Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of 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.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25 (NASB)
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We have been talking about dilemmas, Divine explanations and solutions, and Divine purposes this week in regard to the birth of Christ. We said that Divine conception (we will look at the virgin birth more closely beginning tomorrow) is more about the provision of a Divine Savior than it is about alleviating Joseph's dilemma. In order to understand Divine purposes as fully as possible we are going to consider "dilemmas" more fully today. We have connected the provision of a Divine Savior with Divine purposes but it is at the same time significantly connected with other "dilemmas" that we need to address.
In reality the lostness of humanity is a huge dilemma for each of us. The provision of a Divine Savior accomplishes Divine purposes and alleviates the dilemma of our being lost. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus came to "seek and to save that which was lost" and that God gave his Son to a lost humanity so that we "might not perish but have eternal life." This brings us to today's Scripture, "and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Is saving people from their sins really all about alleviating the dilemma of our being ones who are "lost" and are therefore "perishing?" No, it is not! There is one more dilemma we need to look at.
The birth of Christ gives Jesus to the world and he saves his people from their sins. He does this, however, first and foremost for God's dilemma and not ours. Yes, he does it for our dilemma, but God's dilemma is paramount. Here is God's dilemma: he created mankind to exist for him, bring him glory, and accomplish his purposes, but because we are sinful and lost we exist for ourselves, bring ourselves glory, and accomplish our own purposes. Jesus Christ, our Divine Savior, saves his people from their sins to alleviate God's dilemma of not having humanity available for himself and for whatever he has in mind for them. The giving of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is God's means of reclaiming a lost humanity for himself, his glory, and his purposes.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I see how important my surrender and submission to you really are. I do want to exist for you and I am seeking for this to be true of my life. I realize that it is an ongoing kind of thing and something I need to be renewed in over and over again. So, I take my place before you today, Lord, as one who exists for you, your glory, and your purposes. Thank you for Jesus Christ, my Savior, who has saved me from my sins. Amen!
Posted on Wed, December 16, 2015
by Alan Porter