Joseph believed God, the baby inside Mary really was the son of God who was coming to save us all.
All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” Matthew 1.22-23
The Prophet Isaiah had predicted that a virgin would conceive hundreds of years before this all happened (Isaiah 7.14). God wasn’t making this up as he went along, he had a long-term rescue plan in place and Jesus was going to be the way that he would offer us salvation and away to know him.
‘They will call him Immanuel, which means God with us’.
This wasn’t just a promise for his birth. One of the last things Jesus said before going back to heaven was
‘I am with you always’.
Although he was physically leaving the Earth, Jesus wanted to reassure his followers that he would go on being ‘God with us’ as his Spirit remains at work in the world.
Have you ever met someone famous? If so, did you feel privileged or special in any way while you were with them?
It’s astonishing to realize that the God who created the universe wants to be ‘God with us’! Now that is a privilege!
If Jesus is still God with us, what difference should that make to our lives and the way we live? How might God’s presence shape, inspire, comfort and direct us?
This is a part of a series of short thoughts for advent to help us to consider the events surrounding the birth of Jesus as we prepare ourselves for Christmas. You can look at the other advent reflections by clicking here.
There is a post for each day in December leading up to Christmas day, so check back tomorrow as we look at the birth of John the Baptist.
You can read more about Joseph’s encounter with the angel in Matthew 1 starting at v18.