Summary: A consideration of Isaiah 7:13-16 and its fulfillment in Jesus, as described in Matt 1:18-23
TITLE - Jesus: God With Us And For Us
SERIES - Matthew’s Portrait of Jesus As The Fulfillment of God’s Promises (Sermon #2)
TEXT - Matthew 1:18–23
DATE PREACHED - February 2, 2009
COPYRIGHT © JOE LA RUE, 2009
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
A. Hook: A favorite literary device of authors, playwrights, and screen writers is that of the hero who shows up just in the nick of time. You’ve read books or seen movies like this. Just when everything seems lost and all hope is gone and disaster is imminent, the hero arrives to save the day.
1. ILL: As thrilling as this is in fiction, it’s even more thrilling when it happens for real. Just ask Mike Robinson. He is a maintenance worker for United Airlines at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. He had just left work and was on his way home, very early in the morning of January 13, when a tire on his car blew out. He lost control of the car, jumped a median, and slammed into a ditch, where the car immediately burst into flames. Robinson remembers trying to get his door open, but it was jammed. Then, as flames began to rise around him, he lost consciousness.
Del Wolfgramm is another airport worker who was working in a hanger near where the accident occurred. He just happened to be stepping outside at the very moment the car jumped the median. Seeing the accident, he ran to the car. As the flames engulfed it, Wolfgramm pried the jammed door open and pulled Mike Robinson from certain death.
When he was later interviewed, Robinson called Wolfgramm his hero and said, “He saved my life.” And, indeed he did.
(Scott Gordon, Rescued Man: “I Thank Him With My Life”, NBCDFW News (January 14, 2009), available at http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Rescued-ManI-Thank-Him-With-My-Life.html (last visited January 27, 2009)).
2. When Mike Robinson was in that car, trying desperately to escape the flames that were encircling him, everything must have seemed lost. All hope must have been gone and death must have seemed imminent. And then, out of nowhere, a hero arrived to save the day.
B. Today we are going to talk about another hero who arrived just in the nick of time. Only, this one didn’t just happen to be in the right place at the right time, as was the case with the airport worker. No, this one was deliberately sent, by God, in order to fulfill His promise. And of course, the hero I’m speaking about is Jesus.
1. We are continuing this week with a study we began last Sunday, in which we are looking at the Gospel of Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises. As I explained last week, eleven different times Matthew tells us about something Jesus did or something Jesus said, and they explains how that action or those words fulfilled something God had promised long ago. And Matthew does this to underscore for us that Jesus really is the hero that God promised to send into our world to save us. He really is the one.
2. This morning we are considering the first of those promises. If you have your Bibles, open up to Matthew 1:18–23. In this passage, Matthew explains that Jesus’s birth, and the circumstances which led to it, are the fulfillment of a promise that God made some 700 years earlier to send a Savior to deliver us from danger. Read it with me. Matthew 1:18–23. The Bible says,
"18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, ‘God with us.’" (Matt 1:18–23, New International Version).
And, of course, you know ‘the rest of the story.’ Joseph married Mary, as the angel told him to, and she gave birth to a baby boy. And they named that baby boy Jesus, which in their language meant, “Savior.” And it all took place this way, Matthew tells us, so that God could keep the promise that he made long ago through one of His prophets, in this case, Isaiah.