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Matthew 1:18

The Miraculous Birth

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Has there ever been a more awe inspiring event than the birth of Jesus? Consider, for a moment, exactly what happened. Jesus existed eternally with God and as God. (John 1:1) He enjoyed all the glory, all the comfort, all the peace, all the power and all of everything else that comes with being God. (An existence which by itself is incomprehensible to us.) Even more overwhelming is the idea that he would want to give it all up and to come and live the life of a human servant. The scripture describes it this way: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" (Php 2:6-7 )

In verse 1 of this same chapter this book is called "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ." The Greek text literally says, "the book of the genesis of Jesus Christ."Here in our verse "the birth" is basically the same word, "genesis." Both of these indicate that He had a beginning.

No, I am not preaching a heresy. Jesus is eternal. He has no beginning and no end, as God, but He did not exist in the flesh, as man, for all eternity. This is the book of His beginnings as man, and I think that Matthew wants to show Jesus as a complete man and as fully God.
Jesus, however, could not be born of the seed of man, because this would have imparted the sin nature to Him. For this reason God chose another way. "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35) Jesus was conceived in the womb of woman by the Holy Spirit of God. (Do not allow yourself to think of this as any kind of a sexual union between God and Mary. Mary would not have even known how she had become pregnant, if the angel had not told her.) It is in this context that He is called the only "begotten" Son of God. While most new translations chose to ignore this word, it is very important to understanding His relationship in His human form to God the Father.

William Barkley has made some interesting comments concerning Jesus' conception, pointing out that we should understand this from the Jewish point of view. "According to the Jewish idea, the Holy Spirit was the person who brought God's truth to men. It was the Holy Spirit who taught the prophets what to say; it was the Holy Spirit who taught men of God what to do; it was the Holy Spirit who, throughout the ages and the generations, brought God's truth to men. So then, Jesus is the one person who brings God's truth to men... The Jews believed that the Holy Spirit not only brought God's truth to men, but also enabled men to recognize that truth when they saw it. So then Jesus opens men's eyes to the truth..."

Barclay goes on to relate the Holy Spirit's role in the creation. In the same way that the Holy Spirit was present and involved in the creation of the heavens and earth, He is also present and involved in the new birth or regeneration of men through their faith in Jesus Christ. The divine and the natural are joined together in the person and the work of our Lord Jesus Christ through His awesome conception.

Matthew is very careful to establish that Joseph and Mary had not consummated their marriage when she found herself to be pregnant. In those days it was customary for the period of engagement to last for ten or twelve months. During that time the couple was committed to one another through a marriage contract, but the husband would not bring the wife into his house until the period of engagement was ended. Joseph was the legal father through whom the blood line was traced, but God was Jesus' true Father.

Before The Throne:

Confess your awe of these things to God. Ask Him to never let you take them for granted. Picture what heaven must have been like and what leaving there must have been like. Praise the Lord for what He has done. Take some time for private worship and fellowship with the one who loved you and gave His life for you.

For Further Study:

(v.18) - the birth. Lu 1:27-38 - of the. Gen 3:15; Job 14:4; Job 15:14; Luke 1:25, 35; Gal 4:4-5; Heb 7:26; Heb 10:5;


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