Going Above and Beyond
Conception and Birth of Jesus
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been [a]betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by [the power of] the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her [promised] husband, being a just and righteous man and not wanting to expose her publicly to shame, planned to send her away and divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the Child who has been [b]conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus (The Lord is salvation), for He will [c]save His people from their sins.” 22 All this happened in order to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the [d]prophet [Isaiah]: 23 “Behold, the [e]virgin shall be with child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”—which, when translated, means, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and he took Mary [to his home] as his wife, 25 but he kept her a virgin until she had given birth to a Son [her firstborn child]; and he named Him Jesus (The Lord is salvation).
- Matthew 1:18 The first stage of marriage (called shiddukin in Hebrew) in Jewish tradition and law, usually lasting for a year before the wedding night; unlike an engagement, it was legally binding and required a divorce to nullify it. The woman remained with her parents during the betrothal year and was referred to as a “wife” even though the marriage was not consummated during this period of time (cf Deut 22:23, 24).
- Matthew 1:20 Lit begotten.
- Matthew 1:21 Those who, by personal faith, accept Him as Savior are saved from the penalty of sin and reconciled with the Father.
- Matthew 1:22 The prophets in the Bible always have the ability to foretell the future as revealed to them by God. Scripture provides stringent criteria for testing a prophet’s ability to foretell future events (Deut 18:22).
- Matthew 1:23 “Virgin” (Gr parthenos) clearly confirms that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus.