Matthew 1:18-25 (The Message)
The Birth of Jesus
18-19The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.) Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.
20-23While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—’God saves’—because he will save his people from their sins.” This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term:
Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son;
They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”).
24-25Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus.
Alright. So, The Gospel of Matthew begins in 1:1 with an account of the genealogy of Jesus. I didn’t feel it necessary to post it here [however, if you are interested, click here–> http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%201:%201-17&version=MSG ]
**I read it in the New Revised Standard Version as well, whereas this and the other link(s) provide the Message]. I just want to share a quick thought about this.
This genealogy names the fathers of this lineage. I suppose patriarchal society would have it be so. I read this in awe because it seems apparent that today, many of us don’t even know the names of our fathers to place them properly in our genealogy. However, let me remind us all that even when we find gaps in our genealogy due to absence or neglect or not wanting to name those who never lived up to the position granted to them because of our birth…from one to the next…there is always the ‘afterbirth’. [afterbirth=what is, after a birth] Anyone ready for newness of life? It doesn’t matter if your parents’ names are missing, know that there is still lineage to come after your birth. I would hope that we wouldn’t allow our names to be gaps in the genealogy of those who come after us. Live for the afterbirth. Be the beginning of a new genealogy-without name vacancy. Be encouraged and live as God’s presence fills those voids.
What a quick thought?! I actually wanted to say something about Matthew 1: 18-21. I’ve found myself in circumstances that made me feel like Joseph. I’m not a man who discovers his wife is with child that he is not the father of, but I’ve been annoyed and embarrassed by the circumstances I’ve found myself in. I’ve even made up my mind that I would handle certain decisions, doubts & struggles quietly (to save myself from the shame of being open and honest by sharing what I’ve been through so that others could learn from my mistakes and testimony).
I love verse 20 because hope comes and hinders hiding, “While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream…” Joseph was trying to find a way of escape (as he struggled to find a way out-he had a dream). As he was trying to figure it out, during his dilemma, he had a dream. God came in this dream and didn’t give Joseph ‘the okay’ to do what he had determined, but God came to let Joseph know that He knew his thoughts. God knew what Joseph had only thought of, he hadn’t spoken about it or disclosed it to anyone else but God came in the midst of Joseph’s desire for escape and gave him instruction(s) on how to handle what he found himself facing.
After Joseph awakened, (after he had received instruction, he obeyed) he did what God’s angel had spoken in his dream (his way of escape from his own determination to accomplish what he once feared). God assured Joseph that everything to follow in his genealogy would be-if he obeyed. God sent this dream as a command and not as a comment. Verses 24-25, allows us to see what comes of obedience. It also shows that when Joseph does what God commands, his plan was still accomplished-he married Mary (without any shame and fear of ridicule) and his wife bore a son and he named him Jesus.
Before you embrace your own entrance to escape, seek the One who knows your thoughts and the future of every afterbirth. If you escape, there is always the chance that you will be captured, later, by what you once faced but when you follow the dream or instruction of God who saw you through other frustrations and fears, your lineage will last (continue).
Let’s live like there is afterbirth to come from us. We can live as the establishment of a different kind of genealogy…no vacancies…no ways of escape…but one in which our lifestyles establish new life!
Be encouraged by and accountable for the continuation of your genealogy.