“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18 (ESV)
I have lived long enough to have witnessed extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary means “unusual or remarkable; unusually great; that which provides astonishment or admiration.” Circumstances mean “a fact; an occurrence or a condition.” I’m certain that you have also experienced extraordinary circumstances in your life. However, none can compare to what a young girl named Mary experienced.
May became involved in the birth of Jesus Christ; the long awaited Messiah. She most likely never expected to be. However, the LORD had other plans. The name Jesus means Savior. The title Christ means the Anointed One. Jesus of Nazareth was the Anointed One of God.
Mary was betrothed to a man named Joseph. Both of them may have been young teenagers. Betrothal in ancient Israel was in some ways like an engagement. It was called the Kuddushin. It lasted up to one year.
It was during a time prior to the consummation of their marriage. The wedding ceremony, known as the Huppa, had not yet occurred. In other words, Mary was still a virgin. Matthew writes, “…before they came together.”
“The phrase employed by the Evangelist, before they came together, is either a modest appellation for conjugal intercourse, or simply means before they came to dwell together as husband and wife and to make one and family. The virgin had not yet been delivered by her parents into the hands of her husband, but still remained under their roof,” states John Calvin.
“Jewish betrothal was as binding as modern marriage. A divorce was necessary to terminate the betrothal (v. 19) and the betrothed couple were regarded legally as husband and wife (v. 19)—although physical union had not yet taken place,” explains Dr. John MacArthur.
Matthew wrote nothing extraordinary about Mary up to this point. Then he states, “…she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.”
Mary became pregnant while remaining a virgin. The baby was conceived, or life generated, by the Holy Spirit. The cause of her condition was the powerful-life imparting creative work of God the Holy Spirit. There was nothing sordid about this miraculous conception. Mary knew this pregnancy occurred because the angel Gabriel told her this would happen (Luke 1:26-35). She also knew Joseph was not the biological father.
“The birth of Jesus was a fulfillment of Messianic prophecy (Isaiah 7:1-14). The people had been looking for a son of David, but not for Immanuel. Perhaps no one genuinely heard the prophecy; nevertheless, one was given (the fact that we are deaf does not mean God fails to speak),” explains commentator Daniel M. Doriani.
More to come. Have a blessed day in the LORD.
Soli deo Gloria!