Before there was anything, Jesus was with God, a distinct person in the Godhead, and He also was God. Yet now God the Son was about to take on human flesh, and become what we understand as the God-Man who lives forever, equally God, equally man. He became a baby, a tiny being growing inside Mary. He was born in the way babies are born.
Jesus' human nature had the limitations of normal humanity, except He was completely without sin. Jesus has a true human nature that is perfectly united with His divine nature.
It is a pivotal point in Matthew’s telling of Jesus’ story. Why a virgin birth? Was there a biological reason? A moral reason? All we can say is that in Genesis 3:15 God said the deliverer would come from the seed of the woman. This is the way God had always planned to give the world the Messiah.
When I was a young girl, there was an enormous social stigma attached to having a baby when you weren’t married. You got sent away to extended family, had the baby in secret, started another life, or gave the baby up for adoption, very privately. Children raised out of wedlock didn’t have the same legal rights as children born to or adopted by a married couple.
But right around the 1970's that all changed with abortion laws and the legalizing of all children’s rights, regardless of whether they were raised by a married couple. Today, thirty years later, Lots of single women actively pursue getting pregnant, there isn’t any stigma at all, it’s actually kind of popular, except in some conservative circles, so it’s harder to imagine what this must have been like.
Even though they were living in Nazareth, which was not as strong a religious community as Jerusalem, and was actually sort of a cosmopolitan trade center for its day, they were both godly people.
Try to think how difficult it must have been to face the family pressure, the social pressure, the disapproving stares when they attended synagogue.
The father is who?!
They never even had a big wedding, but hurried through a small private affair, just like a shotgun wedding. But both Mary and Joseph were convinced that God knew what He was doing, and would take care of them all along the way.
God often uses difficult circumstance to accomplish His will* His will was to have His Son, the Son of God, be born to this little family, and He took care of them.
* His will is to make you like Jesus Christ. So He puts difficult people in your life to shave off your rough edges, to polish you and transform you.
* His will is to let others know about Him, and His will and His word, so He puts you together with people who need to hear about Him, maybe in your workplace or your neighborhood.
* His will is to show you His love and His grace, and He can only do that when He has your complete attention, so He often uses difficult circumstances to focus you.
What’s the difficulty in your life right now? I’d be surprised if there wasn’t at least one thing going on right now.
How willing are you to trust God, to have faith in Him, that He knows what He is doing, that He is good and loving and powerful enough to take care of you all along the way?
How willing are you to lean into the struggle and give it all you have, so that you will be cooperating with God as He accomplishes His purposes in you?
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