When Matthew begins his Gospel, he starts with the genealogies and moves quickly into the birth of Jesus. And, without the nostalgia glasses on from December and all of the traditions we surround ourselves with (this message was delivered in July), what kind of new questions can we see Matthew answering in these very familiar verses?
(As a point of reference, this was the first message delivered when Hopeland returned to worship in the Sanctuary after the COVID-19 lockdown.)
Matthew 1 : 18 – 25
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
New International Version, 1984 Edition