Matthew 1:23

There is some obscurity as to the primary intention of these words as they appear in the narrative of Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14); but the fitness of their application to Christ, now that he has come to fill in their meaning, makes the first use of them of small moment to us. For us they are a description of the birth and nature of our Lord.

I. THE VIRGIN-BIRTH. We may be sure that it was not in order to throw any discredit on the sanctity of marriage that God so ordered it that his Son should be born from a virgin, The New Testament honours marriage as truly as the Old Testament; and St. Paul, who is sometimes regarded as unfriendly to it, describes it as like the union of Christ with his Church. What, then, is the significance of the virgin-birth?

1. A mystery. It is right and reasonable that he who comes from the bosom of the Father should enter this world under circumstances that we cannot understand. Nevertheless, we may see to some extent what this means.

2. A miracle. Men of science have pointed out that this miracle is not so difficult to believe in as many others, because parthenogenesis is known in nature, though it is not found among men. Here, then, is something beyond the range of what happens in human experience, yet according to the known working of God in other spheres.

3. A holy birth. This is not the case because virginity is in any way more holy than marriage. Nevertheless, it has occurred to many that possibly the transmission of seeds of evil may have been avoided by this miracle. At all events, we know the fact that Christ was perfectly pure and stainless from his birth.

II. THE DIVINE NATURE. The human name of our Lord is "Jesus" - a name that describes his work on earth. His prophetic name is "Immanuel," one that reveals the deeper mystery of his mission.

1. The fact. In Jesus Christ we see the union of God and man. God is no longer a distant Being seated on his throne above the heavens. He has descended to this earth. It is difficult to think of God as the Infinite One who inhabits eternity; the very idea is so vast that it seems to melt away into vagueness. It is intangible; we cannot lay hold of it. But Christ we can see and understand. In Christ God looks at us with human eyes, speaks to us in an earthly tongue, touches us with a brother's hand. That this is so we can believe, not because we are informed of the doctrine of the Incarnation on authority, but just because, when we come to know Christ for ourselves, we can see God in him.

2. The grace. This great truth lies at the foundation of the gospel. All Christianity is built on the Incarnation. Although men may deliver one another from minor ills, only God can save from sin. Therefore, if Jesus is a Saviour in the deepest sense of the word, he must be God as well as man. But this is only one side of the subject, he must be also "God with us" - as the Fathers represented it, the hand of God outstretched. He saves us by bringing God into us. - W.F.A.

I. Christ came AS GOD WITH MAN.

1. To live with man.

2. With man, to die for him.

3. With man, to rise from the dead for him.

4. With man, to ascend and intercede for him.


1. He is with them in their lives.

2. In their labours.

3. In their trials and afflictions.

4. In their worship. In death and in glory.

(C. H. Wetherbe.)

1. The IMPORTANCE OF THE EVENT TO which Isaiah looks forward, and which the evangelist describes as fulfilled.

1. The occurrence was of a preternatural character. To raise us from degradation Christ Himself must be sinless. Evil had descended. How was this fatal entail to be cut off? The virgin birth was the answer.

2. Christ's birth marked the entrance into the sphere of sense and time of One who had existed from eternity.

3. No other birth has ever involved such important consequences to the human race.

II. The CONTRAST between the real and the apparent importance of Christ's birth. The kingdom of God had entered into history without observation. Caesar's palace seemed to be more important to the world than the manger. The apparent is not always the real.

III. What is the PRACTICAL MEANING of this birth to us, and what relation have we to Him who, for the love of us, was born of the virgin?

(Canon Liddon.)

I. The world expected an Emmanuel.

II. God was preparing the world for the coming of Emmanuel.

III. The world could not produce the Emmanuel.

IV. As the Emmanuel was the goal of ancient, so He is the starting-point of modern history.

(J. C. Jones)

The mariner's compass has been known in China for thousands of years; nevertheless, for the most part of that time it was but little better than a toy — the Chinese mind was not educated enough to estimate its value. Only a few centuries ago the compass became a blessing to mankind, because only a few centuries ago we attained the intellectual state requisite to apprehend its usefulness. And did the Incarnation take place in the days of Abraham, or of Moses, or of David, it would have been an idle, purposeless miracle, so far as its human aspect is concerned, and Christ would have died in vain.

