Matthew 1:18-23 (ESV)
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
This is the disciple Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus. God had been silent for 500 years, and His people were anticipating this moment, when the Messiah would come. But this was not at all how His people thought He would come. Mary, a virgin, became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. She became the mother of the Messiah, Jesus. She was engaged to be married to a carpenter, Joseph. Mary and Joseph had never been together in a physical sense, so when he found out she was pregnant, he had plans to leave her. But God, in His great mercy, sent an angel to tell Joseph to take Mary as his wife. Jesus was not born in great wealth; He was not born to a king or royalty. Instead, He was born to a carpenter and his wife. This Son, this Messiah, was to be named Jesus because He was the One God’s people had been waiting for. He is the One who would save His people from sin and bring redemption. The prophets foretold these events, and in this moment, God became man…to walk with us, teach us, be our example, and set us free. He was Immanuel, God with us.
- What is your first response to the birth of Jesus?
- What does the story of Jesus tell us about the nature of God?
- What does the story of Jesus’s birth mean for you personally?
- Take some time to reflect on the birth of Jesus, and thank God for this beautiful story of love and redemption.
- Check out Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus in Luke 1:26-38.