Matthew 1:18–25 (NKJV, also appearing in Luke 2:21)

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

The birth of Jesus is a seminal moment in the salvation history that is the Bible.  It signals the beginning of the fulfillment of the plan of salvation for mankind.  “She was found with child” signifies the surprise and shock that Joseph must have felt at the moment he realized that Mary was pregnant.  He wanted to simply bow out of the arrangement and divorce her quietly.  It was unheard of for a Jewish girl to become pregnant before being joined to her husband physically.  She would be shamed and perhaps even stoned to death.  Joseph just wanted out.  But God sent Joseph a dream and told him that the Baby was from the Holy Spirit.  This was a miracle!  Jesus would save the world, so you can keep her as your wife and be part of HISTORY, part of HIS STORY!  And Joseph heard and obeyed the Lord.

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Immanuel, God with us.  Man had not had this true experience on a widespread basis since the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Only Moses on Mt. Sinai and the priests in the Holy of Holies has truly experiences being “with God.”  Yet now, God would walk among man, healing, saving, delivering, setting free.  What great news!  What a powerful blessing.

24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

While Joseph may not have been an integral part of the Christ narrative beyond the birth and temple stories of Jesus’ life, this moment in time was transformational in nature.  Joseph heard from the heavenly messenger about the expansive influence and lordship that this new baby would have on the entire earth.  That influence continues still today!

matt 1-23

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