Today’s Tasting – Matthew 1; Luke 2: Israel’s Messiah will descend from the lineage of David. Isaiah’s prophecy of “Emmanuel-God with us” would be revealed to the world.
Joseph’s dream revealed that his fiancé, Mary, was with a child conceived by the Holy Spirit. The angel in Joseph’s dream encouraged Joseph to take Mary as his wife and love her and her son as his own son. Joseph was Jesus’ Step-Father. His name: Jesus-“Savior-Messiah, Immanuel” meant, “God with us.”
Luke 2 shares birth details of a Servant Savior in ministry by the power of God—the Holy Spirit. Caesar Augustus decreed that everyone must register in his own town. Joseph, descendant of the lineage of David, went to the town of Bethlehem, Nazareth to register. While in Bethlehem, Mary started her labor pains to give birth to the Savior of the world.
Much glorifying God occurred during these days among shepherds. They noticed the heavens light up with heavenly signs and an angel appeared to them confirming the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord.
A ritual for the first-born male of any Jewish household ordinarily presented the male child to the Lord and offered a sacrifice at the Temple. The time came when Joseph and Mary presented Jesus and offered their sacrifice. Simeon, a man with the Holy Spirit upon him, and Anna, a woman who worshiped, fasted, and prayed continually at the temple, both blessed and prophesied that redemption has arrived.
“And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom and the favor of God was upon Him” (see Luke 2:40).
Jesus and His family celebrated the Feast of Passover. Upon their return home, they realized that Jesus was not in the crowd of people who traveled in the group. When Joseph and Mary returned to Jerusalem, they found Jesus in the temple, listening to the teaching and asking questions that astonished his parents. He also responded to his parent’s rebuke for staying behind and not traveling back home with them by saying, “I must be in my Father’s house” (Luke 2:49 ESV). “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52 ESV).
Today’s Nourishment: Mary wrapped Jesus in “swaddling clothes” and laid him in a manger. In those days, a person wrapped their burial cloth around their waste during travels just in case death struck. The deceased person would have a proper burial with a burial cloth. Since Joseph and Mary had traveled, their burial cloths were with them. So, Mary used her or Joseph’s burial cloth to swaddle Jesus.
While Jesus wrapped Himself in humanity, Mary wrapped Him in a burial cloth—Jesus Christ, born to die, took our place as the “Lamb of God.” He remains, “God with us.” Ponder that phrase, “God is with me.”
He is “God with me.” Just this past Friday, I prayed for “favor with God and man” for my children and grandchildren. I texted my daughters to encourage them of Friday Favor prayers. It’s impossible to grow in favor with God and man unless “God is with us.”
Pray a similar prayer for your family:
Lord, I praise YOU that you were born to die for us. I praise you that my children and grand children have accepted you as Lord and Savior—“God with us.” I pray that each one will grow in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. Help us live with awareness of “God with us” and grow in your favor. Favor them in their lives and endeavors today.
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Tomorrow’s Delight: Matthew 2
Carolyn Marlowe, CCLC
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