Matthew 1:18 -25
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together…
I. SUPERNATURAL ORIGIN OF THE HUMAN NATURE OF OUR LORD. He who came to be a new Head and Source of life to humanity could scarcely be the product of the old stock. All other men have sprung from Adam; all that has appeared in humanity is the evolution of what was in the first man. No new blood has been infused into the race. But in Christ a new beginning is made. As a matter of fact, he has never been accounted for by natural causes. His distinctive character among men requires an unusual, exceptional origin. "If by close historical scrutiny or critical questioning we fail to resolve the miraculous character of Jesus - the ultimate fact of Christianity - into the common, known elements of our human nature; if the laws of heredity prove insufficient to explain his generation; then the further question will at once arise whether there may not be other than natural elements present in human history which come to their perfect flower in Jesus of Nazareth? whether we may not find in the laws and forces of a supernatural evolution the sufficient explanation of his miraculous Person?" Expand by showing how neither Hebrew nor Gentile influences account for Jesus, and by showing the originality of the character and plan of Jesus, his sinlessness, his authority, his self-assertion.
II. THE TRUE HUMANITY OF JESUS. The Son of God did not come and assume for a year or two the appearance of a man in his prime. He was born a human Child, as truly human as any of us, with all human appetites, necessary emotions, and liabilities. Human birth ushers human beings into an existence out of which they cannot retire. So it was with our Lord. He lived under the limitations and restrictions which necessarily attend human nature. His was a real humanity. "He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one." We think of him as for the most part a spectator marking the conduct of others and caring for them, but having no righteousness of his own to maintain and continue. We are very conscious of the difficulties of the sanctified, but are apt to forget that he who sanctifies had the same temptations and the same difficulties. He as well as they had to watch and pray, to cry for aid and for relief, to put from him the views of the world which tempted him to abandon his high purpose. Miraculous birth is not necessarily an incarnation of God. But no miraculous birth recorded in the Bible was produced similarly to this. And the preparation thus made for the Incarnation is obvious. The mode of the Incarnation, as well as much else regarding it, is obscure; but it rosy be right to point here to one or two of its chief lessons or results.
1. Jesus is a Divine Person. That self which has ever been the same in all its acts is Divine. He may act now through his human nature - eating, sleeping, dying - or he may act through his Divine nature; but he who does so is not a man, but God the Son. What we find in Christ is God furnishing himself with a human body, mind, and soul, through and in which he as truly lives and works as through and in his Divine nature. Being the same Person after his incarnation as before, he took our nature "that he might taste death for every man;" that he might, that is, he who was already existing before he became Man. His Divine nature could not die, but he means to taste death, and therefore takes a nature which can suffer death. In that death on the cross no person died but the Son of God.
2. Another lesson of the Incarnation, if not of the Nativity, is too important to overlook. If we would learn how to benefit our fellow-men, we must study our Lord's method. Looking upon us who were infinitely beneath him, and desiring to bring us up more nearly to his level, he saw that the way to do so was to become one of us; to come among us and share with us in all but sin. There is probably more in this example than we are always willing to admit. We speak of raising the masses. One would take Christ's way of doing so who should himself become a sharer in their condition; who should give up his own pleasant, healthy residence and live among those he desires to benefit; who should give up his own lucrative profession and engage in the same kind of labour they are engaged in; who should put himself, with his education, his right views of what life should and might be, at their disposal; and should thus be among them a continua[ example and help. He would thus make their wrongs his own wrongs, and as he raised himself raise his class. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.