FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT
A Just Man
Time, history, and creation all converge at God's behest on an ordinary carpenter and his betrothed, Mary. The fact that Matthew identifies Jesus Christ should not be overlooked. Jesus is his name, but Christ is his title which includes his office as the anointed savior. Matthew gives the account from Joseph's point of view. Matthew continues to establish Jesus' legal right to the throne of David while establishing that Messiah was born of a virgin. Matthew casually includes that Mary was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. The news of Mary's pregnancy must have been devastating to hear and process. The woman you are pledged to is now expecting, and you are certain that you are not the father. The story explains that Joseph was just and that he did not want to expose Mary to public shame. He loves her, but he decides to divorce her quietly. Divorce would have required legal action and Mary's life was at risk. As he considers these matters and wrestles with all the emotions associated with this devastating news, an angel visits him in a dream. He addresses Joseph with his pedigree and tells him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. It must have brought some comfort to know that she had not been unfaithful to him and confirm her story. He is given the news that they will have a son, and his name is to be Jesus because he would save people from their sins. Matthew explains that Jesus' conception is the fulfillment of what was foretold by Isaiah. God is coming to his people, and he would be with his people in a manner never experienced or imagined. God would become a man through virginal conception, but he would have no human father. Jesus would be a king, pure, holy, and righteous. When Joseph awoke, he took Mary as his wife, but he did not exercise his marital privilege until after she had given birth to Jesus. They obeyed God and welcomed the king into their low estate.
Things To Consider:
- Have you ever had unexpected news turn your life upside down? How did you respond?
- How will you respond if God asks something difficult of you?
- What can you learn from the way Joseph treated Mary during conflict?
- How does God primarily speak to us today?
- Does one have to believe in the virgin birth to be a Christian? Why?
- How does Jesus save us from our sins?
- What comfort do you receive in knowing that God is with us?
- What do you think Mary and Joseph's conversation was like after Joseph's encounter with the angel and his obedience?