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The Prophecy Fulfilled (Matthew 1:18-25)

First Baptist Church http://fbcbartow.org

“The Prophecy Fulfilled”

(Matthew 1:18-25)

Series: God’s Fulfilled Promise [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

July 15, 2018

Introductory Comments:

What is unique about Jesus? Have you ever thought about that?

(pause)

One of the unique factors about Jesus is the prediction of His birth and how His actual birth came about. 

Remember, Matthew seeks to demonstrate in his gospel that Jesus is the unique fulfillment of God’s promise. 

We learned last week that Jesus was from the line of David and from the line of Abraham. He was the fulfillment of the promise that God gave hundreds and hundreds of years before His birth. 

Now, Matthew is laying out how the events actually happened. 

In this passage he focuses particularly on one major prophecy that was fulfilled in Jesus’ birth. 

Let’s look at the passage. 

Turn to Matthew chapter 1, starting in verse 18. 

Read the Passage

Read Matthew 1:18-25

18 The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. 19 So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.

20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because 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 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.”

24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her 25 but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.

Let’s pray together.

(Prayer)

So, we have here Matthew’s account of how Jesus came to earth. 

Illustration: I like to know the origins of things. Did you know that duct tape was originally called duck tape? It was used in World War Two to keep water out of ammo boxes. After the war, people started using it on air ducts during the home construction boom, and it took on the name duct tape. Ironically, it’s not much good for air ducts because it becomes brittle and flammable over time. Now, people use it for pretty much everything besides air ducts. 

(pause) 

Origins matter. Matthew wants to make sure we understand the origins of Jesus. 

In looking at this passage we are going to examine four events that took place and see what we can learn from them.

Let us first look at . . .

I. Mary’s Pregnancy (vv. 18-19) [on screen]

Matthew says it, “came about this way.”

Matthew is essentially saying, “This is what you’ve heard about and I’m going to tell you how it really went down.”

Mary was engaged to Joseph; they were not yet married. 

This is not like the engagements that we have in modern American culture where we can just break it off. 

This was a betrothal. This was where families would agree to marry their daughter and their son and it was binding. 

The only way to get out of this was through death or divorce. It was basically as binding as marriage, although it was not yet marriage. 

There are two main reasons we need to understand how this engagement worked: 1). To understand that since they were not fully married yet, Mary was still a virgin. 2). To understand the serious steps that Joseph would have had to take to get out of the engagement.

So, they’re engaged, and then it is discovered that Mary is pregnant. 

Ok, we have a problem here. 

How many men can agree that if your fiancee is pregnant and you didn’t have any part in that, you have a problem?

However, the Scriptures tell us that it was from the Holy Spirit.

The fact that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit fits the end of the genealogy from the previous passage which states that Joseph was married to Mary who gave birth to Jesus. The genealogy never said Joseph was the biological father of Jesus.  

Joseph does not yet know that this child is from the Holy Spirit, which is why it is so problematic. 

Even though that this is a problem, Joseph is an honorable and righteous man and he doesn’t want to make it a bigger deal than it already is. 

Joseph was in a lose-lose situation. If he stayed with Mary, many would think that he was marrying an unfaithful adulterer, or that he himself was an adulterer. 

If he went public with the situation, Mary could have been stoned to death, as was the punishment for adultery at that time. 

So, he decided to divorce her as quietly as possible. 

This pregnancy is a messy situation that creates a lot of problems for everyone. 

As God often does with messy situations, He intervenes.

Notice, second, . . .

II. Joseph’s Dream (vv. 20-21) [on screen]

Look at verses 20 and 21 again. 

20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

After Joseph had considered these things. That is, after he had thought through it and made up his mind about what he wanted to do, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph. 

The angel speaks to Jesus in a dream. I don’t know how Joseph knew that the dream was really a message from God. I’ve had some crazy dreams that I sure hope aren’t really going to come true! However, Joseph somehow knew that this was really from God. 

The angel tells Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. 

Again, after considering whether to take her as his wife, he probably considered the potential outcomes. 

Yet, the angel reveals that there is another factor in the situation. 

Mary was not with another man. The child that she carried was conceived miraculously by the Holy Spirit of God. 

The angel further clarifies the situation by saying that Mary will have a son. He even provides a name for the baby boy: Jesus. 

The angel adds this statement, “because he will save his people from their sins.”

This statement doesn’t make any sense unless you know what Jesus means. 

First of all, Jesus is the Greek translation of the Hebrew name Yeshua, better known to us as Joshua. So, Jesus and Joshua are the same name. 

These names all mean, “The Lord Saves.”

In the very naming of this baby boy, God is proclaiming that He will bring salvation to His people. 

Indeed, the angel says that Jesus will bring salvation. 

