One Christmas, a mother decided she was no
longer going to remind her kids to send thank you
notes. Consequently, the kids’ grandmother never
received any thanks for the Christmas checks she
sent to the kids.
The very next Christmas, all the kids stopped by in
person to thank their grandmother for their checks.
When asked by a friend what caused this change in
behavior, the grandmother replied, “Simple. This
year I didn’t sign the checks.”
Today we are going to start our first of several Christmas
messages. The birth of Christ is of critical importance to
Christians and we should take time to remember why we
celebrate it every year. Our text comes from the first
chapter of Matthew.
Matthew mentions the betrothal of Joseph and Mary.
During this season a man and woman would live
separately until the wedding. However, they were still
described as husband and wife. The only way to
terminate the betrothal was by divorce or stoning.
It was during this betrothal period that it was found out
that Mary was pregnant.
Joseph knew he hadn’t been with her in that way, and
Mary also knew she hadn’t been with Joseph or anyone
else. So how could she be found pregnant?
Matthew tells us that the Holy Spirit had conceived in her
the Christ Child.
Why is the virgin birth so important?
Because it showed the Humanity of Jesus along with the
deity of Jesus. Jesus was both fully man and fully God.
Having an earthly mother showed the fact that Jesus was
truly human, not just spirit.
Having a heavenly Father removed the inherited sin that
was believed to be passed down from the father.
Because of the unusual nature of this conception, God
sent an angel to Joseph to help him understand this was
Joseph was considering his options and had settled on
divorcing Mary quietly when the angel appeared to him in
a dream and spoke to him. The angel told Joseph not to
be afraid to take Mary as his wife because the child was
conceived from the Holy Spirit. The angel also told
Joseph that he should name the child Jesus, because He
would save His people from their sins.
The name Jesus was a common name in that day.
It’s the same name as Joshua who was Moses’ successor.
It means Yahweh is Salvation.
What a fitting name, Jesus had come to earth in order to
save the people from their sin.
I Timothy 1:15 “The saying is trustworthy and
deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came
into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the
Philippians 2:9-10 “Therefore God has highly
exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is
above every name, so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and
under the earth, and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the
This is why we celebrate Christmas, Jesus came to save
us from our sins.
If he wasn’t born of a virgin He wouldn’t be able to
forgive us of our sin because He wouldn’t be God.
Now, let’s take a look at the rest of the verses.
God’s Promise Fulfilled
Matthew now mentions the fact that this was all part of
God’s plan. Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the
Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin
shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his
Here we see the continuation of the virgin birth concept
that Matthew has been writing about.
God gave the message to Isaiah hundreds of years before
the birth of Christ. When God makes a promise, God
keeps a promise. His word never returns void.
Some people like to argue about the word virgin.
They claim that it can mean a young lady of marriageable
age, but the truth is, she was a virgin and the Scripture
says that Joseph kept her that way until Jesus was born.
Again this is important, because if Mary wasn’t a virgin
then how could Jesus save anyone from their sin?
The Incarnation of Christ
Matthew explains that the name Immanuel means God
with us. Recall John’s words in John 1:14 “And the
Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we
have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from
the Father, full of grace and truth.”
This is the most exciting thing about Christmas.
Jesus came to earth to be near to His people.
And He will never leave or forsake us.
“By the light of nature we see God 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 Emmanuel, God with us.”
— Matthew Henry
We should keep in mind that Jesus has always existed.
Even though He put on flesh at His birth, He was with
God in the beginning. We can’t allow anyone to tell us
that Jesus began His existence at His birth. That is
contrary to the Scriptures.
Joseph believed the angel and did just as he was told.
He kept Mary a virgin and he named the child Jesus.
Some churches teach the perpetual virginity of Mary.
This isn’t true, because the Bible mentions the brothers
and sisters of Jesus. After the birth of Christ Joseph and
Mary had other children.
Yes, Mary was a virgin when Christ was born, but no she
didn’t stay that way. It’s important to read the Bible and
not just subscribe to the teachings and traditions that
people try to tell you. Check it out for yourself.
At Christmas, it’s always tempting to get caught up in the
giving and receiving of gifts.
Rather than focusing on the presents, we should be
focusing on the presence of Christ.
Enjoy the Presence of Christ
Jesus is the greatest gift of all.
How will you spend time in His presence this Christmas?