(J. C. Jones.)

1. Humanity needed a Saviour.

2. The Mediator was to come in the purity and the power of sinless human character.

3. We, as a part of the human world, must join in this longing of human hearts for a Christ.

4. When this yearning of mankind was taken up into the guidance and inspiration of God it became prophecy.

5. These things are a declaration of the one fact which lies, central and life-giving, at the heart of all our Christian thoughts and hopes.

6. We come short of the full grandeur of the gospel when we take the clause, "God with us," as signifying only one among us — a Deity moving among individuals, outside of them all, and, however friendly and gracious, still an external Person, saving them only by a work wrought all above them.

7. Then, too, it will begin to appear what Christ's own people may be, acknowledging their membership, confirmed and alive in His body.

(Bishop Huntingdon,.)Let Him be one of us, that we may be one in Him.

(J. C. Jones.)

I. We know, in consequence of the revelations made by Christ, that God is so with us, so near to us, that OUR VERY EXISTENCE IS EVERY MOMENT UPHELD BY HIM. We exist not by chance, etc.; but whatever subordinate causes may be employed, they all derive their efficacy from Him.

II. We know, too, from the incarnation and doctrine of Christ, that God is with us, not as individuals merely, BUT WITH OUR WORLD, and that also in the way of special grace. He is in the world, not to exhibit His power merely, but that the world of men may be redeemed, etc.

III. In Christ we see that God was with us, IN OUR VERY NATURE, to accomplish our redemption.

IV. Though ascended into heaven, HE is STILL "GOD WITH US," by the invisible but mighty influence which He exerts.

V. God is with us, in condescension and special grace, DURING THE WHOLE COURSE OF DISCIPLINE to which He subjects us. Is Christ our Emmanuel?

(R. Watson.)

A Moravian missionary once went to the West Indies, to preach to the slaves. He found it impossible for him to carry out his design so long as he bore to them the relation of a mere missionary. They were driven into the field very early in the morning, and returned late at night with scarcely strength to roll themselves into their cabins, and in no condition to be profited by instruction. They were savage toward all of the race and rank of their masters. He determined to reach the slaves by becoming himself a slave. He was sold, that he might have the privilege of working by their side, and preaching to them as he worked with them. Do you suppose the master or the pastor could have touched the hearts of those miserable slaves as did that man who placed himself in their condition, and went among them, and lived as they lived, suffered as they suffered, toiled as they toiled, that he might carry the gospel to them? This missionary was but following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who took on Him the nature of men, came among them, and lived as they lived, that He might save them from their sins.

(Beecher.)In what sense is Christ GoD WITH US? In His incarnation united to our nature — God with man — God in man. He is God with us to comfort, enlighten, protect, and defend us in time of temptation and trial, and in the hour of death, and God with us, and in us, and we with and in Him to all eternity.

(A. Clarke. LL. D.)Behold at once the deepest mystery and the richest mercy. By the light of nature we see the eternal as a God above us: by the light of the law we see Him as a God against us; but, by the light of the gospel, we see Him as a God with us, reconciled to us, at peace with us, interested for us, interceding in our behalf. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!

(Dr. Hughes.)

Abia, Abihud, Abijah, Abiud, Achaz, Achim, Ahaz, Aminadab, Amminadab, Amon, Amos, Aram, Asa, Azor, Bathsheba, Boaz, Booz, David, Eleazar, Eliakim, Eliud, Emmanuel, Esrom, Ezekias, Hezekiah, Hezron, Immanuel, Isaac, Jacob, Jechonias, Jeconiah, Jehoram, Jehoshaphat, Jesse, Jesus, Joatham, Joram, Josaphat, Joseph, Josiah, Josias, Jotham, Judas, Manasseh, Manasses, Mary, Matthan, Naasson, Nahshon, Obed, Ozias, Perez, Phares, Pharez, Rachab, Rahab, Rehoboam, Roboam, Ruth, Sadoc, Salathiel, Salmon, Shealtiel, Solomon, Tamar, Thamar, Uriah, Urias, Uzziah, Zadok, Zara, Zarah, Zerah, Zerubbabel, Zorobabel
Babylon, Bethlehem
Bear, Behold, Birth, Bring, Child, Conceive, Emmanuel, Forth, Immanuel, Interpreted, Maiden, Mark, Signifies, Translated, Virgin
1. The genealogy of Jesus from Abraham to Joseph.
18. He is miraculously conceived of the Holy Spirit by the Virgin Mary.
19. The angel satisfies the doubts of Joseph,
21. and declares the names and office of Jesus;
25. Jesus is born

