What Jesus Did! 'Miraculous Scandal' — Matthew 1:18-19

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The mother of Jesus Christ was Mary. And this is how the birth of Jesus happened. Mary was engaged to marry Joseph. But before they married, Mary learned that she was pregnant with a child. Mary was pregnant by {the power of} the Holy Spirit. Mary's husband, Joseph, was a good man. He did not want to bring shame to Mary before the people. So he planned to divorce her secretly.
— Matthew 1:18-19
Illustration of Matthew 1:18-19 —  So he planned to divorce her secretly.

Key Thought

Imagine that the plan of God depends upon the faith of an engaged carpenter and a young virgin who finds herself pregnant. There is a quiet and faithful dignity that undergirds this whole miraculous scandal. In the face of the inexplicable and the scandalous, Joseph and Mary show themselves faithful and kind. This is a great reminder to us of how we should conduct ourselves when things concerning our friends and faith seem untidy, unclear, or unfair.

Today's Prayer

Faithful and righteous Father, thank you for the example of Joseph's kindness even though he was hurt and bewildered. Thank you for Mary's faithfulness, even though her challenge was inexplicable. Most of all, thank you for your faithfulness to your promises. In Jesus' mighty and holy name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The mother of Jesus Christ was Mary. And this is how the birth of Jesus happened. Mary was engaged to marry Joseph. But before they married, Mary learned that she was pregnant with a child. Mary was pregnant by {the power of} the Holy Spirit. Mary's husband, Joseph, was a good man. He did not want to bring shame to Mary before the people. So he planned to divorce her secretly. But after Joseph thought about this, an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream. The angel said, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to accept Mary to be your wife. The baby that is in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son. You will name the son Jesus. Give him that name because he will save his people from their sins." All this happened to make clear the full meaning of the things the Lord said through the prophet : "The virgin will be pregnant and will give birth to a son. They will name him Immanuel." (Immanuel means, "God with us.") When Joseph woke up, he did the thing that the Lord's angel told him to do. Joseph married Mary. But Joseph had no sexual union with Mary until she gave birth to the son. And Joseph named the son Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-25

Related Scripture Readings

We don't tell people about ourselves. But we tell people that Jesus Christ is Lord; and we tell people that we are your servants for Jesus. God once said, "The light will shine out of the darkness!" And this is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts. He gave us light by letting us know the glory of God that is in the face of Christ. We have this treasure {from God}. But we are only like clay jars that hold the treasure. This shows that this great power is from God, not from us.

2 Corinthians 4:5-7

Never stop loving. Always be loyal and true. {Make these things a part of yourself}—tie them around your neck and write them on your heart. Then you will be wise and pleasing to God and people!

Proverbs 3:3-4

In a large house there are things made of gold and silver. But also there are things made of wood and clay. Some things are used for special purposes. Other things are made for dirty jobs. The Lord wants to use you for special purposes. So make yourself clean from all those evil things. Then you will be holy, and the Master can use you. You will be ready to do any good work. Stay away from the evil things a young person wants to do. Try very hard to live right and to have faith, love, and peace. Do these things together with those people who have pure hearts and trust in the Lord.

2 Timothy 2:20-22

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.