Friday, December 21, 2007

Behold, a Virgin Shall Conceive

18 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. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-23

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

How we love the Christmas story! Yet, I noted today as I looked through a chronological version of the Bible, that in a one-year Bible reading plan, only two days are needed to cover the entire Christmas story. That, of course, does not include prophecies and other references made to the birth of Christ in other passages. I think, perhaps, this is a lesson for us; it is important for us to note the miraculous birth of the baby Jesus, but we must remember that the true Christmas story includes the entire life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Jews were looking for a sign, and yet when that sign appeared they missed it. How could that be? God purposed for the birth of Jesus to be a very private event; only a very few people were aware that it even happened. When the virgin, Mary, conceived only she and Joseph were visited by angels.

An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

I marvel at Joseph's response:

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Joseph showed simple faith, simple trust, and simple obedience. It is no wonder that God chose Joseph to be the earthly father and protector of the boy, Jesus.

What a miraculous event! The God of all Gods and Creator of the Universe chose to come down to man. The baby Jesus, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary; He was truly God and truly man. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! What a wondrous God we have!

As you ponder the words, Behold a virgin shall conceive, pray that God would give to you the simple faith, simple trust, and simple obedience of Joseph.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scripture passages are from the King James Version of the Bible.

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