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Sujay Thomas
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Jesus, the Son of God triumphs where Israel, the son of God failed.
Matthew 4:1-11
Submission to God reveals Jesus' Mission
Matthew 3:13-17
The King of the kingdom demands repentance or judgement.
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Psalm 2 is lived out in the rage of Herod and the sovereignty of God in the life of his Anointed.
Matthew 2:13-23
Gentiles worship the king of the Jews.
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God's Promises are fulfilled in Messiah, proved in his genealogy
Matthew 1:1-17
Stand in God's Power in Christ!
Ephesians 6:10-24
Walk in Love: Being Parents & Children, Masters & Slaves
Ephesians 6:1-9
Walk in Love: Being Husbands and Wives
Ephesians 5:22-33
Walk in Love: Reflecting God —as his Wise, Spirit-Empowered Children
Ephesians 5:1-21
Walk in Truth
Ephesians 4:17-32
Walk in Unity
Ephesians 4:1-16
A Prayer for God's Power
Ephesians 3:14-21
[aside] God's Power through Paul for His Plan in Christ
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[aside] God's Power in Christ: Access
Ephesians 2:11-22
[aside] God's Power in Christ: Life
Ephesians 2:1-10
Paul prays that the Ephesians would know God in: (1) God's Past Call (2) God's Future Inheritance and (3) God's Present Power toward them
Ephesians 1:15-23
To rely on Scripture implies a reliance on God, the Spirit.
Acts 1:15-26
Praise God from whom all blessings flow, in Christ
Ephesians 1:1-14
Our endurance is enabled by who we are and where we are.
Hebrews 12:4-29
How do we run? With Endurance. How do we Endure? By Faith. What is Faith? Looking to Jesus
Hebrews 10:32-12:3
Our lives reflect our trust in God's promises
2 Peter 3:1-13
We should draw near to God because of the better offering of Jesus' body.
Hebrews 10:1-31
We can draw near to God because of the better offering of Jesus' blood.
Hebrews 9
Do we reject the King, despite seeing him for who he is?
John 19:1-16
Jesus, the great high priest, is the assurance of our salvation.
Hebrews 7
Christ's glorification is necessary for our eternal life and hope.
John 17:1-5
Does my fear of faithlessness drive me to Jesus and the word?
Hebrews 4
Does your faith rest in the faithfulness of Christ?
Hebrews 3
Why do you pay attention?
Hebrews 2
Who is Jesus to you?
Hebrews 1
God's undeserved love compels my unbridled praise.
Malachi 1:1-5
The Father and the Son are one and this is crucial for our salvation, life and security.
John 10:22-31
As his sheep, do we know Jesus just like he knows his Father?
John 10:11-21
God ensures our freedom from shame!
Romans 9:30-33
God alone calls, period.
Romans 9:18-29
No longer helpless to sin!
John 8:30-36
"You will know that I AM."
John 8:21-30
God cannot be unjust, period.
Romans 9:14-18
God's Word cannot fail, period.
Romans 9:1-13
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Messiah’s Birth: The Promised Sign
Matthew 1:18-25
God's Promises are fulfilled in Messiah, proved in his conception
Published May 21st, 2022
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Main point summary
Main point summary
The promised supernatural birth of Jesus the Messiah took place through Mary's virgin conception through the Holy Spirit and Joseph's obedience to remain her husband.
Matthew 1:18-25
Now the birth of u Jesus Christ 1 took place in this way.
v When his mother Mary had been betrothed 2 to Joseph,
before they came together
she was found to be with child w from the Holy Spirit.
And her husband Joseph, being a just man
and unwilling x to put her to shame,
resolved to divorce her quietly.
But as he considered these things,
behold, y an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,
“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife,
for that which is conceived in her
is from the Holy Spirit.
She will bear a son,
and z you shall call his name Jesus,
a for he will save his people from their sins.
b All this took place c to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
d “Behold, the virgin shall conceive
and bear a son,
and they shall call his name e Immanuel”"
(which means, God f with us).
When Joseph woke from sleep,
he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him:
he took his wife,
but knew her not
until she had given birth to a son.
And g he called his name Jesus.
cf. 1:1 - origins and beginnings γένεσις (genesis, “birth,” “origin,” or “history,” GK 1161)
The pledge to be married was legally binding. Only a divorce writ could break it, and infidelity at that stage was considered adultery (cf. Dt 22:23–24; Moore, Judaism, 2:121–22). The marriage itself took place when the groom (already called “husband,” Mt 1:19) ceremoniously took the bride home (see comments at 25:1–13). Mary is here introduced unobtrusively. Though comparing the gospel accounts gives us a picture of her, she does not figure largely in Matthew. Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (p. 210). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
Most likely sexual union as a consummation of ceremonial marriage
This has to do with conception. Mary's child was not from Joseph but was a manifestation of God's power through the person of the Holy Spirit (a major agent in the 'new age' of the kingdom, cf. Is 11, 61). This was a supernatural, spiritual conception.
Joseph, a Mosaic-Law abiding member of Israel had 2 options considering the seeming unfaithfulness of his betrothed: Public exposure of Mary's 'unfaithfulness', and possibly stoning (Dt 22:23-24) Private divorce by handing her a certificate of divorce before two witnesses (Nu 5:11-31) This last solution brought both Joseph's faithfulness to God's law and his compassion together, which is why he resolved to divorce her quietly.
By whom was the child conceived? When was the child conceived? Why is this recorded? The birth of Messiah was supernatural, Spiritual and fulfilled Scripture, and this was a second qualification for Jesus' Messiahship How do we see Joseph responding? Why does he respond in this way? He obeyed God's law What does Matthew record of his character? What can we infer about his character, as part of his justice? Compassion was within his idea of justice and not opposed to it What other things do we see recorded that are not normal? What does this tell us about God? God graciously intervenes through angels and dreams to communicate privately what he is doing. Why is Joseph's not divorcing Mary such a critical piece of our salvation? Without Joseph and his small obedience, there is no fulfilment of the Davidic promises. There is then no fulfilment of 'God with us'. In ver 20, why do you think the angel mentions 'son of David'? Why does he talk of the work of the Spirit? Why is the name 'Jesus' commanded? What is the difference between the people of Messiah and the people of God? What is the difference between the people of Israel and the people of Messiah? What does this tell us about Yeshua (cf. Ps 130:8) What salvation were the Israelites expecting in Joseph's day? Why is salvation from sins so important to the promises of God? What is the angel's command? Why does God give this command through the angel - reason and purpose? How is Isaiah 7:14 to Ahaz fulfilled in "all that took place"? How are 'Immanuel' and 'Jesus' related? The people whose sins Jesus forgives (1:21) are the ones who will gladly call him “God with us.” Carson, D. A.
1. What does our idea of justice include? Is compassion part of it? How do we balance legalism, compassion and faithful obedience? 2. How often is simple obedience our response to perplexing situations? 3. How does it lead you to worship when you consider that God is with you? 4. How will you respond knowing that human responsibility, especially in obedience, is a means that God uses to fulfil his purposes? 5. What does forgiveness of sins mean to you? What symptoms does this meaning show in your life? 6. What does it mean to you that God keeps his word? Meditate on Rom 8:32
Dreams within the NT as divine communication are found predominantly in Matthew's prologue. Only two other instances show up in the NT apart from this prologue, one of which is in Matthew's gospel as well. 1:20; 2:2, 13, 19, 22; 27:19 Ac 2:17
An “angel of the Lord” (four times in the prologue: Mt 1:20, 24; 2:13, 19) calls to mind divine messengers in past ages (e.g., Ge 16:7–14; 22:11–18; Ex 3:2–4:16), in which it was not always clear whether the heavenly “messenger” (the meaning of angelos, GK 34) was a manifestation of Yahweh. They most commonly appeared as men. Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (p. 211). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
See 1:1 The angel probably alerted Joseph to God's calling in his life and how God was going to use him
Again, to Joseph, this may have hinted at all the fulfilments promised within the Old Testament
The Greek is literally “you will call his name Jesus,” strange in both English and Greek. Not only is this a Semitism (BDF, para. 157 [2]—the expression recurs in Mt 1:23, 25; Lk 1:13, 31); it uses the future indicative (kaleseis, lit., “you will call,” GK 2813) with imperatival force —hence the NIV, “You are to give him the name Jesus.” This construction is very rare in the NT, except where the LXX is being cited, and the effect is to give the verse a strong OT nuance. Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (p. 212). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
“Jesus” (Iēsous, GK 2652) is the Greek form of “Joshua” (cf. Gk. of Ac 7:45 ; Heb 4:8 ), which, whether in the long form yehōšûaʿ (GK 3397, “Yahweh is salvation,” Ex 24:13 ) or in one of the short forms, e.g., yēšûaʿ (“Yahweh saves,” Ne 7:7 ), identifies Mary’s son as the one who brings Yahweh’s promised eschatological salvation. Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (p. 212). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
cf. Jer 31:34 and Ps 130:8
cf. 16:18 "my ecclesia" does not stop at Israel. cf. Ge 49:10; Tit 2:13–14; Rev 14:4
1:22; 2:15, 17, 23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:35; 21:4; 26:56; 27:9; cf. 26:54 3:15; 5:17; 13:48; 23:32
The perfect tense seems to indicate that the angel is still speaking. "All this" refers to the supernatural, spiritual conception and the angelic revelation. It wouldn't make much sense for Matthew to interject here, when he could easily have done it at the end of the pericope. Also, the same language is used in Mt 21:4-5 and Mt 26:56, where Jesus appears to be saying those words. Joseph would need to know why he is commanded to take Mary as his wife. Fulfilment of Scripture is the basis.
