“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. 1
If all we had was Matthew’s account of Jesus’s birth, Christmas wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. In fact there probably would even be any Sunday School Christmas programs without Luke’s singing angels, watching shepherds, and the baby in a manger. In Matthew there’s only Joseph the Dreamer, and he pretty much runs the show. Matthew’s only concern is to show that Jesus came from the line of David and was born in David’s city through the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit. He wanted all his readers to know that in Jesus God had broken into human existence in a decisive way–this had not been an ordinary birth! Matthew didn’t write a theological treatise about the God-Man, he simply told the story of a man, a woman, and the birth of a baby. His story may not be as heart-warming as Luke’s, and it might be a bit patriarchal for some tastes, but his point is crystal clear. Jesus was the messiah and the incarnation of the Creator God, and in him there is salvation for all humanity. His name in Hebrew was “Yeshua,” or “Yahweh delivers,” and he would save his people from their sins.
Thought for the Day: In what major ways does Matthew’s story agree with Luke’s?