Sermons

Sun, Oct 07, 2018

He’s With You All The Way

We just started a new series in the Gospel of Matthew and you recall how the story began… Verse 1: The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: Matthew is the most Jewish book of the Gospels… Matthew is writing to Jews to show them that Jesus FULFILLED the prophecies concerning the promised Messiah. Mark wrote for a Roman audience, Luke for the Greeks, John’s gospel is for anyone and everyone.
Series:Matthew
Duration:48 mins 37 secs

Series: Fulfilled

Text: Matthew 1:18-25

Title: He’s With You All The Way

 

Matthew 1:18-25 (NKJV)

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.

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.

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.

21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

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."

24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,

25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.



We just started a new series in the Gospel of Matthew and you recall how the story began…

 

Verse 1:  The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

 

Matthew is the most Jewish book of the Gospels… Matthew is writing to Jews to show them that Jesus FULFILLED the prophecies concerning the promised Messiah.

 

Mark wrote for a Roman audience,

Luke for the Greeks,

John’s gospel is for anyone and everyone.

 

In Matthew’s Gospel,

The Old Testament is quoted or alluded to 129 times.

“The kingdom of heaven,” a phrase used only by Matthew, is seen 32 times.

The phrase, “that it might be fulfilled,” used only by Matthew, appears 9 times.

The phrase, “that which was spoken,” in reference to the Old Testament, is used 14 times, only by Matthew.

 

The theme then of Matthews Gospel might best be summed up in a single word, FULFILLED.

 

Matthew begins by saying Jesus is the rightful Heir to the throne of Israel both racially and royally. Racially, He is the Son of Abraham. In the Book of Genesis 22:15-18, “Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son-- blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

 

 

Royally, He is the Son of David. One day David said to the prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 7, “I want to build a house for God.” “Go for it God is with you!” Nathan told David. But that night, the Lord spoke to Nathan, saying, “David can’t build Me a temple because his hands are full of blood. He’s a man of war, not a man of peace. Go tell David he can’t build, but tell him this: Although he can’t build Me a house, I will build him a house.”

 

Isn’t it amazing how our God has a way of taking our disappointments and turning them into even greater blessings than we thought or imagined. The house God built through David was the Messiah—One who will reign forever in a kingdom without end. 2 Samuel 7:16  And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever."

 

The Jews knew the Messiah must be of the seed of Abraham and a Son of David. And guess what? There is only one Jew in human history who is able to make such a claim and prove it. Jesus! A.D. 70 Jerusalem was destroyed along with all the genealogical records… But Jesus was born in 33 A.D. Every inquisitive Jew could run down to the hall of records and look for themselves and many did.  

 

This morning Matthew moves on to the birth of Jesus. I was going to title this, “Christmas in October” or “Christmas Every Day” as Jesus is truly the gift that keeps on giving!



Verse 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.”

 

Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus, whose genealogy has just been given to us, was engaged to Mary. What does it mean to be engaged in the time of Christ ?

 

· Engagement: This could happen when the bride and groom to be were quite young, and was often arranged by the parents. (Happens all the time in churches)

 

· Betrothal: This made the previous engagement official and binding. During the time of betrothal the couple were known as husband and wife, and a betrothal could only be broken by divorce. Betrothal typically lasted a year. During the engagement period, which lasted for one year, if either one felt, “Oh, I cannot live with her,” or, “I can’t stand him,” they could divorce each other during that time. This is the period in which Joseph and Mary are right now. It is during this time that Mary, perhaps fifteen years of age, as most scholars believe, finds herself pregnant.

 

· Marriage: This took place after the wedding, after the year of betrothal.



She was found with child of the Holy Spirit: Matthew plainly (without the greater detail found in the Gospel of Luke) presents the virgin conception and birth of Jesus. However, the virgin birth was difficult for people to believe back then, even as it is also doubted now by some.

 

We should not forget what a great trial this was for a godly young girl like Mary, and for Joseph her husband to be.

