December 16, 2018 Advent 3: Immanuel: Jesus!

The Gospel of Matthew begins with the “genesis” of Jesus: His beginning. Jesus begins the “new Creation”, the New Era of Salvation where Jesus will overturn and restore everything that Adam corrupted and destroyed in the original creation.

Matthew then traces Jesus’ family line through the Old Testament showing that He is the Son of David and the Son of Abraham. Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament: He is the “Christ.” He is the One anointed by God to bless the entire earth and who will rule over an eternal Kingdom! He is the Savior of the world!

Matthew then tells the story of the birth of Jesus – which we heard in our Gospel lesson for today. Matthew focuses on Joseph’s side of the story – specifically, he highlights that there are two witnesses that prove Jesus is the Christ; the Son of David; the Son of Abraham. The first witness is the angel sent from God, and second witness is an Old Testament prophecy from the Word of God itself.

The story begins with Joseph and Mary being engaged. In Old Testament times engagement was a legally binding agreement that would have prepared the way for their marriage. But Mary started showing signs that she was pregnant; the baby wasn’t Joseph’s, and he assumed that she had committed adultery. At this point, he had no idea what had actually happened. Joseph has no idea that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and will be born of the Virgin Mary.

Joseph needed someone to tell him…just like we needed someone to tell us about Jesus. You don’t learn about Jesus in the created world, nor in your own thoughts and conscience using your own wisdom and understanding. Rather, Jesus is revealed to you through the Word of God; IN THE GOSPEL!

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