Matthew 1:23 – September 8, 2020

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” Matthew 1:23 NABRE           

Matthew opens his gospel with the telling of the birth of the Messiah. It is an insider account of the life of Mary, Jesus, God and Joseph. Matthew establishes Jesus as God from the beginning. The narrative speaks of the birth of Jesus as fulfilling a prophecy from Isaiah, proclaimed seven hundred plus years prior to Jesus actual birth. Scholars teach the Hebrew Scriptures foreshadow events, God leading us to the salvation story. Isaiah announces, “… the Lord himself will give you a sign; the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) At the time of prophecy this is seen as God making a promise to the people of Judah and particularly King Ahaz that the people will be saved, and that they should put their trust in God, believing His word and not taking refuge in political alliances. Despite the people’s failure to listen, God does find a way to make a promise that the people will somehow survive, through some remnant that will return to Lord. Matthew sees Isaiah’s words telling God will be with us and is with us as Jesus, the actual Son of God. Even the naming of Jesus is a sign, Joshua a Hebrew name, meaning God helps or as we interpret Jesus saves. The translation to Greek changes Isaiah’s a “young woman,” phrase, meaning someone without children, to virgin, indicating God is the natural father of Jesus, not Joseph, the man who would be step father to Jesus marrying Mary, Jesus natural mother.

Origin stories are very important in the founding of any movement, but the origin of Jesus the God-man is as important as any. God reaches down and has a Son, who lives like us and is God with us.

Do you accept Jesus birth story? Do you recognize God with us?

Origin stories are very important in the founding of any movement, but the origin of Jesus the God-man is as important as any. God reaches down and has a Son, who lives like us and is God with us. Click To Tweet

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