February 19, 2020
Jesus’ Birth 1:18-25 Part 2
We don’t know how far the divorce proceedings had progressed, but at some time in the process, “an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.'” The angel goes on to say, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” No other man in history had or has received such a message. It’s amazing, indeed a testament to Joseph’s spiritual fine-tuning, that he accepted this dream-word uncritically.
“From the Holy Spirit” are the key words. The angelic messenger announced a supernatural creation of life. Just as the Almighty had called the universe into existence, He was now calling the Redeemer of that fallen space-time created order into being here on planet Earth. An d, God being God, this creative act was entirely within his capacity to do.
Only a supernatural act could qualify the developing embryo to be called “Immanuel” (v. 23), “God with us”, or as one rabbi put it, “God tabernacled with us.” The apostle John, one of the Matthew’s fellow disciples of Jesus, put it this way, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (Jo. 1:14) This miraculously conceived baby was to become “God made flesh”.
Then without any nativity narrative, Matthew hastily tells us the noble Joseph abstained from sex with his wife until she “gave birth to a son” named “Jesus”.