He Will Be God With Us
God’s announcement through His angel to Joseph of the coming Messiah was slightly different than the announcement to Mary. It came in a dream and included the additional detail that Jesus would save His people from their sins. Plus, notice that the angel addressed Joseph as “son of David.” This title tied Joseph back to King David, to whom God had promised an everlasting kingdom (2 Samuel 7:11–16), and certainly would have been deeply meaningful to Joseph. In other words, the angel was communicating to Joseph that even though Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, He was the long-awaited King that God promised would come through the line of David.
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
- Matthew refers to Isaiah’s prophecy recorded in Isaiah 7:14 (and which we read last week), in which it was said, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.” Why do you think Matthew included this reference in telling the story of the announcement of Jesus’ birth?
- What does Joseph’s response to the angel’s words reveal about him?
- How must Joseph have felt when he learned his soon-to-be-wife was already pregnant? What insecurities, questions, and hesitations must have arisen in him?
- In what area of your life is God calling you to be faithful even in the face of criticism, confusion, or uncertainty? How might you respond?
God, thank You for coming to be with us in Jesus and keeping Your promises to David, Israel, and the whole world. I see Joseph’s faithfulness and wonder about my own. Increase my trust in You and my faithfulness to You—especially when I am afraid or uncertain about the future. Help me to be faithful, Lord. Amen.
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