Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20120404.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part II: Jesus As Israel's Messianic King By His Conception And Birth
Lesson: The events surrounding Jesus' conception and birth, particularly the behavior of Joseph, in view of the Hebrew marital customs of that era, give strong evidence that Jesus was conceived by God.
- We have noted that Jesus had to be supernaturally conceived in Mary to gain David's throne, for Mary came from the uncursed line of David's younger son, Nathan while Joseph's line ran back to cursed king Jechoniah who came from Solomon, and through Joseph's marriage to Mary Jesus has right to the throne.
- However, we need evidence that Jesus was truly supernaturally conceived, and Matthew 1:18-25 offers it:
- Jesus As Israel's Messianic King By His Conception And Birth, Matthew 1:18-25.
- Mary was pregnant with Jesus after she was engaged to Joseph but before they came together as husband and wife, Matthew 1:18. We explain this statement in view of the Hebrew customs of the day:
- "Marriages were arranged for individuals by parents, and contracts were negotiated. After this was accomplished, the individuals were considered married and were called husband and wife. They did not, however, begin to live together. Instead, the woman continued to live with her parents and the man with his for one year. The waiting period was to demonstrate the faithfulness of the pledge of purity given concerning the bride. If she was found to be with child in this period, she obviously was not pure, but had been involved in an unfaithful sexual relationship. Therefore, the marriage could be annulled. If, however, the one-year waiting period demonstrated the purity of the bride, the husband would then go to the house of the bride's parents and in a grand processional march lead his bride back to his home. There they would begin to live together as husband and wife and consummate their marriage physically." (Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 20)
- Thus, when Mary was found to be with child between the betrothal period and the time when Joseph and Mary came together, Joseph naturally concluded she had failed her test as a chaste bride, and, being upright, he considered getting a bill of divorce that was required to break such a Jewish betrothal arrangement, Matthew 1:18-19; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Matthew 1:19.
- However, something monumental occurred to Joseph to check his culturally expected response as a groom, an event detailed and explained in Matthew 1:20-23 as follows:
- While Joseph was contemplating getting a bill of divorce against Mary, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, calling him Joseph and directing him not to fear to take Mary as his wife, for the Child that was conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit, not by another man through sin, Matthew 1:20.
- Indeed, the Child Mary would bear was to be called by Joseph (kaleseis = second person singular, U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966, p. 3) "Jesus" as He would save His people from their sins, Matthew 1:21.
- Matthew explained this event occurred to fulfill Isaiah 7:14 that a virgin would be with child and bring forth a son whose name was "Emmanuel," the Hebrew word meaning "God with us," Matt. 1:22-23.
- Joseph then went to the home of Mary's parents to pick her up in grand procession, but he did not have physical relations with Mary until after Jesus was born, and he called the Child's name, "Jesus," Matthew 1:24-25. These facts give strong evidence for the supernatural conception of Jesus Christ (as follows):
- For Joseph to take his espoused wife after planning to divorce her for being pregnant when the purpose for the whole betrothal period was to prove Mary's moral purity meant Joseph was convinced that Mary's pregnancy was sinlessly caused. His dream must have been a remarkable, life changing event!
- Then, for Joseph to name Mary's firstborn son "Jesus" and not after his own name "Joseph" was highly irregular (Luke 1:59-63), also implying his dream on naming the Child "Jesus" greatly impacted him.
- Finally, for Joseph as a new groom, who was under no restraint from God's angelic messenger to avoid being physically intimate with Mary when he took her to live with him, but who still refrained until she gave birth, shows highly unusual behavior! It argues strongly that Joseph was convinced Mary carried a very important, valuable Baby Who was not his own, that baby being the Messiah from God!
Application: May we believe that Jesus is truly Israel's Messianic King by the events of His conception.