Joseph was a righteous man; he always wanted to do the right thing. When he heard the news that his fiancee was pregnant — he knew that the baby was not his — he decided to quietly end the engagement (in that culture breaking an engagement was the same as a divorce) so as to not put her to shame. Joseph was hurt and confused. He had trusted Mary and he loved her, but what she told him was beyond belief.
But before he had time to break the engagement, God spoke to him in a dream.
18 The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. 19 So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. 20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”
24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her 25 but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.
From this story, we see that…
God speaks into brokenness to give unbelievable hope (vv18-21). Jesus was born into a broken world to give hope to broken people. The news that Mary would be giving birth to the Son of God was unbelievable, yet it was true! We see God sharing this good news with Mary first (see Luke 1:26-38) and then here in Matthew’s Gospel we see God sharing the good news with Joseph. God speaks into brokenness to give unbelievable hope. Joseph did not have to divorce Mary; what she said was true! You need a miracle? Jesus’ birth was miraculous!
God always works in sync with his perfect Word (vv22-23). Seven hundred years before Jesus’ birth, the Lord spoke through the prophet Isaiah to declare that a virgin would conceive and give birth to a son, and that he would be known as Immanuel, which means God-with-us. Jesus was God in the flesh. He was God-with-us. When Jesus was born, Isaiah’s prophecy came true. The people realized that God always keeps his Word. In the same way, you can trust the timeless truths of God’s perfect Word. Read the Bible and believe every word!
God gives salvation to those who trust in Jesus (vv21,24-25). Jesus’ name literally means, “The Lord Saves.” The Bible says that Jesus came to the earth to save people from their sins. Jesus will save everyone who puts their trust in him.
Three words that people talk about a lot when talking about Jesus’ birth are joy, peace and love. The angels told the shepherds that they were bringing good news of great joy and that God was offering peace on earth and goodwill toward men. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
So, if you know Jesus as Lord and Savior…
- display joy
- be a peacemaker
- show love