THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF A CHILD
There was never before or after, a more astounding announcement than the one in Isaiah 9:6; “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.” The distinction in this statement between a “child” and a “son” is perhaps one of the most overlooked and misunderstood of any prophecy regarding the incarnation of Christ. It sheds light on all the New Testament and particularly those passages that speak of Jesus coming into manhood. We will address the second half of the statement tomorrow.
Mary was visited by the angel and clearly told that she would “conceive in her womb – be found with child from the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:18). While this put Joseph in a difficult position because it would appear to the outside world that ‘shame’ was attached to their relationship. But both Joseph and Mary listened to the divine instructions through the angel and acted in complete obedience and cooperation with God’s plan. And so, in nine months, Mary gave birth to a child, and called His name Jesus (Matthew 1:21). His birth, like every other human being was a proof of His humanity.
We must not miss the context of Isaiah’s words. The prophecy and the promise was given to Israel, not to the Gentile. That is why John begins his gospel by saying, “He [Jesus] came to his own [Israel], and His own people did not receive Him” (John 1:11). Though they did not realize the consequences of their actions, such rejection brought added suffering and trouble to a people who were clearly told their Messiah, Savior and King was coming.
Often people expect God to deliver them in dramatic ways so they can come out of their troubles in a blaze of earthly glory. God more often works in ways that are only recognized by the humble in spirit, those who keep in close communion with Him by His Spirit. They are the persons who believe what God has said before and humbly wait in faith for His word to come to pass. They will see God change the whole of human history through a child born in a lowly manger. He has come and now lives by the Spirit in every heart that will receive Him!
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