Friday, December 3, 2010

The Birth of Jesus


Matthew 1:16,18-23

 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  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.

Genealogies were very important to the Jews, for without them they could not prove what tribe they were members of or their rights to inheritances. As we read Matthew’s account of the birth of Christ, we see that he, Matthew, did not write, “and Joseph begat Jesus.” Matthew gave our Lord’s lineage through His foster father, Joseph, and Luke gave Mary’s lineage which was like Joseph, of the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; (Romans 1:3). The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne (Psalm 132:11).

Joseph being espoused to Mary was a binding marriage and could only be terminated by divorce. Though the betrothal couple were regarded legally as husband and wife, the physical union had not yet taken place. Stoning was the legal prescription for adultery (see Deut. 22:23-24).  Joseph being a “just man” a man that was a true believer in God had every right according to the law to stone her or put her away by a legal divorce. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:20).
What a good and faithful husband Joseph was to Mary. He had every right to put her away but listened to the angel which came to him in a dream. I am sure no one ever looked at Mary and Joseph the same after they knew of her conception. Even though prophecy was being fulfilled, there were those who would never believe that Mary had done things right. True faith trusts in God even when things appear very perplexing and troublesome.
Thought: Mary was highly favored of the Lord and relied on Him when life seemed extremely trying and difficult. Though we have not been chosen to carry the Christ Child, we can be confident that His purpose for our life is worthy of our giving thanks and knowing in His sovereignty all things concerning us work together for our good. May we center our attention on the person of Christ and not on the difficulty of the situation. We thank God Mary’s heart was centered on obeying the Lord and by faith she trusted Him with the prophecies foretold long ago. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).

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