Believing God’s Promise

Key Verse: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
—Matthew 1:23

Selected Scripture:
Matthew 1:18-25

OF ALL THE BIRTHS EVER recorded in human history, that of the child Jesus is most extraordinary. Joseph and Mary, although espoused to each other, had not yet consummated their marriage according to Jewish customs of the day. It is under these circumstances that Mary was found to be with child. Joseph, described as a “just man,” (Matt. 1:19) did not want to have knowledge of this spread to the general public, as it would bring great ridicule and suffering to Mary, so he decided to keep the matter quiet and arrange for a private divorce that would not cause a great stir. As Joseph thought on these things, an angel appeared to him in a dream and announced that which was conceived in Mary was by the power of God. The angel said, “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”—vs. 20

We notice that Joseph was a descendent of David, as was Mary. (See Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38.) He then told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, as no sin was involved in her conception. The statement that her conception was of the Holy Spirit simply meant that it was the power of God that had planted the seed in her womb. Although this seems impossible from the human standpoint, we should not be surprised that God’s power could be used in this way. After all, it was his power that created man, and which “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” (Gen. 2:7) Since God had the power to create man, he also had the power to plant the seed of a new life in Mary’s womb.

The angel concluded his remarkable message by telling Joseph that the child would be named Jesus, which means Savior, “for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21) Was it possible that Joseph and Mary had been the ones specially selected by God to bring forth the Savior of mankind, the Messiah, to raise him up and nurture him as a child until he reached manhood? Yes, that was God’s will, not arrived at in some haphazard manner, but according to that which had been prophesied hundreds of years earlier. The Key Verse recorded in Matthew is actually a quotation from Isaiah 7:14. This, as well as many other scriptures of the Old Testament, prophesied of the birth of Jesus and the purpose of his life—that of providing a ransom.

The seed planted in the womb of Mary was that of the only begotten Son of God, he who had been directly associated with God in the heavens since before the foundation of the world. The Apostle Paul speaks of Jesus as having left his heavenly state and being “made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:7,8) The Key Verse also gives the name Emmanuel to Jesus, meaning ‘God with us.’ God was now truly dealing with mankind, not personally, but through his Son who would soon be born and eventually die as “a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”—I Tim. 2:6

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