Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jesus fulfills all prophecy concerning the promised Messiah: a descendant of Abraham and of David (1:1-16), and His Miraculous birth (1:18-25). Herod is troubled by the news of Wise Men (2:1-3). The enemy attempts to destroy God's Plan of Salvation (2:13-18).
Mary of Nazareth was engaged to Joseph, also of Nazareth (1:18). The Jewish custom was that a betrothal lasted for one year. There was no physical consummation until after the actual wedding (Deut. 22:13-30). However, the betrothal was as legally binding as marriage and required a legal divorce to dissolve it (Matt. 5:31-32).
The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with Child of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) (1:18). When Joseph learned Mary was pregnant, he considered divorcing her privily. But . . . the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph . . . fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His Name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins (1:19-23).
Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David. However, if Joseph had been the biological father of Jesus, he would have passed on to Him the sin nature of Adam. This would have made Jesus a sinner by nature and unable to die as the sinless substitute for our sins.
Our Lord and Savior was born by miraculous conception for what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin was born of a virgin (Rom. 8:3) but without inheriting the Adamic sin nature. Our Creator took on our physical nature in a miraculous union of the human and the Divine, so that He might redeem us from sin.
Christianity started with a miracle, the Babe of Bethlehem, who was both the Son of God and the Son of Mary.
Likewise, a miracle takes place: As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:12-14).
Thought for Today:
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation (Ps. 68:19).
1:18 espoused =engaged; came together =had physical relations, she was a virgin; 2:16 mocked of =deceived by; coasts =surrounding regions; 3:8 fruits meet for repentance = life that confirms your change of heart; 3:15 Suffer it to be =allow it to be; fulfil all righteousness =do all that God requires.
For Matt. 1:23: See Is. 7:14. Matt. 2:6: See Micah 5:2. Matt. 2:15: See Hos. 11:1. Matt. 2:18: See Jer. 31:15. Matt. 3:3: See Is. 40:3.
Pray for our Military worldwide • Arabic International Shortwave Broadcasts for the month of October sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official: Rep. Devin Nunes (CA) • Country: Equatorial Guinea (466,000) in western Africa • Major language: Spanish • Freedom for churches at this time • 71% Roman Catholic; 19% ancestral spirit worship and medicine men; 6% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be considerate to the less fortunate (Ps. 41:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:4