18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS. NKJV
Introduction: If this passage teaches us anything, it teaches us that God is sovereign and faithful. He keeps His promises & blesses those who obey Him.
Mary & Joseph lived in a time when God’s people had no hope and no expectation of deliverance, liberty, or prosperity in the natural sense. They lived under the iron fist of Rome, and Rome placed a heavy burden on those peoples and nations it occupied. Rome’s treatment of the Jews was certainly no less oppressive, and was likely more oppressive, than their occupation of other lands. This was the time in which God chose to send His Deliverer—His Christ or Messiah.
This account reveals God’s dealings with a faithful girl of probably 13 or 14 years of age, and young man of probably 19 or 20 years of age. They were poor and lived in Nazareth—a city of which it was said that nothing good came from it. The religious people of that day considered it a useless place with equally useless inhabitants. Even the godly Nathaniel, who became a disciple of Jesus Christ asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (NKJ John 1:46).
Yet Mary & Joseph were thrust into the limelight of human history from this stage—both their lives and history would be changed through these events.
The name Jesus literally means YHWH Is Salvation.