Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Christmas story part 2: Matthew 1 continued

On paper, it looks like an entertaining story. Teenage girl is approached by Holy Spirit, is told she is pregnant, and the child is said to be one that will save the world from sin. This is a pretty dramatic story. It was one so dramatic that Joseph did not believe it himself and he almost walked away from the issue.

19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20But 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. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." – Matthew 1:19-21

I think it is important to remember that Joseph and Mary were not royalty. Yes, Joseph was in the line of King David, but centuries had passed and his family was not one of power. Neither was Mary. They were two ordinary people that loved God and tried to follow His teachings. This is important because it shows that Jesus’ very beginning on this earth were humble.

Remember, humility is a critical element that I have stressed here when it comes to Jesus’ earthly ministry. He never sought to glorify Himself. He instead chose to always glorify the Father. This is counter to man’s desire, as we often seek to glorify ourselves above others. His birth is a sign of that humble nature. We only get four paragraphs here as a brief introduction to His earthly parents, but they were far from the elite of society. They were even frightened by this destiny put before them. Joseph felt His birth would be a public disgrace, so he wanted out of the deal. As usual, God had other, more wonderful ideas.

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