 

Clarke in his commentary on Matthew writes, “Her situation was the most distressing and humiliating that can be conceived. Nothing but the fullest consciousness of her own integrity, and the strongest confidence in God, could have supported her in such trying circumstances, where her reputation, her honor, and her life were at stake.”

 

Mary lived for 33 years under the stigma that she was a sinner, a fornicator and it wasn’t until the resurrection of Jesus from the dead that she was vindicated. That takes faith! To be willing to lose it all for the sake of Christ. Her reward in heaven will be even greater than the blessing she had to be chosen as the mother of our Savior.  

 

The truth of this supernatural conception of Jesus was disbelieved by many at the hearing of the news and was later twisted into lies about who were the parents of Jesus were. John 8:19 “Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also." The people were very suspicious of who Jesus claimed to be.

and John 8:41. “You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father--God." They accused Mary of being a fornicator, with either Jospeh or someone else.

 

Lies were spread that Mary had become pregnant by a Roman soldier. Here, Matthew set the story straight – both then and now.

 

Spurgeon writes regarding the virgin birth, “There was no other way of his being born; for had he been of a sinful father, how should he have possessed a sinless nature? He is born of a woman, that he might be human; but not by man, that he might not be sinful.”

 

Verse 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.

 

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.

 

To put her away secretly: This refers to breaking an engagement by divorce. In Jewish culture of that time, a betrothal was binding and one needed a divorce to break the arrangement.

 

When Mary came to Joseph and said, “I’m pregnant,” he could have charged her with immorality. But Joseph showed mercy. This is why I like Joseph. He is a moral man who stands for rightness, but he is also merciful, which is a rare combination. Most people are either moral or merciful. God, make us men like Joseph! Give us his morality, but also his mercy.



Verse 20a:  “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream,  

 

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream… The dream came while he thought about these things. Joseph was understandably troubled by Mary’s mysterious pregnancy, her future, and what he should do towards her. Though he had decided to put her away secretly, he was not comfortable with that decision and so he listened…

 

Joseph was also logical, yet he was mystical, spiritual, sensitive to the promptings of God. Scripture says, “he thought on these things.” He was a thinker, but when he went to sleep, he became a dreamer. Most men are logical; however, some are hyper-spiritual. But here’s Joseph with a beautiful balance of both, logical and open to the supernatural leading of the Holy Spirit.

 

Verse 20b: “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.”

 

Joseph, son of David: The address son of David would have gotten Joseph’s attention that something was particularly significant about this message. Its like when my wife uses my middle name when talking to me, “Michael Rettig… Or she will say Michael Rettig Osthimer”…  

 

“Son of David” is a reference to Joseph’s legal lineage to the throne of David and would have immediately got his attention.

 

Over and over again, we men, like Joseph, need to hear this message from the Lord: “Fear not.”

 

When the women we love become wise by growing in the Lord, something is conceived in them of the Holy Ghost. Throughout church history women, who are oftentimes innately more spiritually sensitive than men, the Holy Spirit can begin to conceive something of Jesus. And we guys can start to fear. But the Lord would say to you and to me as husbands, “Fear not! Don’t worry!” Husband, the more your wife falls in love with that other Man, the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, her capacity will expand much faster to love you along with loving Jesus.

 

Verse 21a:  “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS,”

 

“The name the angel commanded Joseph to give to Mary’s Child was a name that was common at the time…its full significance meant, ‘The Salvation of Jehovah.’” Or “Jehovah Saves”

 

Jesus is the name of our Savior. This is His only name as far as His human name goes. Jesus is neither His first name, nor is Christ His last name. No, Jesus is His full human name, which was a common name in that day, probably the most common name in all of Israel. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions 12 different men named “Jesus” in his writings, but it was the Apostle Peter, who points out to us the uniqueness of this Jesus when he said in Acts 4:12, “there is no other name under heaven by which men must be saved”



“Joshua” was the Hebrew form, and “Jesus” the Greek form.

We read that Christ is not His human name, but His official name. Christos is the Greek form and means “anointed.”

