Matthew 1:18-21 Christmas Begins with the Holy Spirit
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Christ was conceived by the will of God through the Holy Spirit, and not of man. His supernatural birth was a testimony of God’s divine involvement in the redemption of humanity. Christ’s conception through the Spirit in the womb of a woman speaks of His full deity and humanity. Jesus’ manner of birth and living becomes a model through which all believers must aspire to live.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way.
The Spirit specifically recorded the unconventional way that Christ was birthed into the world. First of all, Christ is conceived through the Holy Spirit without the union of Joseph. Many at that time would find it preposterous at the suggestion of a virgin birth. Secondly, it appears that Christ was born out of wedlock and that would certainly become a dishonor for the family. One could imagine the Child Jesus growing up with a stigma hanging over His head like a dark cloud. No one could imagine a man with such humble and insignificant beginnings but whose future could be so glorious. Jesus is a man born in an animal’s manger, He died as a criminal, and yet raised as the King of the universe.
Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
The angel appeared to Joseph to send a clear and an unambiguous message that Mary’s conception was none other than the Holy Spirit; she would conceive while a virgin. What then is the importance of the virgin birth? Firstly, the virgin birth shows that humanity needs redeeming that it can’t bring about for itself. The fact that the human race couldn’t produce its own redeemer implies that its sin and guilt are profound and that its savior must come from outside. Secondly, because Christ must be fully human as well as fully God, it necessitates the combination of both human and divine contribution to Christ’s birth. While Christ’s ordinary birth from a human mother attested to His full humanity, His conception through the Holy Spirit attested to His full deity.
The Holy Spirit causes a person to overcome all human limitations to become successful if he yields himself to Him. Jesus’ heritage and birth was considered disdainful by worldly standards. He was not considered as outstanding while a youth. But, when the Holy Spirit baptized Him at river Jordan, He began to do extraordinary exploits. His disciples were ordinary as well, unlearned and unpolished, but they turned the world inside out with the power of the Spirit. The ministry of Jesus and the Holy Spirit were inseparable. He was birthed by the Spirit, baptized by the Spirit, ministered by the Spirit, sacrificed on the cross by the Spirit, and resurrected by the Spirit.
Today, if we are baptized in the Spirit, we begin to live supernaturally like Christ did. All believers are rebirthed in our inner man through the Holy Spirit. Although we are conceived and birthed through our parents, but our inner man is birthed through the Holy Spirit. In a sense, after we are regenerated by water and the baptism of the Spirit, we are no different from Christ. Therefore, we are able to do what Christ did while in the flesh, and live the perfect life if we continue to yield ourselves to the Spirit’s rule.
- Do you constantly depend on your own strength to solve problems supposing no one would help you? Jesus’ dependence on the Spirit for all things including His very own conception teaches us to humble ourselves to depend on God for all our endeavors.
- Do you mentally play down your capabilities and potential for success? If Jesus who was born an ordinary man in an ordinary way can be successful by the help of the Spirit, you can be as well.
Dear Lord, although I am weak in many aspects, I believe you can make me more than what I am today. I ask you to do through me what you have done through your Son. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.