Isaiah uses the Hebrew 'alma' which could mean young maiden, but we have to pause at why the translators of the LXX explicitly use parthenos, which almost always means virgin, instead of neanis , which means young maiden. What's even more surprising is that later Greek renderings (200AD) of the same text were not translated as neanis , which would have been an easy means for Jewish detractors of Jesus the Messiah to contradict the church's claims. The context of Matthew is also explicit in pointing that Mary was a virgin. Finally, concerning Is 7:14, the point of the prophecy was a sign, i.e. a supernatural miracle. There is nothing miraculous whatsoever in a young woman getting pregnant. There is something incredible, if the young woman never had sex, however.
Note Matthew's distinction of source and mediator. God's word by the prophet (cf. 2Pe 1:21)
Within the OT, signs can sometimes be a 'present persuader' like Ex 4:8-9 or a 'later confirmation, like Ex 3:12. Since Immanuel's birth happens many centuries later, Is 7:14 seems to sit in the latter category with the 'sign' in Is 7:11 unveiling a threat because of Ahaz's rejection of YHWH his God (the pronouns are singular in Isaiah) and fails to endure in faith (Is 7:8-9) despite God's promises to eliminate Ephraim in 65 years. Wrath is coming, and both Rezin and Pekah will be gone before Immanuel learns 'obedience' and this wrath extends also to David's faithless line. Assyria will be the means of this wrath, and the virgin birth will confirm all of this and will occur after this 'day' that the Davidic line will lose the throne - not endure (Isa 6:8-13). They would end up like Ephraim themselves. This prophecy continues through Is 8 and into Is 9:7, after which an almost parallel account concerning Ephraim follows in Isa 9:8-Isa 11:16. Motyer shows the close parallels between the prophetic word to Judah (Isa 7:1–9:7) and the prophetic word to Ephraim (Isa 9:8–11:16). To both comes the moment of decision as the Lord’s word threatens wrath (Isa 7:1–17; 9:8–10:4), the time of judgment mediated by the Assyrian invasion (Isa 7:18–8:8; Isa 10:5–15), the destruction of God’s foes but the salvation of a remnant (Isa 8:9–22; 10:16–34), and the promise of a glorious hope as the Davidic monarch reigns and brings prosperity to his people (Isa 9:1–7; 11:1–16). The twofold structure argues for the cohesive unity between the prophecy of Judah and that to Ephraim. If this is correct, Isaiah 7:1–9:7 must be read as a unit—i.e., Isa 7:14 must not be treated in isolation. The promised Immanuel (Isa 7:14) will thwart all opponents (Isa 8:10) and appear in Galilee of the Gentiles (Isa 9:1) as a great light to those in the land of the shadow of death (Isa 9:2). He is the Child and Son called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” in Isa 9:6, whose government and peace will never end as he reigns on David’s throne forever (Isa 9:7). Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (p. 217). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition. Jesus, the true Immanuel, then, is confirmation of the wrath of God against Israel as well as the hope they have of God's presence with them forever from the dawning of this new age. The restoration of the Davidic line (Isa 11) and the exile and the return from exile are all fulfilments of these prophecies that Matthew picks up on.
