Happy Birthday Jesus

“Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, and angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, Son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had born him a son; and he named him Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-25

Joseph was a man of great faith. When his was was found to be pregnant he did not punish her, but instead planned to “put her away quietly.” It would have been perfectly within his rights to stone her, but even before he knew of the  baby’s origins he showed mercy.

Even more shocking, Joseph trusted the angel in his dream. It would be difficult to believe, that the Holy Spirit conceived the child. Much easier to believe Mary sinned. But Joseph had great faith in the Lord, so he believed and trusted the angel and did as the angel said to do. He was even willing to take the scorn of his community by bringing Mary to live with him, knowing they would assume the worst, in order to do God’s will.

There are a lot of men in the Bible who are poor role models. They are all fatally flawed. But Joseph is a good role model. He is never shown not doing the right thing.

Again, in the first chapter, before Jesus is even born, Matthew proclaims His importance. The angel says “He will save his people from their sins.” He was proclaimed the Messiah before He was even alive!

And again Matthew provides a prophecy. He quotes Isaiah 7:14 and says, look! Jesus’s birth fulfuls this prophecy! Here is yet another proof that He is the One! I never understand, however, how the naming Him Emmanuel fits in. The angel told them to name the baby Jesus. That has always confused me.

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