Notice that the angel doesn’t say that Jesus will bring salvation from the Romans, or from oppression, but he says Jesus will bring salvation from sins. This is why Jesus came: to save us from our sins. 

God intervenes through the angel. He intervenes for Mary and Joseph and He intervenes for us. 

Next, Matthew connects the dots for us. He points us thirdly to . . .

III. Isaiah’s Prophecy (vv. 22-23) [on screen]

Let’s read verses 22 and 23 again. 

22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

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.”

Matthew is again telling us, “See! Jesus is the One! This is what was prophesied.”

This prophecy is from Isaiah 7:14. 

Matthew wants us to know that Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus and Mary was a virgin. Why is this important? 

First of all, it’s important because it’s miraculous. Mary became pregnant miraculously. God did not take physical form in order to be intimate with Mary. He miraculously put a baby in her womb. It was a miracle!

(pause)

Second, it’s important because it’s a fulfillment of a prophecy given by a prophet of the Lord hundreds of years before Jesus was born. 

That was significant to the Jewish people and it should be significant to us. 

The prophecy confirms that a virgin will become pregnant with a significant child. 

The prophecy says that his name will be Immanuel. 

Obviously, Jesus’ name was Jesus, not Immanuel. The name Immanuel spoke to who Jesus would be: “God with us.”

God Himself had decided to come down to mankind in the form of a human being to be with us. 

Finally, we see the . . .

IV. Jesus’ Birth (vv. 24-25) [on screen]

Look again at verses 24 and 25. 

24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her 25 but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.

First of all, we see that Joseph obeyed the angel of the Lord. 

This was risky. He had to step out in faith to do that. 

There’s a sermon just in verse 24. When the Lord calls you to obedience, even in the midst of difficulties, will you obey? Oh boy, that’s a sermon!

(pause)

So, Joseph married Mary, but was not intimate with her until after she gave birth to Jesus. 

This was probably a costly decision for Joesph. 

Think about it, others probably did not know about Joseph’s dream of the angel, or if they did they very well may not have believed him. 

Many probably thought that Joseph was marrying an adulterer, who was perhaps carrying someone else’s child. Yet, Joseph trusted God. 

When she did give birth to her son, they named Him Jesus; they named Him “The Lord Saves.”

All that Isaiah prophesied would come true. All that the angel told Joseph would come to pass did come to pass.

Jesus came to earth to save sinners. 

The unique birth of Jesus is one of the greatest miracles in all the Bible. We call the coming of Jesus as a human child, “The Incarnation.”

Jesus came as God incarnate; in human form. 

Because He was born from a woman, He was a human being. He could identify with us. He knew what it was like to be human. 

Because He was the Son of God, He was fully divine, possessing the fullness of God, as we will see later in the book of Matthew. 

He was 100% God and 100% human. 

David Platt says this of the incarnation:

There are other ways Jesus could have come into the world. On the one hand, if He had come without any human parent, then it would have been hard for us to imagine or believe that He could really identify with us. On the other hand, if He had come through two human parents—a biological mother and a biological father—then it would be hard to imagine how He could be fully God since His origin would have been exactly the same as ours.

However, Jesus did come as Matthew described. He came miraculously. He came in fulfillment of the prophecies and He came to save sinners.

Concluding Thoughts:

Matthew makes it clear that when God makes a promise, He intends to keep it; and Jesus was the fulfillment of the coming of the Messiah, through a virgin. 

God would continue to work out His promises through Jesus, the Messiah. 

That brings us to our bottom line:

Bottom Line: God’s promise of redemption would begin with the birth of Jesus.   [on screen]

(repeat)

God’s people were looking forward to this moment. They were waiting on a Redeemer. He had finally come. 

Today, we must also recognize that God is redeeming people through Jesus Christ. 

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Consider the impact of the birth of Jesus on your life.   [on screen]

How has your life been changed by the birth of Jesus Christ?

How are you different?

How would your life differ if Jesus had never come?

  1. Consider the impact of the birth of Jesus on our church.  [on screen]

Would our church look differently if Jesus had never come?

Could we carry on as we are now?

Where are we putting our energy, finances, and our passions as a church?

We must be changed by the coming of Jesus, and calling others to change because of the coming of Jesus!

Closing:

If you’ve not been changed by the power of Jesus, call out to Him today. 

If you’ve professed change because of Jesus, live that way starting today. 

(Gospel Presentation)

(Closing Prayer)

Invitation Song – Jesus Paid It All

Benediction:

Please be in prayer for VBS this week! Pray that God will bless our volunteers and draw children to Himself. 

Tonight we conclude our series, “On Mission Every Day.”  We will talk about some of the challenges related to living on mission and share some concluding thoughts. I hope you’ll join us at 5:30. 

Let’s dismiss by singing the Doxology. 

(Sing Doxology)

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