by Buzz Dahlen
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 had 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 We all know the story, for the most part. But do you know the rest of the story?
We know where Jesus came from. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, placed in Mary’s womb where she carried him until he was born. Joseph was thought to be His father, but the bible tells that Joseph had no “union” with Mary until she gave birth to a son. And so, Jesus Christ, our Savior was born. But what about Mary and Joseph, what do we know about them? The bible tells us little of Mary’s past, but we do have records of Joseph’s descendants. Did you know that Joseph and Mary were related? They had the same great, great, great, great, great, great… grandfather, Noah. Mary seems to have been related to Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and wife of the priest Zechariah. Elizabeth was also of a priestly family. If "kinswoman" in Luke 1:36 is a reference for family line and not a relationship established by marriage, then Mary's family heritage may have been priestly. Joseph, on the other hand was a descendant of Nathan, King David’s son with Bathsheba. We overlook the fact that David had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba and when he could not cover up Bathsheba’s pregnancy by having her husband, Uriah, sleep with her, he sent him to the front lines of the war where he would face a certain death.
So, we see three important factors come together in the birth of Jesus. First is God’s grace. God forgave David for his disobedience and allowed him to continue as King. That brings us to the second factor, Jesus was born in the lineage of King David and therefore he was heir to the throne and born a king. But there is also another factor to consider; Jesus was also born into the priesthood. So, in Jesus we find God’s grace, the ruler of God’s people and the priest who makes the sacrifice for the sins of mankind. All of these wrapped up in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger…
… That is why the angels could proclaim, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14
This Christmas, if you haven’t yet, accept God’s gracious gift of salvation. Give your life to the one born the priestly king to both rule over and lay His life down for, mankind. Have a Merry Christmas!
I have a little more space, so I want to invite you to come and celebrate the birth of our Savior, on Christmas Eve at 6:00pm. This will be a wonderful time of fellowship and singing. I hope you will come and join us as worship the Savior.