The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
‘This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.’ Matthew 1:18-25 NLT
Here we are in the hot months of summer, and in eight verses we have the miraculous story of Christmas! We learn some key things in these verses:
- Mary was a virgin yet she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. She trusted the Lord with the calling on her life.
- Mary was engaged to Joseph and he was a righteous man. (The definition of righteous is acting in accord with divine or moral law; free from guilt or sin; morally right or justifiable; a righteous decision arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality; righteous indignation; genuine, excellent.) We see Joseph cared enough about Mary to break the engagement quietly and protectively.
- The Lord saw Joseph’s confusion, but knowing he was a righteous man God sent an angel to Joseph to tell him about the birth of the coming Messiah and encouraged him to marry his bride as intended.
- Jospeh was humble and obedient, taking Mary as his wife. He trusted the Lord with the calling on his life. He made an enormous sacrifice and commitment to God by not to having sexual relations with Mary until after the child was born.
Unlike today, a pregnancy before marriage was a very serious matter and could have resulted in Mary being shunned by her community. Worse, the local priest could have insisted on Mary being put to death.
Instead what we see is that God was before Mary and Joseph in every way clearing the path for His will to be accomplished. This young couple made that possible because they both trusted the Lord would do what He said He would do, even though they didn’t have a full understanding of what would happen for them.
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.’ Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
When we fully trust in God, these verses show us that if God calls us, He will equip us. Has the Lord given you a call for something that you don’t understand, or something that you feel you are incapable of doing on your own? Then lean hard into God and trust He will prepare the path before you every step of the way, just like He did for Joseph and Mary.
Father God thank you for the simplicity of this story but also for the rich truth’s that are included. I pray that we all strive to be righteous, listen carefully, then trust and follow the calling You have placed on our lives. I ask this in the Holy name of Jesus. Amen.