In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:26-28 ESV).
The virgin had conceived a baby, the Savior of the world, via the work of the Holy Spirit. And now had come the time to give birth to the Messiah, God incarnate, born into the world as a wet, naked, wailing infant. Human like we are, and yet God Himself.
“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:1-7 ESV).
The Son of God. The Creator of the world. God in the flesh entered the world via a poor family. But, one day He will return to rule on this earth. “In that day [the day of Christ’s return] the Root of Jesse [Messiah Jesus], who shall stand as a signal for the peoples — of Him shall the nations inquire, and His resting place will be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10-12 ESV).
“And Jesse the father of David the King. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah (Matthew 1:6-16 NIV), and was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
18 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 from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
The plight of Joseph, a godly man, as he wrestles with whether or not to put aside Mary secretly, or to take her as his wife makes it clear that Joseph had nothing to do with the conception of Jesus. Joseph was a just man, not wanting to put Mary to shame. But he knew this wasn’t his baby. He had not had intercourse with Mary.
As he struggled over this matter, the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, reassuring him.
“When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but he knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus” (Matthew 1:24-25 ESV).
In approximately nine months, Mary came with Joseph to pay his taxes, an unnecessary trip for a pregnant young wife, for only Joseph was needed for this task. And yet, God had propelled them both on a treacherous and difficult path through the mountains, around Samaria, and into Bethlehem, a small town crowded with the descendants of David.
To travel with a wife near delivery and then to find suitable lodging in Bethlehem would have been a strain on Joseph. And yet, he was descended from Zerubbabel’s lineage, a descendant of David, regardless of his humble position as a carpenter and stonemason. It was foretold:
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days” (Micah 5:2 ESV).
Men were not present when babies were born at home. This was the work of women, the gathering together of midwives to support the laboring woman and to help deliver the baby. Joseph had no experience with the childbirth of women, though he may have attended a domestic animal giving birth, even though he was a carpenter and probably also a stonemason.
Mary, however, would have come prepared with all that was needed. Riding upon a donkey up the hills and then down the hills, the swaying clip-clop, clip-clop, clip-clop of the patient and unhurried beast of burden would have provided slow and continual movement that would have eased her body into labor.
Meanwhile, in the pastures around Bethlehem where the lambs for sacrifice were raised. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”(Luke 2:11-14 ESV).
The eternal God is Triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for all eternity in perfect harmony together. And now, while still maintaining this perfect harmony, God the Son was miraculously born as a baby to a young woman in ancient Israel, in Bethlehem, the city of David.
This event changed everything in human history.
Jesus’ birth wasn’t only for those who experienced it in the flesh more than two thousand years ago. His birth was for us, all of us who would be His and who have been born since that day. He lives for us. He called us to be His own. He died for us. And now He reigns eternal, still looking after us, welcoming us, transforming us, and remaking us.#Jesus' birth wasn't only for those who experienced it more than 2,000 years ago. His birth is for all of us who have been born since that day. He lives for us. He called us to be His own. He died for us. Are you His? #Salvation Click To Tweet
The Chosen historical drama series depicting Jesus’ life with His chosen disciples reminds us all that we who choose to follow Jesus, repenting of our sins, and turning to follow Him were actually chosen first by Him before the foundation of the world. He has drawn us to Himself. This is not a work of our own wills. If we believe in Christ, it is because the Holy Spirit wooed and drew us to Him.We who choose to follow Jesus, repenting of our sins, were actually chosen first by Him. He has drawn us to Himself, the work of the Holy Spirit wooing and inviting us. #Christmas #MessiahJesus Click To Tweet
The apostle Paul wrote, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Ephesians 4:1-7 ESV).
Are you one of the chosen? If not, why not?
Are you angry at God?
Have you been ignoring the voice of the LORD?
This Christmas season, consider all the LORD has done to reach out to us, even compressing His eternal self into the womb of a teenage girl in ancient Israel in order to be born, threatened, rejected, crucified, and resurrected in order to gain us as His own children.
Jesus’ love for us is irresistible.This Christmas, consider all the LORD has done to reach out to us, even compressing His eternal self into the womb of a teenage girl in ancient Israel in order to be born, rejected, crucified, and resurrected to gain us as His own. Click To Tweet
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