bishop J.C. Ryle wrote years ago about the God of the impossible. He said,
There is no sin too black and bad to be pardoned. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. There is no heart too hard and wicked to be changed. The heart of stone can be made a heart of flesh. There is no work too hard for a believer to do. We may do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.

We've been learning that with God, all things are possible. Now we need to apply that in a personal way. Let me suggest, first of all, that there are ways in which we obviously cannot apply it. We can’t apply the miracle of the virgin birth or the incarnation to ourselves. God is not going to do that with us. By very nature, those are one-of-a-kind events.

On one occasion a rich young man had come to him, asking what most ministers would consider a marvelous question. He said, "Good Master, how can I achieve eternal life?" We would have said, if we had been in Jesus’ position, "Well, here is a heart that has certainly been prepared by God." But Jesus, who knew what was in the heart of man and knew how hard the heart is, began to probe a little bit to perceive the depth of his understanding and the nature in which the question was being asked. He discovered that the man, although he had lived a very good life and had done a lot of very good things, nevertheless, was so consumed by his wealth - and he had a great deal - that he was unable to follow Jesus.