December 21

Matthew 1:18-21

“Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.” vs. 18

When Matthew set about to write his account of Jesus’ life he found material from a variety of sources. Others had written about Jesus and they provided Matthew with the basic framework of Jesus’ short ministry, with particular emphasis on the stories connected to his death. There were some miracle stories, a few parables and other teachings, and some accounts of the Galilean months of ministry. But people were curious about his early years–if Jesus was really the messiah he didn’t seem to have the proper credentials. So Matthew decided to piece together a few fragments he’d come across that would explain Jesus’ birth and how it was that his family had ended up in Nazareth. The story he puts together is different from the one used by Luke and emphasizes that Jesus was indeed from the family of David and that he also had divine origins. He backs it up with notations from scripture and countless Christians have accepted it as authoritative. We can quibble about details and interpretations but there’s no doubt that early followers of Jesus did indeed believe that he had been sent from God as Savior and Lord, and that he had been born of a woman like every other human before or since. Like us he bears God’s image, and from him we learn how to live!

Thought for the Day: How is Jesus different from us?

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