15 December 2021
Articles on the birth of Jesus are found in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke. The Gospel of Matthew is written from the standpoint of Joseph, the father of Jesus, and the Gospel of Luke is written from the standpoint of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1: 26-38)
God chose Mary, who lived in a small village called Nazareth and was an unobtrusive being. We do not know the choice of the Lord. How did the people around her value Mary? I think Mary wasn’t so much appreciated. But God valued Mary very much. Being the mother of Jesus is so special. Don’t sanctify Mary, but I think it’s important to pay homage to her.
Mary was a truly blessed person. The angel said to Mary. “Congratulations, blessed one. The Lord is with you” (verse 28). Mary. You have received grace from God (verse 30) . We are also chosen by God and are blessed by God. The Lord is with us.
“Annunciation” / Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
Mary was told by an angel that it was difficult for humans to understand. “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.” (verse 31). “You get pregnant. Even if you are a virgin, you will be overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit.” It seemed impossible. Certainly, from a human perspective, that is not possible. It sounds like a fairy tale or a myth to some people.
However, the angel Gabriel, a messenger sent by God, declares. ” There is nothing impossible for God ” (verse 37).
Normally, we think that male sperm and female egg combine to start one life, but it is God that the mechanism is created in the first place so that the mechanism works well. We have forgotten that. Remember, it is God Himself who creates life. Therefore, God can create life without depending on the physical relationship between men and women. Of course, this is a miracle. It doesn’t usually happen. But the Holy Spirit made it possible. Christmas is a celebration of God’s cause of that miraculous work.
Jesus is the Son of God. Born by the Holy Spirit. And a child of man. Through the birth of Jesus, the David covenant was fulfilled. It was prophesied that the Savior would be born as a descendant of David. Joseph was of David’s lineage (verse 27). Although Joseph and Jesus had no kinship, Joseph was able to become his father through the recognition of Jesus as his own child.
The prophet Isaiah, who was active 700 years before Jesus was born, is a Messianic prophet.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9: 6)
The four names “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.“ do not apply to humans. This shows that the Savior is God.
There is also a promised word that the Lord gave to King David 1000 years before Jesus was born. 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me[a]; your throne will be established forever.’” (Ⅱ Samuel 7: 12, 13, 16) Savior have been prophesied to be a descendant of David.
How did Mary respond to the Word of God? ” Why can that be the case? I don’t know a man yet.” (Verse 34) God-sent angel Gabriel replies. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overwhelm you. Therefore, the one who is born is called the Holy One, the Son of God, ” (verse 35).
The nativity is due to the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, the Son of God, was born as a human baby, taking innocent humanity (human nature) without losing divinity (God’s nature). Here we can see that Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Man.
At first, Mary was confused, but at the same time she praised and rejoiced the Lord that God had taken notice of herself. And respond. “I am the Lord’s servant. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Verse 38) This was her faith. She trusted God, and she also trusted God’s Word. Mary had an obedient heart to obey the Word of God. Obedience was her quality.
It is said that Mary was about 15 years old at this time. She lived in the countryside of Nazareth (which was thought to have a population of about 150 at that time). Nathanael (who is said to be the same person as Bartholomew, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples) wondered what good things would come from Nazareth (John 1:46), but at that time, it seems that everyone in the the Jews world thought that way. However, God’s view is different from that of humans. Mary was certainly a woman found by God. As the Bible says, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16: 7). Mary was given the amazing privilege of becoming the mother of the Savior Jesus.
But that privilege isn’t all good. Mary had a lot of pain and was the way of the cross. Seen with suspicion by her husband Joseph. It was criticized by the public for its pre-marriage pregnancy. And she witnessed the death of her son Jesus on the terrible cross. However, Mary experienced Pentecost. She was deeply involved in the Holy Spirit movement. I think this fact is often overlooked. Mary was confined by the Holy Spirit, also later she was filled with the Holy Spirit and walked by the Holy Spirit. Mary must have cooperated with Luke by providing information to Luke who wrote this Gospel.
An important quality as a disciple of Christ is obedience. Modern Christians are also required to obey the Word of God, the will of Jesus Christ, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Like Mary, we would like to take steps that can be noticed by the Lord. To that end, trust in the Word of the Lord is essential. It is necessary to trust in the Words of the Bible, which trust in the invisible God, not in the words of man or what is visible.
We may also be told by the Lord what we cannot believe and what we do not understand. But we want to be not the ones who doubt the Word and reject it, but the ones who, like Mary, confess our faith, “May your word to me be fulfilled.”