KEY VERSE: “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 1:23


CENTURIES AGO, GOD made a promise to Abraham saying, “In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 22:18) Since. then, every mother among the Israelites has had her heart set on the birth of a son, hopeful that she might be the mother of this promised child, the one who was to be the Messiah, the seed of Abraham.

Mary was engaged to Joseph to be married, but before the marriage occurred, the angel, Gabriel, appeared to Mary and said, “Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. … He shall be called the Son of God.”—Luke 1:30-32,35

The name Jesus has the same meaning as Joshua in the Hebrew language, and in the New Testament, appropriately, it means Savior, signifying, ‘to save’.

Mary was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit, which was surely a great trial to them, since this was not the child of Joseph. But being a kind and loving man he was not willing that she should be exposed to public shame. While Joseph “thought on these things,” providence interposed, sending the angel of the Lord “unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy [Spirit]. … Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son. … Then Joseph, being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife.”—Matt. 1:20-25; Isa. 7:14

The angel put Joseph in mind of his relationship to David, perhaps to prepare him for the fact that Mary was to be the mother of a baby that was different than any other—she would be the mother of the Messiah. Jesus was the promised heir of David, not begotten of an earthly father, but by the Holy Spirit of God. The Bible is clear that this child was specially begotten by divine power in the mother, while she was still a virgin.

Before Jesus became flesh, he had a heavenly existence. In John 8:58 we read, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Again, in one of his prayers he said, “Father, glorify thou me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:5) John the Revelator identifies Jesus as “the beginning of the Creation of God.” (Rev, 3:14) And Paul tells us that as an active agent of the Father, “by him were all things created.”

Jesus is spoken of as ‘having been rich, but for our sakes becoming poor’, that through his poverty we might be made rich. (II Cor. 8:9) He voluntarily left the glory which he had in heaven, to take the human nature because it was necessary that a perfect man become the Redeemer. The divine law is ‘an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth; a man’s life for a man’s life’. (See Exodus 21:22,23.) Adam’s perfect human life, as well as all his then unborn descendants, having been condemned to death because of his disobedience to God’s law, would require a perfect human life to redeem all. It was therefore necessary that Jesus should become the ‘man’ Christ Jesus, in order “that he, by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” The Apostle Paul tells of Jesus’ resulting faithfulness, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:8) For one who was perfect—holy, harmless, undefiled,. and separate from sinners, such an ignominious death must have brought on deep sorrow. Having laid down his life on the cross at the end of three and one-half years, he cried, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) These words refer only to his work of laying down his life as a ransom for the world of mankind.

After Jesus’ death came his resurrection, when God highly exalted him, giving “him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11) Jesus’ words in reply to Pilate’s question, “Art thou a king then?” were: “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world.”—John 18:37

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |