In Today's Scripture Reading:
Jesus would have been born with the sinful nature of Adam if Joseph had been His biological father. This would have made Jesus a sinner like all mankind and, thus, unable to be the sinless substitute for our sins. But Gabriel, the angelic messenger of good news, came to Mary and said: Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee. . . . behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His Name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David. . . . the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee . . . that Holy Thing (One) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:28,31-32,35).
Luke records that Mary was deeply troubled at his saying (1:29). Joseph also was troubled when he learned Mary was pregnant and contemplated a private divorce. The angel of the Lord appeared 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 Ghost (Spirit). And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His Name JESUS ("Jesus" in Hebrew is the same as "Joshua" meaning "Jehovah (Yahweh)" is salvation): for He shall save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:20-21). How comforting this must have been to Mary. Instead of living under suspicion, there was a miraculous confirmation to Joseph of her virginity.
About 700 years before, Isaiah foretold: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel (God With Us). . . . unto us a Child is born . . . the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6). Jesus' birth revealed His unique nature as both God and Man.
The prophet Micah had foretold that the Messiah, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2), would be born in Bethlehem of Judah. This small town, about six miles south of Jerusalem, was called the city of David, for that is where David was born. Zacharias (Zechariah) . . . prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people (Luke 1:67-75).
1:40 saluted =b> greeted; embraced; 1:46 magnify =b> exalt, praise; 1:54 holpen =b> come to the help of.
For Luke 1:17: See Malachi 4:5-6. Luke 1:50: See Psalm 103:17. Luke 1:53: See Psalm 107:9. Luke 1:71: See Psalm 106:10. Luke 1:76: See Malachi 3:1. Luke 1:79: See Isaiah 9:1-2; 59:8.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Chris Cannon (UT), Rep. Hilda Solis (CA), and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) • Country: Moldova (4.3 million) southeastern Europe • Major languages: Rumanian and Russian • Limited religious freedom • 66% Russian/Romanian Orthodox; 2.5% Catholic (Greek and Roman); 1.7% Protestant (mainly Baptist); 1.5% Jewish; .2% Muslim; 28.1% Agnostic/Atheist/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to teach you His ways (Psalm 27:11).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:7