- What is your weakest link in trusting the advent details (if any!?)
- What fact of the advent details are you most confident in?
- What are some things God is saying to the world in the Incarnation?
- Gleanings from Matthew 1:18-23
- The Importance of the trusting vs rationalizing the Facts vs. (Male intellectualism confronted and exposed)- Mat 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. “Was as follows” – just the facts please. There is nothing to doubt if we accept it by faith. Matthew Henry says “The mystery of Christ’s becoming man is to be adored, not curiously inquired into.”
- The Importance of Godliness and Trust (Joseph a just man and great example) Mat 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
- Dual realities – your days are ordinary, these days extraordinary. You are a worm, He is a King. Faith accepts this distinction -Mat 1:20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
- Two Names shall he be called (Jesus and Immanuel): Mat 1:21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Mat 1:22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
Mat 1:23 “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which is translated, “God with us.”
- Two Solid Lessons from the Incarnation:
- Jesus is a Divine Person. That self which has ever been the same in all its acts is Divine. He may act now through his human nature—eating, sleeping, dying—or he may act through his Divine nature; but he who does so is not a man, but God the Son. What we find in Christ is God furnishing himself with a human body, mind, and soul, through and in which he as truly lives and works as through and in his Divine nature. Being the same Person after his incarnation as before, he took our nature “that he might taste death for every man;” that he might, that is, he who was already existing before he became Man. His Divine nature could not die, but he means to taste death, and therefore takes a nature which can suffer death. In that death on the cross no person died but the Son of God.
- Condescension. If we would learn how to benefit our fellow-men, we must study our Lord’s method. Looking upon us who were infinitely beneath him, and desiring to bring us up more nearly to his level, he saw that the way to do so was to become one of us; to come among us and share with us in all but sin. There is probably more in this example than we are always willing to admit. We speak of raising the masses. One would take Christ’s way of doing so who should himself become a sharer in their condition; who should give up his own pleasant, healthy residence and live among those he desires to benefit; who should give up his own lucrative profession and engage in the same kind of labour they are engaged in; who should put himself, with his education, his right views of what life should and might be, at their disposal; and should thus be among them a continua[ example and help. He would thus make their wrongs his own wrongs, and as he raised himself raise his class.