Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Edifier du Jour-Matthew 1:18-25(NASB)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
It's interesting that Matthew chooses to tell the story from Joseph's side; Luke, who's target audience was Gentiles, told the story from Mary's perspective, while Mark and John cut to the chase of Jesus' adult ministry. However, Matthew was talking to Jews, and the word of a cuckolded husband being told by God that this was no sin on the part of his intended was likely a bigger miracle to a Jew than Mary's story. "Of course, a woman caught in sin would try to tell a whopper that God did it, but a guy who says that God told him to accept it even when he could have gotten rid of her easily, now that's a story!" God chose to have His son born to a modest couple in the hinterlands, with the added implications of a pre-marital conception. He wasn't making it easy for Jesus to grab the ring of Messiahship in the eyes of the locals; it wasn't exactly the high priest's son He was setting him up as. However, this birth made him both miraculous and common, a good mix for God made incarnate to be able to make a pitch to the common man.

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