Isaiah reflects a hope that God would make himself present with his people (“Immanuel” derives from ʿimmānû ʾēl, “God with us”), and they apply the name to Jesus in a similar way, to mean that God is with us, and for us, because of Jesus. But if Immanuel in Isaiah is a messianic figure whose titles include “Mighty God,” there is reason to think that “Immanuel” refers to Jesus himself, that he is “God with us.” Matthew’s use of the preposition “with” at the end of 1:23 favors this (see J. C. Fenton, “Matthew and the Divinity of Jesus: Three Questions Concerning Matthew 1:20–23,” in Studia Biblica 1978 [ed. Livingstone], 2:81). Though “Immanuel” is not a name in the sense that “Jesus” is Messiah’s name (1:21), in the OT Solomon was named “Jedidiah” (“Beloved of Yahweh,” 2Sa 12:25), even though he apparently was not called that. Similarly Immanuel is a “name” in the sense of title or description. No greater blessing can be conceived than for God to dwell with his people (Isa 60:18–20; Eze 48:35; Rev 21:23). Jesus is the one called “God with us” (the designation evokes Jn 1:14, 18). As if that were not enough, Jesus promises just before his ascension to be with us to the end of the age (28:20; cf. 18:20), when he will return to share his messianic banquet with his people (25:10). If “Immanuel” is rightly interpreted in this sense, then the question must be raised whether “Jesus” (1:21) should receive the same treatment. Does “Jesus” (“Yahweh saves”) mean Mary’s son merely brings Yahweh’s salvation, or is he himself in some sense the Yahweh who saves? If “Immanuel” entails the higher Christology, it is not implausible that Matthew sees the same in “Jesus.” The least we can say is that Matthew does not hesitate to apply OT passages descriptive of Yahweh directly to Jesus Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (pp. 218-219). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
What is Joseph's response now? Why does Matthew record the couple's continued celibacy? The emphasis on the virgin birth.
cf. Lk 1:38
Lk 2:21
The δέ (de, “but”) beginning the verse is doubtless a mild adversative. All the preceding generations have been listed, “but” the birth of Jesus comes into a class of its own. Carson, D. A.. Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary) (p. 219). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
Rev 21:3
1:18-19 Shifting from the genealogy that qualified Messiah based on God’s historic promises, Matthew then focusses on Messiah’s supernatural origins as a man. While Mary was betrothed to Joseph —as good as legally married, though not yet a wife (1:19, 20), and before any sexual union, young Mary was found to be pregnant. Matthew does two things here: emphasise Mary’s virginity (1:18, cf. 23, 25) and emphasise the supernatural work of God, the Holy Spirit (1:18, 20). And so, when Joseph learns of Mary’s pregnancy, he assumes the most obvious —that Mary was unfaithful, which then implies that he cannot marry her in good conscience which in turn meant a divorce. Yet Joseph’s ‘justice’ runs in the direction of compassion as well, for ‘he did not want to put her to shame’. So he prefers a quiet divorce (Nu 5:11ff) to Mary’s being publicly shamed, if not stoned (Dt 23:22-24). Here indeed is a just man. 1:20-23 While Joseph makes up his mind, an angel of the Lord appears to him in a dream, making that four supernatural records within this narrative (virgin conception, the work of God the Holy Spirit, the appearance of an angel and a dream). As we consider the NT, the concentration of the supernatural within this prologue of Matthew indicates that something unlike anything else was afoot. The angel, using Joseph’s Davidic title (cf. 1:1-17), commands him not to fear taking Mary as his wife, and explains why: ‘that which is conceived in her’ was a direct action of God the Holy Spirit’. And so she will bear a son, and they were to call his name Jesus (YHWH saves). Why? Because he (Jesus/YHWH, cf. Ps 130:8, Mk 2:7) will save his people (both Jews and Gentiles, cf. 16:8, 28:19, Ge 49:10; Tit 2:13–14; Rev 14:4) from their sins. And ‘all this took place’ (cf. 21:4 and 26:56) to fulfil Scripture, specifically Is 7:14 and its context —that a virgin will conceive and bear a son and he will be called ‘ Immanuel ’, i.e. God with us. And so in Jesus (YHWH saves), his people enjoy YHWH in their midst (Jn 1:14, 18; Is 60:18-20; Ez 48:35; Rev 21:1-3). It is no wonder then, that those of us whose sins are forgiven (Jer 31:31ff) find themselves proclaiming that God is with us 1:24-25 Joseph’s response to God’s intervention through the angel in his dream is simple and straightforward obedience (cf Lk 1:38). Yet Joseph held off sexually consummating his marriage until after Jesus was born, which Matthew takes pains to record — indicating the supernatural origins of Immanuel. APPLICATION 1. What does our idea of justice include? Is compassion part of it? How do we balance legalism, compassion and faithful obedience? 2. How often is simple obedience our response to perplexing situations? 3. How does it lead you to worship when you consider that God is with you? 4. How will you respond knowing that human responsibility, especially in obedience, is a means that God uses to fulfil his purposes? 5. What does it mean to you that God keeps his word? Meditate on Rom 8:32 6. What does forgiveness of sins mean to you? What symptoms does this meaning show in your life?
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.