DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?
“…and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”… 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” Matthew 1:21-23
"…that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” The words of the angel must have sounded incredible to Joseph. An act of God was not what he had in mind for the crisis at hand! You can always explain remarkable healings, but a baby born without a human father was stretching things a bit. Or was it? If anything, the explanation of the angel was totally consistent with God’s ways with His people. Hadn’t God always intervened in ways beyond their expectation? Weren’t they also surprised by the parting of the Red Sea and the giving of the manna in the wilderness? Did God not bring forth creation from nothing? What’s more, the names to be given to the child affirm the character of the God Joseph worshipped.
“Jesus” is the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Joshua” which means “God is my salvation”. As the name reveals, God’s nature is always to rescue people from their helpless plight. Just as Joshua succeeded Moses and led Israel into the Promised Land, Jesus would now complete what the law of Moses pointed to but failed to accomplish - leading God’s people from slavery to sin into freedom. And God would do this personally. Foretold in Isaiah 7:14 and 8:8, through this baby “Emmanuel” God had now come to His people to bring about this act of salvation. Everything that had happened in the world and in the lives of countless individuals ever since this baby was born serve to further validate the incredible words of the angel.
The meaning of the angel’s message is still relevant to us today. God comes to us when human possibilities have run out; He remains active in our lives, at times even in ways beyond our human comprehension. The story of the virgin birth may be sneered by the world, but like Joseph, let us receive the angel’s words into our hearts: miracles still happen today.
Rev. David Lee