Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel”—which means “God with us.” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a Son. And he gave Him the name Jesus.
– Matthew 1:18-25
Matthew’s birth narrative emphasizes that the promised Son of David has arrived. He traces the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph’s legal line back to Abraham. Luke’s genealogy follows Mary’s physical line all the way back to Adam, emphasizing that a Savior has come for all of Adam’s fallen race. In the Gospel of John, John declares the spiritual significance of the One who came to save the world from its sin problem. In the above text, the story focuses on Joseph more than Mary. To a Jewish reader, God’s activity in the father’s life was of major significance. I have often put myself in Joseph’s shoes. How might I have responded in such a situation?
The Big Question
What do you see here about God’s activity in Joseph’s life? How did Joseph respond to God? What do you learn about his character? In that culture, how much pressure would Joseph have been under to divorce Mary? What is the significance in the name Jesus? What is the significance of the name Immanuel?
Conclude your time in prayer and silence, reflecting on what God revealed to you today.