Time of Rejoicing

Key Verse: “She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
—Matthew 1:21

Selected Scripture:
Matthew 1:1-6, 18-25

MATTHEW 1:17 SUMMARIZES the genealogy of Jesus in this way: “All the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.”

Verse 16 says, “Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” By a casual reading of this verse one could construe that Joseph was Jesus’ father. This text, however, does not say Joseph was the father of our Lord.

The tradition of those days was for a long betrothal; it was during that time that Mary was begotten by God’s Holy Spirit, and she became the mother of Jesus. The Apostle John clarifies the point that God was Jesus’ father when he said, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”—John 1:14

We learned from a previous lesson that there would be a forerunner of Jesus, who would announce his presence. The Prophet Isaiah also foretold that the coming of this one would be as a “voice” crying “in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” (Isa. 40:3) John the Baptist was identified as the one who fulfilled this prophecy. It does not, however, relate to Jesus’ birth, but points to John’s work of introducing our Lord at the beginning of his ministry, thirty years later.

Luke records the angel’s announcement to the shepherds concerning the birth of Jesus. “The angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”—Luke 2:10-14

Matthew records some of the details as to how Jesus was made flesh. (Matt. 1:18-25) Here we learn of the miraculous conception of his mother, Mary, who gave birth to him in Bethlehem. It had been prophetically stated that the name of the anointed of God would be “Emmanuel,” which means, ‘God with us.’ (Matt. 1:23; Isa. 7:14) This, indeed, is properly one of Jesus’ titles, because he was—and will continue to be—God’s representative among mankind.

The name Jesus signifies ‘Savior.’ It is the Greek form of Joshua. How appropriate is this name, and what a cause for rejoicing, when we realize that Jesus came to be the Savior of all mankind, saving them from sin and its penalty, death.

The greater rejoicing will take place when Jesus Christ, as the Divine spirit being, establishes his kingdom on earth. Christ and Messiah mean ‘anointed,’ and Jesus was ‘anointed’ for this task by God’s Holy Spirit. As a babe he could not fulfill many of the promises attributed to Messiah’s coming. Now the time has come for true rejoicing.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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