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 1:23

     2018   Christ, divinity
     2078   Christ, sonship of
     2203   Christ, titles of
     2366   Christ, prophecies concerning
     2515   Christ, birth of
     4966   present, the
     5099   Mary, mother of Christ
     5669   children, examples

Matthew 1:18-23

     5652   babies

Matthew 1:18-25

     2515   Christ, birth of
     5099   Mary, mother of Christ
     5663   childbirth
     5702   husband
     5740   virgin

Matthew 1:20-23

     2423   gospel, essence

Matthew 1:22-23

     1450   signs, kinds of
     9170   signs of times

Genealogy of Jesus According to Matthew.
^A Matt. I. 1-17. ^a 1 The book of the generation [or genealogy] of Jesus Christ, the son of David [the Messiah was promised to David--II. Sam. vii. 16; John vii. 42], the son of Abraham. [Messiah was also promised to Abraham--Gen. xxii. 18; Gal. iii. 16.] 2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judah and his brethren [mentioned here because they were the heads of the tribes for whom especially Matthew wrote his Gospel]; 3 and Judah begat Perez and Zerah [these two were twins]
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Annunciation to Joseph of the Birth of Jesus.
(at Nazareth, b.c. 5.) ^A Matt. I. 18-25. ^a 18 Now the birth [The birth of Jesus is to handled with reverential awe. We are not to probe into its mysteries with presumptuous curiosity. The birth of common persons is mysterious enough (Eccl. ix. 5; Ps. cxxxix. 13-16), and we do not well, therefore, if we seek to be wise above what is written as to the birth of the Son of God] of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed [The Jews were usually betrothed ten or twelve months
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Nativity of Jesus the Messiah.
SUCH then was the hope of the promise made of God unto the fathers,' for which the twelve tribes, instantly serving (God) night and day,' longed - with such vividness, that they read it in almost every event and promise; with such earnestness, that it ever was the burden of their prayers; with such intensity, that many and long centuries of disappointment have not quenched it. Its light, comparatively dim in days of sunshine and calm, seemed to burn brightest in the dark and lonely nights of suffering,
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Annunciation of Jesus the Messiah, and the Birth of his Forerunner.
FROM the Temple to Nazareth! It seems indeed most fitting that the Evangelic story should have taken its beginning within the Sanctuary, and at the time of sacrifice. Despite its outward veneration for them, the Temple, its services, and specially its sacrifices, were, by an inward logical necessity, fast becoming a superfluity for Rabbinism. But the new development, passing over the intruded elements, which were, after all, of rationalistic origin, connected its beginning directly with the Old Testament
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Two means of proof--miracles and the accomplishment of prophecies--could alone, in the opinion of the contemporaries of Jesus, establish a supernatural mission. Jesus, and especially his disciples, employed these two processes of demonstration in perfect good faith. For a long time, Jesus had been convinced that the prophets had written only in reference to him. He recognized himself in their sacred oracles; he regarded himself as the mirror in which all the prophetic spirit of Israel had read the
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

The Synoptists.
(See the Lit. in § 78.) The Synoptic Problem. The fourth Gospel stands by itself and differs widely from the others in contents and style, as well as in distance of time of composition. There can be no doubt that the author, writing towards the close of the first century, must have known the three older ones. But the first three Gospels present the unique phenomenon of a most striking agreement and an equally striking disagreement both in matter and style, such as is not found among any three
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

