Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
THE BIRTH OF JESUS
“…She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)The entire book of Matthew is a culmination of the fulfillment of old
testament prophesies. This particular passage is very familiar to all of us and is preceded by the genealogy of Jesus, describing the royal lineage of the house of David and then leads into a very concise description of the events leading to the birth of our Lord.
The obedience of a righteous servant: Joseph was planning to quietly divorce Mary. He had no intent to cause undue attention to her, but still he was afraid of potential consequences to his life and his image in the community. He was given courage by the angel of God who told him “do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her if from the Holy Spirit (v.20).” After hearing this, Joseph was able to accept Mary.
Obedience leading to the acceptance of God’s will: Joseph and Mary were just beginning their life together. Just as most couples they probably had plans and dreams not only for themselves but their children as well. When we have children it is only natural to begin to have hopes and aspirations for them. The hope that they become successful, that they have a life full of happiness and less struggles than our lives. Joseph and Mary knew that their child was entering into the world to fulfill the prophecy, realizing that it was not going to be an easy life. Eventually their child would be burdened by taking on the sin of all of humanity upon Himself.
As we celebrate the Birth of Jesus let us remember that God uses ordinary people such as Joseph and Mary to fulfill His purpose in the world. It sometimes may not make sense to us but works out perfect in His plan. At times being a part of God’s plan requires courage as it may go against the norm. But in those times God is able to give us reassurance and courage as long as we are willing to accept it. In being obedient and accepting of God’s commands and His purpose in our life, we are honoring His gift to us, the true gift of Christmas, Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Loving Father, thank You for the gift of Jesus. As we joyfully celebrate the birth of our Savior, help us to accept your plan and purpose in our lives with the same joy. Amen.
Dr. Joe M. George, Chicago