Advent Scripture Calendar

21) And they will call Him Immanuel

Rev Henk Poot - 18 December 2021
Saturday 18 December  

Matthew 1:18-25

‘God with us’
Matthew 1:23

Joseph must have been very confused when he found out that Mary was expecting a child. However, he was not only a righteous but also a loving man, as we can see from the fact that he wanted to leave his fiancée quietly. This is what we should stress when we read this, ‘quietly’. He did not let it come to an official court hearing, which was customary in those days.

The confusion, or better still the amazement, must have been even greater when an angel told him that the coming child had been conceived by the Holy Spirit and that Mary’s child is the promised Messiah.

It remains a mystery to us how the Son of God was born of the virgin Mary. We do not have to understand how, but all the more who He is. On the one hand, He is the Son of God, to quote Isaiah: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father. In Micah’s words: ‘His times of coming forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.’ (NASB)

Yet, He is also the son of Mary, the promised King born through the generations of Israel. He is God out of God and a Jew out of a Jewish mother. And He unites both sides in Himself. He is both. He is Immanuel, so God is in the midst of His people. Never before has God been so close.

Joseph is honoured to give Him His name: ‘Jesus’. For He will save His people from their sins. Later, we will learn that He will carry away the sin of the whole world.  Hence, it is a Jew who redeems the world, a Jew who suffered in our place. This is something that we as Christians must never forget. Jesus also said it Himself: ‘Salvation is from the Jews’.

We thank God for what He has given to the world through Israel. We ask for protection, peace and blessing for the Jewish people.

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