“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:21 & 23 (KJV)
God introduced Himself to Joseph in a dream with a message that his engaged bride was going to have a baby. It must have challenged his understanding about God, the Law, and even natural law. During the time that followed, through the pre-natal period, the actual birth of the Christ-child, Jesus’ dedication in the Temple accompanied by the prophecies of His future by Simeon and Anna, it must have been beyond mental comprehension. Later they were warned in a dream to go to Egypt and stay there until Herod died after which they traveled back to Israel taking up residence in the village of Nazareth.
Following these events and now years later, they experienced another recorded moment with the twelve-year- old Jesus as He sat in the presence of the Temple leadership impressing them with the depth of His comprehension and responses concerning His knowledge of God. It must have added astonishment and mystery that lasted a lifetime. All of these experiences were pieces to a puzzle they perhaps may have never totally understood. To us these events all communicate an unfolding of the Father’s love and commitment to His creation that we now see clearly in the Scriptures because of our greater revelation of Jesus, the Son of God.
Note the following communicated to us in this passage:
1. Promise: To Israel, Jesus became the fulfillment of a promise made from the time of the Fall in the Garden of Eden through which God would ultimately deal with the sin that plunged humanity and the world into chaos, death, and destruction. To us, regardless of how devastating life may be for the moment, God’s long-term plan for us is salvation and ultimately heaven on earth. God has likewise promised to overpower Satan’s attempt to destroy your life in the here and now. Keep your heart focused on His promise and keep believing He will fulfill it in His timing!
2. Messiah: The long-awaited One, was anointed (Luke 4:14-21) to forever deal with the torment, bondage, and destruction of the Promised Land and its people, Israel. If we are willing to remain faithful, God will bring into our lives His Promise and the One Who is capable of rectifying the curse of sin that has devastated our life. He doesn’t promise to tell us how or to give us the details, He simply promises to be there when all others fail. He never fails to maintain His faithfulness to His promise.
3. Birth: The process of this birth was supernatural from start to finish. Jesus came as the Seed, was received by faith, manifested according to the power of the Holy Spirit, and brought to fruition through the completion of God’s plan for Israel and the world. I believe God’s plan for our lives follows the same process: we read the Word (God’s Seed), we receive it by faith, the Holy Spirit energizes its inherent life and power, and God brings it to fruition in our life. In the same way this happened, apart from Joseph or Mary’s personal credit, it was clearly a divine act of God seeking to intervene in the affairs of mankind, and of course He desires this for our lives as well!
God is continually speaking to His children. Every time you open the Scriptures, He has a specific word for you to be received by faith, filled with the power of God to bring it to pass, and the power of the Holy Spirit to make it a reality in your life. The reality of the Messiah, The Awaited One, presumes a people of anticipation. To us, we can be a child of anticipation, awaiting the entrance of Jesus into our life’s circumstances. When He comes, He will make the changes in our lives that show the power of God, His love, and desire to make our lives a reflection of His love!
Question: How are we as a Christian people granting Jesus, of Christmas, access into our livestyle?