Private Made Public

Day 2
Genesis 3-4, Psalms 2, Matthew 1:18-25, Acts 1:12-26

Matthew 1:23 says,
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

As you know, that verse quotes the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, which says,
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

It is because Matthew quotes Isaiah 7:14 that we know without a doubt that the prophecy refers to Mary’s virginity at the time she became pregnant, a miraculous conception.

But as I read Matthew 1 this year, I noticed something else for the first time. The Isaiah verse predicts that “the virgin will…bear a son.”

As Isaiah prophesied over 700 years earlier, Mary remained a virgin until after giving birth, as attested by Matthew 1:24-25:

And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called his name Jesus. (emphasis mine)

During the first months of their marriage, Joseph and Mary waited to consummate their union until Jesus was born, and all those who studied the scriptures and eventually recognized that Jesus was Messiah were privy to the timetable of Joseph’s and Mary’s relationship. That such a private matter should be made public attests to God’s purpose in focusing attention on the baby born in Bethlehem. Nearly 2000 years later, Jesus’ identity is still an issue.

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