 

In the Old Testament, three groups of people were anointed with oil: prophets, priests, and kings. Jesus is the Prophet who came to declare the Word (Deuteronomy 18:18). He is our faithful High Priest (Hebrews 2:17). And He is the King of kings (Revelation 17:14).

 

Verse 21 b: “for He will save His people from their sins."

 

Remember, Joshua was the successor of Moses, and Moses represented the Law. Because Moses could not lead the people of God into the Land of Promise, the responsibility was given to Joshua, or Jesus. It’s the same name. Jesus saves not the Law.

 

The picture is this… The Law cannot bring people into the fullness of God’s blessings. The Law was provided to prepare us and point out to us that we are sinners in need of a Savior who can save us from our sins and bring us into the Land of Promise. Our Joshua our Jesus is the only one capable of leading us from death to life.

 

For He will save His people from their sins: The angelic messenger briefly and eloquently stated the work of the coming Messiah, Jesus. He will come as a savior, and come to save His people from their sins.

 

This description of the work of Jesus reminds us that Jesus meets us in our sin, but His purpose is to save us from our sins. He saves us first from the penalty of sin, then from the power of sin, and finally from the presence of sin.

 

Verses 22-23: “22  So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

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."

 

“That it might be fulfilled”: This is the first use of this important phrase which will become a familiar theme throughout Matthew.

 

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”: Matthew rightly understood that the supernatural conception of Jesus that was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.’

 

There has been some controversy regarding this quote from Isaiah 7:14, primarily because the Hebrew word “almah” can be translated as either virgin or “young woman.”

 

We know Isaiah 7:14 speaks of Jesus because it says “the virgin shall be with child, and that conception would be a sign to David’s entire house.” Those who deny the virgin birth of Jesus like to point out that the Hebrew word in Isaiah 7:14 translated virgin (almah) can also be translated as “young woman.” Dissenters like to say that Isaiah was saying that a “young woman” would give birth, not a virgin.

 

While the near fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy may have reference to a young woman giving birth, the ultimate fulfillment clearly points to a woman, a virgin miraculously conceiving and giving birth. This is especially clear because the Old Testament never uses the word (almah) in a context other than virgin and because the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament) translates “almah” in Isaiah 7:14 plainly, virgin (parthenos).

 

Immanuel is Jesus’ name descriptively, but it was never spoken to Him directly.

 

You’ll never read in Scripture about someone saying, “Immanuel, come over here please.” You’ll hear them say, “Jesus,” “Rabbi,” or “Master,” but never Immanuel. This name Immanuel is a descriptive title of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ—God with us.  

 

So remember this, Jesus is His human name, Christ His official name, Immanuel His descriptive name.

 

“In what sense then, is Christ GOD WITH US? Jesus is called Immanuel, or God with us, in his incarnation; God with us, by the power of his Holy Spirit, God is with us in the communion, God is with us in the preaching of His Word, and God is with us when we are in private prayer. And the Good News of the Gospel is God is with us, through every action of our life, that we begin, continue, and end in his name. He is God with us, to comfort us, enlighten us, protect us, to defend us. God is with us in every temptation and God is with us in every trial. God is with us in the hour of our death. God is standing with us in the day of judgment. And the Good News gets even better as we remember that God is with us and in us, and we are with and in him, throughout all eternity.”

 

This is the Good News of the Gospel…

 

Verses 24-25: 24  “Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,

25  and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.”

 

Joseph married Mary, but he refrained from having sexual relations with her until after Jesus was born. This absolutely refutes the Catholic teaching that Mary was a virgin perpetually.

 

The word here is he “did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son”. We know that at least two of the writers of the New Testament, James and Jude, were the offspring of Joseph and Mary. Mary was not a perpetual virgin. She was, however, an extremely special woman. Regarding the life of Mary, there are two common views: She is either exalted too greatly, as I believe the Roman Catholic Church presents her, or she is not honored adequately, as I believe she appears in the Protestant Church. She is a blessed woman, indeed; but it is the One who came from her, Jesus, who is truly the Blessed One.

 

And we are blessed beyond measure the relationship we get to enjoy with God in Christ, or Immanuel.

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