New Testament Journey – Day 2. Matthew Chapter 1 vs. 18-25 – I encourage you to read these verses today that talk about the virgin birth of Jesus and finish up Chapter 1.
Points to ponder from my morning study…Jewish marriage involved three basic steps. First, the two families had to agree to the union. (I wonder how many marriages we would have today if that still had to happen?!? ) At this point the couple was “engaged.” This was similar to engagement today except that their relationship could only be broken through death or divorce (even though sex was not yet permitted). Third, the couple was married and began living together. Because Mary and Joseph were engaged, Mary’s apparent (perceived, not real) unfaithfulness carried a severe social stigma. According to Jewish civil law, Joseph had a right to divorce her (But he didn’t!! He believed the angel that appeared to him. He had faith! Great faith that God would see them through) And Mary, the Jewish authorities could have had her stoned to death. (But she wasn’t. Why? My opinion, God interceded. It was HIS plan, HIS purpose, and he can open doors no man can shut, shut doors no man can open.)
Why is the Virgin birth so important to the Christian faith? Jesus Christ, God’s Son, had to be free from the sinful nature passed on to all other human beings by Adam. Because Jesus was born of a woman, he was a human being; but as the Son of God, Jesus was born without any trace of human sin. Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. How awesome that because Jesus lived as a man, we know the he fully understands our experiences and struggles!! Because he is God, he has the power and authority to deliver us from sin. We can tell Jesus all our thoughts and feelings, and needs. He has been where we are, and has the ability to help! (That ought to make you shout right there! To have a best friend that can actually not only understand your situation – but can do something about it!!) He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Joseph was faced with a difficult choice – he could’ve thought to himself that he only had two options… Divorce her quietly or have her stoned to death. But God always shows us that there are more options available than we think! (If you are in a situation where you feel like there is no way out – don’t give up hope! Seek Jesus and he will guide you to another door to walk through.) Although Joseph made the right choice – it was by God’s guidance. We have to seek Him to make our best decisions in life. When our decisions affect the lives of others, we must always seek God’s wisdom and be wiling to follow through no matter how difficult it may be. Remember this – every choice you make has a lasting impact on someone you love.
The conception of the birth of Jesus Christ are Supernatural events beyond human logic or reasoning. Because of this, God sent angels to help certain people understand the significance of what was happening. Angels are spiritual beings created by God who help carry out his work on earth. They bring God’s message to people (Luke 1:26) protect God’s people (Daniel 6:22) offer encouragement (Genesis 16:7) give guidance (Exodus 14:19) carry out punishment (2 Samuel 24:16) patrol the earth (Zechariah 1:9-14) and fight the forces of evil (2 Kings 6:16-18; Revelation 20:1,2) and eventually the main role of angels will be to offer continuous praise to God (Revelation 7:11,12). The angel told Joseph to name the baby “Jesus” – Jesus means “The Lord Saves”. Jesus came to earth to save us because we can’t save ourselves from sin and it’s consequences. No matter how good we are, we can’t eliminate the sinful nature present in all of us. Only Jesus can do that. Jesus didn’t come to help people save themselves; he came to be the Savior from the power and penalty of sin. Start seeking a relationship with Jesus as you thank Him for what he’s done, and watch a new life begin!!
See you tomorrow as we start Chapter 2…
Have a blessed day!
**Some commentary taken from the Life Application Study Bible