The Perpetual virginity of Blessed Mary.
Against Helvidius. This tract appeared about a.d. 383. The question which gave occasion to it was whether the Mother of our Lord remained a Virgin after His birth. Helvidius maintained that the mention in the Gospels of the "sisters" and "brethren" of our Lord was proof that the Blessed Virgin had subsequent issue, and he supported his opinion by the writings of Tertullian and Victorinus. The outcome of his views was that virginity was ranked below matrimony. Jerome vigorously takes the other side,
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

Faustus Recurs to the Genealogical Difficulty and Insists that Even According to Matthew Jesus was not Son of God Until his Baptism. Augustin Sets Forth the Catholic view of the Relation of the Divine and the Human in the Person of Christ.
1. Faustus said: On one occasion, when addressing a large audience, I was asked by one of the crowd, Do you believe that Jesus was born of Mary? I replied, Which Jesus do you mean? for in the Hebrew it is the name of several people. One was the son of Nun, the follower of Moses; [971] another was the son of Josedech the high priest; [972] again, another is spoken of as the son of David; [973] and another is the Son of God. [974] Of which of these do you ask whether I believe him to have been
St. Augustine—writings in connection with the Manichæan controversy

The King in Exile
'And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him. 14. When he arose, he took the young child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt; 15. And was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Mary, Future Mother of Jesus, visits Elisabeth, Future Mother of John the Baptist.
(in the Hill Country of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 39-56. ^c 39 And Mary arose in these days [within a week or two after the angel appeared to her] and went into the hill country [the district of Judah lying south of Jerusalem, of which the city of Hebron was the center] with haste [she fled to those whom God had inspired, so that they could understand her condition and know her innocence--to those who were as Joseph needed to be inspired, that he might understand--Matt. i. 18-25], into a city
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Gospel of Matthew
Matthew's Gospel breaks the long silence that followed the ministry of Malachi the last of the Old Testament prophets. This silence extended for four hundred years, and during that time God was hid from Israel's view. Throughout this period there were no angelic manifestations, no prophet spake for Jehovah, and, though the Chosen People were sorely pressed, yet were there no Divine interpositions on their behalf. For four centuries God shut His people up to His written Word. Again and again had God
Arthur W. Pink—Why Four Gospels?

Christ the Mediator of the Covenant
'Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant,' &c. Heb 12:24. Jesus Christ is the sum and quintessence of the gospel; the wonder of angels; the joy and triumph of saints. The name of Christ is sweet, it is as music in the ear, honey in the mouth, and a cordial at the heart. I shall waive the context, and only speak of that which concerns our present purpose. Having discoursed of the covenant of grace, I shall speak now of the Mediator of the covenant, and the restorer of lapsed sinners, Jesus the Mediator
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Against Jovinianus.
Book I. Jovinianus, concerning whom we know little more than is to be found in the two following books, had published at Rome a Latin treatise containing all, or part of the opinions here controverted, viz. (1) "That a virgin is no better as such than a wife in the sight of God. (2) Abstinence is no better than a thankful partaking of food. (3) A person baptized with the Spirit as well as with water cannot sin. (4) All sins are equal. (5) There is but one grade of punishment and one of reward in
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus.
(at Nazareth, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 26-38. ^c 26 Now in the sixth month [this is the passage from which we learn that John was six months older than Jesus] the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth [Luke alone tells us where Mary lived before the birth of Jesus. That Nazareth was an unimportant town is shown by the fact that it is mentioned nowhere in the Old Testament, nor in the Talmud, nor in Josephus, who mentions two hundred four towns and cities of Galilee. The
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name IMMANUEL , God with us. T here is a signature of wisdom and power impressed upon the works of God, which evidently distinguishes them from the feeble imitations of men. Not only the splendour of the sun, but the glimmering light of the glow-worm proclaims His glory. The structure and growth of a blade of grass, are the effects of the same power which produced the fabric of the heavens and the earth. In His Word likewise He is
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

