The Weekend Word
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
- Matthew uses Jesus’ royal title “Messiah/Christ” a fourth time (see 1:1, 16, 17, 18). There can be no doubt for the reader that Matthew is presenting Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah.
- This is a real historical event “the birth” with a description – “took place this way”
- Joseph was betrothed to Mary when he discovered she was pregnant. A betrothal was like a modern engagement… but not.
- His Mother – who is Mary? How much do we know about her? She was Elizabeth’s cousin
- How about this – we know Mary’s sister – John 19:25 “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.”
- and if we can take the genealogy of Luke and assign it to Mary’s family her father’s name was, Heli,
- What does it mean if we use the term Mother of God?
- What is unusual about this birth? The conception! – there was nothing miraculous about the birth.
- What is the Immaculate Conception? Mary’s conception.
- Should the Virgin ‘Birth’ have been expected? Yes = Isaiah // No = who expects a virgin birth?
- The God who is outside of time, now comes into time.
- The God who is infinite, now places himself in the finite.
19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
- We have hindsight – We know the ‘rest of the story’ as the saying goes – Joseph did not divorce her – he was trying to be a nice guy.
- But what would have happened to other women who show up pregnant?
- Something to think about … When did Joseph and Mary ever get married? I don’t see a wedding ceremony – would little Jesus have been the ring bearer?
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
- If you go back and read the Luke account, it fills in all the details – so God is using just a nobody lady living in a little dinky place called Nazareth. And so, Mary knew it, and when she became pregnant she knew why.
- Poor Joseph, he didn’t know, he was left in the dark for awhile. When he found out can you imagine the shock – the jolt? Just when you think you know the girl, and now this. It made absolutely no sense at all.
- “Joseph, son of David” – here is the importance of a genealogy.
- Do you think Joseph rolled his eyes and said “yay, right angel”?
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
- Just think – Joseph was probably one of the only guys in history to know ahead of time the gender of his unborn baby.
- However, they didn’t get to name their own son.
- Take note, the promise isn’t to save from the Roman oppression as the Jewish people expected the Messiah to do. Not from worldly government – but from THEIR own sins.
- How often do we think that we need to be “saved” or rescued from some evil outside force, when in reality, we need to be saved from ourselves?
- He is here to make peace with God – to undo the fall.
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
- The prophet Isaiah –7:14
- Matthew here is putting Jesus in the historical context / setting shown by prophecy.
- Again and again we will see, Matthew going back into the OT saying “see, here he is, and look, here he is again… and again”
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
- The BEHOLD should probably be shouted!
- The virgin – the angel is reassuring Joseph that Mary is a virgin.
- How important is the Virgin aspect? VERY
- Why? Jesus is man & God.
- So Matthew records for us clearly that God entered the flesh by a virgin, in which seed was planted by the Holy Spirit. Simple, right?
- But then we go on and ask, “well how does that work?” I don’t know – but we keep asking.
- How did Mary conceive? Through her ear – when God made the pronouncement. When God speaks – God creates – When God speaks, it is done.
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,
- Joseph = Obedient
- Took Mary as his wife (my question at v.19)
25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
- Waited until Jesus was born to have marital relations with Mary .
- Named the boy Jesus.