Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18)
This week we will be working through Matt. 1:18-25 as we consider what one person has called the origin of Jesus. Read Matt. 1:18-25 each day this week and ask God to magnified in your life.
Surprise, Mary’s pregnant! There are certainly many variations of how Mary could get pregnant, but this is the most extreme. From Joseph’s perspective, all his assumptions were negative – Mary must have done something wrong to get pregnant. We will look at Joseph’s response tomorrow in the next verse, but today let’s think about the conception of Jesus.
Jesus’ birth or origin teaches us two incredibly important truths about Jesus, truths that are so important that we could not receive salvation from God without them. First, the virgin birth shows us that Jesus is fully a man, a human being, yet without sin. Mary was born with a sin nature, just like everyone else who has ever been born after Adam and Eve. Because Jesus was born of Mary, but by the agency of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is “guarded from sin.” The Holy Spirit interceded in a miraculous way and caused Mary to be pregnant. Because of the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus the holy Son of God is incarnated or invested with a human nature, but not a sinful nature. Jesus is fully a man.
Second, Jesus had to be fully a man, but also Jesus had to be fully God to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus is the pre-existent Son of God, who lived on earth as a man, ascended into heaven, and continues to sit at the right hand of God. This was part of God’s promise which is spelled out for us in places like Leviticus 26:12 – And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. God walked among us in the person of Jesus.
Jesus came as a baby and lived as a man to understand and empathize with our weaknesses, and to be a sinless sacrifice for us (see 2 Cor. 5:21, Heb. 2:14-18). Jesus is God incarnate, come as a man, with the power to destroy sin and death and hell and Satan (1 Cor. 15:21-28, 54-57). Praise God for sending his Son to be a man!