The Tragic Break in the Plan.
The Jerusalem Climate: the contrasting receptions, Luke 2. the music of heaven, Job 38:6, 7. Luke 2:13, 14. pick out the choruses of Revelation, the crowning book.--the after-captivity leaders, see Ezra and Nehemiah--ideals and ideas--present leaders--Herod--the high priest--the faithful few, Luke 2:25, 38. 23:51. The Bethlehem Fog: Matthew 1 and 2. Luke 2. a foggy shadow--suspicion of Mary--a stable cradle--murder of babes--star-students--senate meeting--a troubled city-flight--Galilee. The
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus

The Prophecy of Obadiah.
We need not enter into details regarding the question as to the time when the prophet wrote. By a thorough argumentation, Caspari has proved, that he occupies his right position in the Canon, and hence belongs to the earliest age of written prophecy, i.e., to the time of Jeroboam II. and Uzziah. As bearing conclusively against those who would assign to him a far later date, viz., the time of the exile, there is not only the indirect testimony borne by the place which this prophecy occupies in
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The Holy Spirit and the Incarnation of the Word. ...
The Holy Spirit and the Incarnation of the Word. We are so familiar with the part assigned in our Creeds to the Holy Spirit in connection with our Lord's birth, that the passage now to be quoted from Justin may at first sight seem very surprising. It may be well to approach it by citing some words from the learned and orthodox Waterland, who in 1734, in his book on The Trinity (c. vi: Works, III, 571: Oxford, 1843), wrote as follows in reference to a passage of St Irenæus: "I may remark by
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

A Cloud of Witnesses.
"By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a-dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when his end was nigh, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.... By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been compassed about for seven days. By faith Rahab the harlot perished not with them that were disobedient,
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

Commentary on Matthew. Introduction.
According to Eusebius (H. E. vi. 36) the Commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew were written about the same time as the Contra Celsum, when Origen was over sixty years of age, and may therefore be probably assigned to the period 246-248. This statement is confirmed by internal evidence. In the portion here translated, books x.-xiv., he passes by the verses Matt. xviii. 12, 13, and refers for the exposition of them to his Homilies on Luke (book xiii. 29). Elsewhere, he refers his readers for a fuller
Origen—Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

The Disciple, -- Master, in These Days Some Learned Men and their Followers Regard Thy...
The Disciple,--Master, in these days some learned men and their followers regard Thy atonement and the redemption by blood as meaningless and futile, and say that Christ was only a great teacher and example for our spiritual life, and that salvation and eternal happiness depend on our own efforts and good deeds. The Master,--1. Never forget that spiritual and religious ideas are connected less with the head than with the heart, which is the temple of God, and when the heart is filled with the presence
Sadhu Sundar Singh—At The Master's Feet

The Birth of Jesus.
(at Bethlehem of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke II. 1-7. ^c 1 Now it came to pass in those days [the days of the birth of John the Baptist], there went out a decree [a law] from Cæsar Augustus [Octavius, or Augustus, Cæsar was the nephew of and successor to Julius Cæsar. He took the name Augustus in compliment to his own greatness; and our month August is named for him; its old name being Sextilis], that all the world should be enrolled. [This enrollment or census was the first step
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Like one of Us.
"But a body Thou hast prepared Me."-- Heb. x. 5. The completion of the Old Testament did not finish the work that the Holy Spirit undertook for the whole Church. The Scripture may be the instrument whereby to act upon the consciousness of the sinner and to open his eyes to the beauty of the divine life, but it can not impart that life to the Church. Hence it is followed by another work of the Holy Spirit, viz., the preparation of the body of Christ. The well-known words of Psalm xl. 6, 7: "Sacrifice
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Commencement of the Legends Concerning Jesus --His Own Idea of his Supernatural Character.
Jesus returned to Galilee, having completely lost his Jewish faith, and filled with revolutionary ardor. His ideas are now expressed with perfect clearness. The innocent aphorisms of the first part of his prophetic career, in part borrowed from the Jewish rabbis anterior to him, and the beautiful moral precepts of his second period, are exchanged for a decided policy. The Law would be abolished; and it was to be abolished by him.[1] The Messiah had come, and he was the Messiah. The kingdom of God
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

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