- Alan Salwei
Matthew 1:18-25 - Not a Swear Word
Lots of people say 'Jesus Christ' often... be one of the people who knows what it means!
Read / Listen
Read Matthew 1:18-25
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, 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. 21 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.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 29
Q. Why is the Son of God called “Jesus,”
A. Because he saves us from our sins.
Salvation cannot be found in anyone else;
it is futile to look for any salvation elsewhere.
While we celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas, there is no reason to limit our study of these verses to one season. Just as the resurrection is relevant all year long, so too is the virgin birth.
Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus is less detailed than the one found in the Gospel of Luke (which gets the most love around Christmas time). However, what we see in Matthew’s condensed telling of Jesus’ birth is the most important details being highlighted: the role of the Holy Spirit in Mary conceiving Jesus, the name and purpose of this child, and the faithfulness of Joseph to the angels command in naming the child.
When each of our children were born, there was a time at the hospital when my wife and I had to fill out information for the birth certificate. It is common today for parents to name their child either on the day they are born or shortly after. For us, this was something my wife and I did together.
Things were a little different when Jesus was born into the world. According to the custom of the day, the duty of naming a son was reserved for the father, who would do so when the child was circumcised, eight days after birth.
The visit from the angel changed Joseph’s perspective. Instead of doubting Mary, he now knew the truth of this miraculous child. Instead of leaving Mary, Joseph was faithful to the directions given to him by the angel. When the day came, Joseph gave the child the name Jesus, as he had been instructed.
The name Jesus is significant because its Hebrew root means Yahweh saves. As the angel explains to Joseph, this name is fitting because Jesus would go on to save his people from their sins.
What is shown in the angel’s message is how Jesus’ purpose was made clear before he was ever born. Jesus came to save us from our sins. Rejoice this day not just in the grace given by Jesus on the cross, but that saving believers like you and me is the reason Jesus came into the world at all.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God almighty, who became Immanuel - God with us;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you, like Joseph, will do what the Lord has commanded you to do.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Hebrews 7