“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
I hope and pray that you enjoyed an exemplary and easy-going Thanksgiving that turned your attention toward giving gratitude to God. Now we turn from the turkey to focus on God’s Gift to mankind. For the month of December, I am directed to touch on the true meaning for the season because I want you to know (like I know) the real meaning of Christmas: it’s all about Jesus!
It is often said that Christmas is the “most wonderful time of the year.” While many consider the origin of this phase to be the 1963 song from Andy Williams, followers of Jesus Christ find a better foundation for this phrase in Scripture.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (KJV, emphasis added)
Our opening verse, found in the first chapter of the gospel of Matthew, calls our hearts and minds to a virgin named Mary and her man, Joseph. Mary and Joseph were walking in the one-year waiting period before they would become husband and wife. I believed in their hearts that everything was on schedule and things were falling into place for them as a couple to be joined as one. But their world was interrupted by an unwelcome event that eventually turned into a wonderfully-welcomed event. Joseph’s main and only girl became pregnant and he was not the papa! They had not been sexually intimate, and Mary was adamant about her fidelity. It’s surely plausible to ponder the formidable challenge that Mary confronted in presenting the concept that the child was conceived by God.
Scripture is silent about Joseph’s words and how he walked this out in his mind and heart. Knowing human nature, we can surmise that he experienced a heart that was heavy with brokenness and bewilderment. While his words are unrecorded, his actions show that he genuinely loved Mary, even in her condition, and his commitment to her was unconquered. His actions of love definitely spoke louder than words. He elected not to create a public scandal by exposing her condition to the judges at the city gate. This would have no doubt resulted in Mary’s death by stoning according to the Old Testament law (Deut. 22:23–24). Instead, he decided to divorce her quietly.
Before doing so, Joseph got comfort and clarity in a dream from a celestial being. An angel told Joseph that Mary’s condition was indeed not caused by a man, but the catalyst of her conception was the Holy Spirit! The child that Mary would deliver into this world would one day deliver her, Joseph and her people. This child would be a Son whom Joseph should name Jesus for He would save His people from their sins!
There would be no wonderful season without the true and only baby boy wonder!
Not a Sermon But a Thought,