Date: 20 December, 2015
Text: Matthew 1:19-25
Title: What Child is This?
I love the story of the calming of the Sea and the question posed by the disciples when they saw the sea cease from raging, " But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!" Matthew 8:27
Isaiah said about the son of God, "His name shall be called Wonderful...." He is full of wonder. People will marvel at this infant, this child and this man.
· At his birth - Luke 2:33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
· Throughout his ministry - Matthew 9:8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
· At his death - Matthew 27:14 And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.
Henry Bramley and John Stainer appropriately wrote a hymn entitled, "What Child is This?"
1. What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
2. Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and @#!*% are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
3. So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
So, what makes the birth of Jesus so miraculous and significant?
I. The purity of the birth of Jesus.
exp. Jesus birth was miraculous in it's protection from the sin of Adam.
· Adam has passed on a sin nature to all his children. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
· Adam's race is cursed by the fall.1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
· Jesus is not a son of Adam - but a son of God. Romans 5: 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
app. If Jesus was just another man, we would have a huge problem because of sin and the curse. The birth of Jesus by a virgin and a miraculous incarnation of God the Son is vital to our hope of eternal salvation. Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
question: And so in our passage, what assurances are there regarding the virgin birth?
A. Jesus had a different entry in the genealogical record.
15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;
16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
note: "begat" means to father a child.
quote: Believer's Bible Commentary "Of whom in English could be construed as referring to both Joseph and Mary. However, in the original Greek, whom is singular and in the feminine gender, thus indicating that Jesus was born of Mary, but not of Joseph."
app. Joseph is the adopted father. He is not the biological father of Jesus.
B. Jesus was conceived before Mary and Joseph were married.
18 ¶ Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
quote: Believer's Bible Commentary "In NT. times, betrothal was a form of engagement (but more binding than engagement today) and it could be broken only by divorce. Although an engaged couple did not live together until the marriage ceremony, unfaiithfulness on the part of the betrothed was treated as adultery and punishable by death.
note: To prevent any questioning of this, Jesus is conceived during their engagement period and before they had consumated their marriage.
C. Joseph assumed Mary's pregnancy was due to unfaithfulness.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
exp. This was concerning to Joseph who assumed the only possible natural explanation - How it was possible that such a sweet godly girl could sin and yet she was pregnant. Her condition would also cause him considerable shame as it would be assumed that he was the other one involved in her sin.
note: The faithfulness of Joseph is seen in his desire to protect Mary even when it appears that she has been unfaithful to him.
transition: Praise God - his hours of testing regarding this new revelation were short lived as God sent him Divine revelation regarding this birth.
D. Joseph received revelation of the virgin birth from God.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
exp. What a relief to the heart of Joseph! What a privilige to participate in raising the Son of God as the adoptive parent of Jesus!
app. We rejoice at Christmas that Jesus was born of a virgin. Jesus was the SON OF GOD not the Son of Adam. He was pure and he was a man. Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
II. The purpose of the birth of Jesus.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
exp. Because he is the Saviour from sin, we must ask - How does he save us from sin?
question: What are the dangers of sin - from which WE MUST be rescued?
A. He saves from the power of sin.
John 8: 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
ill. Witnessing to a man at a pub in Dundee. "I like driking/ smoking." I said, "You don't drink/ smoke because you want you - you drink because you have to. You are in bondage. Jesus died to set you free."
app. Friend, are you in bondage? Jesus has the power to save you and set you free. Will you trust Him for your deliverance?
B. He saves from the punishment of sin.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Revelation 20:14 And death and @#!*% were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
ill. Recently witnessing to a man in Bonnyrigg and him saying, "Then a lot of people are going to @#!*% ." I said, "Until we are saved, everyone is going to @#!*% ."
question: If it wasn't as bad as that, why would the sinless son of God come to a sin filled, sin cursed earth to die for the sins of the world?
ill. If you heard of a fantastic rescue operation where the person who released hundreds from death was himself killed, you would honor that man as a hero!
app. We worship Jesus because He has saved us from @#!*% and he can save YOU TOO. John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
C. He saves from the presence of sin.
exp. The day of sinlessness is coming when even the curse will be behind us.
1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
note: Sin hurts - ask a drug addict (or their spouse, children, parents) ask the gambler (or their spouse, parents children) ask the adulterer (or their spouse, children, parents etc.
app. Although someone is saved, there is still the present danger of sin and it's hurts. Until Jesus comes we have to fight against sin (with his help.)
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
transition: Jesus is the Saviour - is he your Saviour. Have you been saved from the power of sin, from the punishment of sin? Do you have the hope of being delivered in the future (heaven) from the presence of sin? Joseph must be marveling! What a baby conceived in Mary's womb who saves us from our sin!
III. The prophecies of the birth of Jesus.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
exp. 650 years earlier the prophet Isaiah had prophesied of the birth of Jesus. The Word of God says in Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Note: The world can slander the Bible by saying, "chinese whispers, legends, stories, etc." but they can never and will never disprove this book. 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God.
inspiration: "God breathed"
app. Whenever you read in the NT "that it might be fulfilled" you are graciously receiving divine authentication that this message is not from man but God!
A. Isaiah said that a virgin would give birth to a son.
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son,
note: The virgin birth was not a last minute plan. In fact, God knew what he would do before mankind ever sinned against him.
Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
exp. Our sin didn't suprise God. His love for us - should suprise us. He didn't creat robots. He gave us a will that allowed us to sin against him. But, the price of such a plan is immense because of the love of God.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
app. Do you love Him today? Surely you ought to chose to love a God who has loved you so much! He gave His Son for you.
B. Isaiah said that he would be God with us.
and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
exp. Don't listen to the JW's, Mormons and Muslims who say that Jesus is just a man or a prophet. Jesus is the God man. Jesus is Jehovah.
John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
app. (That is one of many proofs to the deity of Jesus.)
He is creator, he is equal with God, he is the Son of God, He is worshipped....
He is God with us. He is the God who so loved us that he became a man to die on the cross for us.
transition: How Joseph should marvel - In the womb of Mary was God in flesh. "God with us" The one who was spoken of by Isaiah whom a virgin would conceive.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
We marvel today in the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We marvel today....
Because of his purity.
He was conceived in the womb of a virgin.
Because of his purpose.
He came to save us from our sins.
Because of his prophecies.
He was declared 100's of years before he came.
What child is this?