Monday, December 28, 2009

Matt 1:18-24 – The Birth of Christ

Matt 1:18-24 – The Birth of Christ

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 of 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 this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of 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 fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God is with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife into his home.

Point of Interest:
Jesus: in first-century Judaism the Hebrew name Joshua (Greek Iesous) meaning "Yahweh helps" was interpreted as "Yahweh saves."
(Source: New American Bible)


Familiar as we are with the Lucan version of the annunciation, we sometimes forget that in Matthew, it is to Joseph that the mystery of the Messiah is revealed. The angel says further that Mary’s conception of the child fulfils the prophecy of Isaiah (Is 7:14). While “Emmanuel” is not the real name of the child, the significance of the name is very important. In Jesus, God is with us, not only in terms of the Old Testament idea that God intervenes in history to save his people, but in the sense of the incarnation: God becomes a man. For the Christians, this is very important because long after the child has grown to be a man and has accomplished his mission, he continues to be Emmanuel. In fact, Matthews Gospel ends with the solemn words of Jesus: “Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world” (28:20)

Source: 365 Days With The Lord.

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