Saturday, September 02, 2023

2023.09.02 Hopewell @Home ▫ Matthew 1:18–25

Read Matthew 1:18–25

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Matthew 1:18 tell us the Holy Spirit is about to describe? What was Mary’s relationship to Joseph already? But what had they not yet done? In what condition was she found anyway? How had this happened? What does Matthew 1:19 call Joseph? What sort of man was he? What did he not want to do? What did he will to do instead? What was Joseph doing in Matthew 1:120? Who appeared to him? How? What did the angel call him? What did he tell him not to do? What did this imply that he must do? Why wouldn’t he fear—from Whom has the baby come? What will she bring forth (Matthew 1:21)? What is he to call His Name? Why, what will He do? What explanation does Matthew 1:22 give for all of this? What had the prophet said (Matthew 1:23, cf. Isaiah 7:14)—who would be with child? What would she bear? What would they call Him? How is it translated? How does the vision affect Joseph (Matthew 1:24)? What does he do? What doesn’t he do (Matthew 1:25)? Until when? What does he call the Son’s Name?

Who is the Christ-King? Matthew 1:18–24 looks forward to the morning sermon on the coming Lord’s Day. In these seven verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the Christ-King is God Himself, Who came to save His people from their sins. 

A just manMatthew 1:19-20a. Here we have something that Luke emphasizes more than Matthew: the godliness of Jesus’s earthly parents. Joseph is Jesus’s adoptive human father, being the “husband of Mary” as Matthew 1:16 said. But it is vitally important that he be a “just man” (Matthew 1:19a). Indeed, he must be both just and holy, for much will depend upon him in Jesus’s earthly life. As Jesus grows in wisdom and stature, he will at first be entirely dependent upon His parents that the law would be carefully kept concerning Him. It is worth noting how such a just man conducts himself. He honors his betrothed, even when she seems to have dishonored him (verse 19b). He doesn’t act rationally but ponders things carefully (Matthew 1:120a). 

Conceived by the Holy SpiritMatthew 1:18Matthew 1:20-21. Joseph and Mary had not come together, but she was found to be with child. This is first stated to the reader in Matthew 1:18. But when the angel tells Joseph in Matthew 1:20, he makes it clear that Mary did not do this. The Holy Spirit did this within her. The angel’s message tells us, in two parts, why the Holy Spirit has done this. First, he calls Joseph “Son of David,” plainly implying that this baby is to be the Christ. The most immediate father listed in the genealogy in Matthew 1:16 was Jacob, not David. This is a messianic title. Second, the angel tells that this new Son of David must be named Jesus. The Christ is “Yahweh Who saves.” He could not have sin of His own, so He could not have an earthly father as His federal progenitor before God.

God with usMatthew 1:22-24. The angel insists on the Name Jesus, and Joseph gives Him the Name Jesus. So it may strike us odd that the Spirit tells us that this is to fulfill a prophecy that his Name would be Immanuel. Obviously, the two must hold together. What we see here is the Spirit indicating to us that the two are the same Name. 

When the angel tells Joseph, “He will save His people from their sins,” He is referring to something greater than just that Jesus will be the great King and promised Deliverer. The angel is identifying Jesus as the One Who says, “I will be your God, and you will be My people.” He is a deliverer not merely from Philistines, Assyrians, and Babylonians. He is a deliverer from Satan and from sin itself. He can only be God.

The conception by the Holy Spirit, the Name Jesus, the mission of salvation from sin… ALL this was done (Matthew 1:22a) to fulfill that God alone saves and not man. This was what Ahaz refused to trust in. YHWH Himself was the stone of stumbling and rock of offense (cf. Isaiah 8:14–15). And the virgin birth, being fulfilled against Ahaz over 700 years later, was a sign against his insistence on trusting in men. But no mere man can save. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us to save us. Jesus is the stone of stumbling and rock of offense, YHWH Himself as the alone Savior.


How can you be saved from sin? How have you responded to the only One Who can save you? Why did He have to be God in order to save? How/why is the phrase “His people” precious to you?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we thank You for coming, Yourself, to be our Savior in the Person of the Son. Grant that we would not stumble over You or be offended at You, but to humbly embrace that no other Savior could ever do. Make us to rejoice that You have saved us, for we ask it through Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP24 “The Earth and the Riches” or TPH24B “The Earth and Its Riches”

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