Summary: What does that mean, that God is with us? God is faithful, God is powerful, God is love, God is present.

December 17 God with us Matthew 1:18-25

What does that mean, that God is with us?

1. God is faithful

Isaiah 41:10

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Isaiah 26:3

2. God is powerful

3. God is love

“Let Him into the mire and muck of our world. For only if we let Him in can He pull us out.” - Max Lucado

4. God is present

There’s a true story about a grade school class that was putting on a Christmas which included the story of Mary and Joseph coming to the inn. In that class was one little boy who wanted so very much to be Joseph, but when the parts were handed out, his biggest rival was given that part, and he was assigned to be the inn keeper instead. He was really bitter about this. So during all the rehearsals he kept plotting in his mind what he might do the night of performance to get even with his rival who was Joseph.

Finally, the night of the performance, Mary and Joseph came walking across the stage. They knocked on the door of the inn, and the inn-keeper opened the door and asked them gruffly what they wanted. Joseph answered, “We’d like to have a room for the night.” Suddenly the inn-keeper threw the door open wide and said, "Great, come on in and I’ll give you the best room in the house."

Joseph and Mary were stunned. This wasn’t the line they’d been expecting and suddenly the rest of the play was in jeopardy. For a few seconds poor little Joseph didn’t know what to do. There was a long silence but then, Joseph looked in the door past the inn-keeper and dramatically looked to the left and right, and then stepped back and said "No wife of mine is going to stay in dump like this. Come on, Mary, let’s go to the barn."

Matthew 1:18-25

When you think of it, Joseph is the silent character in this whole story. None of his words are recorded in Scripture. He’s no longer written into the script once Jesus reaches 12 yrs of age. And yet, Joseph had a front row seat to this great drama we call the Incarnation…explain

v.18 Matthew the tax collector, one of the12 disciples, undertakes the job of telling the story of the life and teaching and good news of Jesus. We call it a gospel because Jesus came telling of good fact He was the good news. Mark, Luke and John also wrote gospels, but only Matthew and Luke tell the events surrounding the birth of Jesus.

v.19 ‘righteous’ means upright, just; sensitive to the Law of Moses. Which explains his actions: when he discovers Mary is pregnant, he wants to follow the law so he has two choices: have her stoned, or divorce her. He could divorce her publically or privately. Because he was good man, he chose not to humiliate her and do it privately.

v.20 Now Joseph finds out the back story: no human had gotten her pregnant, but it was the result of some mysterious union between Mary and the Holy Spirit. This is critical of course because the seed of sin passes through the father to the child. This child would be without sin. Why? Next verse

v.21 You’re not going to name the boy after yourself; you’re not going to name the boy afte your favorite uncle, you’re not going to name Him after Justin Timberlake. He’ll have a unique name: Jesus. Because He’s going to save people from their sin. The name Jesus is the the conjunction of two words: Yahweh and salvation; Yeshua (Heb) Jesus: Yahweh saves

v.22 Matthew now steps into the narrative to quote the Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah. Matthew’s gospel was aimed at the Jews, so you’ll find Matthew, more than any other gospel writer, quoting OT scripture to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. So he inserts Isaiah 7:14

v.23 In case they were to miss the point, Matthew says to his readers, “Hey guys, this Jesus was the one that Isaiah mentioned that people will call Immanuel, God with us!” God with us! Not out there, but in our midst.

v.24 True to Joseph’s character, He did exactly what God told him to do.

The central point of the passage is v.23. So let’s re-read it together. Stand with me and read it out loud: 23 See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”

So many wonderful truths that come out of the realization God became one of us; God in the flesh; Immanuel, God with us.

What does that mean, that God is with us?

1. God is faithful

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