Read This Week: Matthew 1

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. – Matthew 1:18, 22-25 NIV

One of the greatest and most hopeful feelings we can have is to know that someone is with us. The presence of someone on our journey that is certain, consistent, and reliable evokes positive emotions. Someone being with us brings security and peace in all seasons of our lives, especially the challenging ones. 

The Gospel of Matthew encapsulates this theme as it begins the narrative of Jesus. From the genealogies to the story of Joseph learning that his wife would have a child conceived by the Holy Spirit to how Jesus was born, the idea of God being with us can be seen, felt, and known in this gospel. Perhaps even the author, Matthew, a tax collector before he met Jesus, wants to highlight this from his own experience. Tax collectors were despised within the Jewish community, and he undoubtedly had moments where he must have felt alone and without an advocate. He writes in verses 22-23:

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Jesus is called Immanuel, or God with us. The birth and incarnation of Christ was God becoming flesh and being with us on earth. It paved the way for God to be with us through the person of the Holy Spirit as we live daily, read the Bible, and pray. God is with us through all the activities of our life. He comforts, enlightens, protects, and defends us as we hurt, seek to grow, and face temptation and trials. God was with Joseph and Mary and was present in all the events and circumstances leading up to the birth of Jesus. God was with all those who followed Christ while He was on the earth and with those who would come after including us. 

Jesus assuming human form to dwell among people shows how God reached down to bring glory to Himself and save man. It shows that we can come to Him because He came to us. It shows that we can approach Him with our worries, fears, problems, and anxieties because He relates and understands. It shows the love God has for the world that He would be with us, stand beside us, intercede on our behalf, and guide us.

So, if we ever wonder if God is for us or when we are tempted to believe that we’re all alone, we just need to remember God with us. He sent His Son to be Immanuel to close the gap between Him and us that could not be bridged by anything else. He loves us and is with us every step of the way.

10 Comments

  1. Heidi on May 6, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    “God Is with Us” by Casting Crowns says it all:

    The skies don’t seem to be as dark as usual
    The stars seem brighter than they’ve been before
    Deep within I feel my soul a stirring
    As though my hope has been restored
    The shepherds say they’ve heard the voice of angels
    Confirming rumors spread across the land
    That a child protected well from Herod’s anger
    Is our father’s son, and the son of man

    Love is raining down on the world tonight
    There’s a presence here I can tell
    God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel
    He’s the savior we have been praying for
    In our humble hearts, he will dwell
    God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel

    I feel compelled to tell all who will listen
    That peace on earth is not so out of reach
    If we can find grace, mercy, and forgiveness
    He has come to save, he is all of these

    Love is raining down on the world tonight
    There’s a presence here I can tell
    God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel
    He’s the savior we have been praying for
    In our humble hearts, he will dwell
    God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel

    Love is raining down on the world tonight
    There’s a presence here I can tell
    God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel
    He’s the savior we have been praying for
    In our humble hearts, he will dwell
    God is in us, God is for us, God is with us

    You’re the savior we have been praying for
    In our humble hearts, you will dwell
    You are in us, you are for us
    You are with us, Emmanuel

    • Jason on May 11, 2021 at 1:01 pm

      This is such a good song too, Heidi, and a wonderful reminder of the presence and power of God in our lives as He is “with us” wherever we are and wherever we go.

  2. Heidi on May 6, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Matthew 1:24 says, Then Joseph, being aroused from his sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him: he took [her to his side as] his wife.

    I got really blessed by so much in this chapter. Jesus’ birth and all that He did for us is amazing. I feel like God was sharing with me that Joseph was so blessed because he listened to God through the angel. In life, you will be faced with choices that don’t seem to make sense or maybe are hard, but always remember I am with you to help you you will be blessed

    I am so thankful that God is with me. (With all of us) to help us through life situations. When He asks us to do something it’s because He knows how it’s all going to turn out! And He loves us so much we can count on Him being on our side. I am so thankful to Father God.

    • Jason on May 11, 2021 at 1:11 pm

      I love this post and insight, Heidi. I was touched in the same way through this chapter. I was reading it and just feeling loved and blessed by the promise and truth that God is with us and that we can always count on Him being faithful and by our side no matter what life brings. It is a hopeful truth in any circumstance that life may bring our way.

  3. Ken on May 9, 2021 at 10:36 am

    We are so blessed to have our Mothers in The Lord. Thank you, God for our Mothers. Mothering is an Intrachol part of what we need to be all we can be, while here on earth. They teach us about life, love, compassion and unending grace. There is nothing like a Mothers comfort and love.

    You can receive what you need from God and don’t have to go without or feel less, when your Mother is not able to give you what you need. Jesus came to give you direct access to God and to be filled with the Holy Spirit, God Himself and receive the fathering and the mothering that you need.

    • Jason on May 11, 2021 at 1:13 pm

      This is such a great point, Ken. When we have family or friends that pour into our lives and guide us, it is a blessing and a true gift this side of heaven. But having direct access to God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit living in our lives is truly an incredible reality for us. Nothing is greater or better than God being “with us.”

  4. Kathy on May 10, 2021 at 8:14 am

    In reading Matthew 1, this was what God was saying to me, “My son Jesus meets you in your sin, but His purpose is to save you from your sin. He saves you from the presence of sin if you choose to truly follow Him and be obedient to what you know I want you to do. Belonging to Jesus brings salvation from sin.

    I sent My son in human form so that all people could relate to Him and come to know Me. It shows that the coming together of the unfallen human nature and the divine nature joined together, that you are truly made in My image. You can come to Me since I came to you. You can come to Me without any question or hesitancy because of Jesus. Through Him, I introduced Myself to you.”

    What this said to me is God sent Jesus to us in human form so that we could relate to Him and come to know Him and believe. I think it is awesome that God introduced Himself to me, through Jesus. It makes God more real to me. I need to continue to believe and obey so that I can be His servant and help introduce others to Him.

    • Jason on May 11, 2021 at 1:36 pm

      I love this, Kathy. There were several lines that stood out to me but this one caught my eye and heart more than others:

      I sent My son in human form so that all people could relate to Him and come to know Me.

      I love this and the truth that we have a Savior who can relate to us in his incarnation and hypostatic union, in His humanity. It reminds me of this same truth also contained in Hebrews 4:15:

      For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.

      Our High Priest and Advocate and Savior can relate to us and empathize with our weaknesses with compassion, love, grace, and mercy because He was tempted in every way but didn’t sin. He gets us and still loves us.

  5. Jeri Centers on May 10, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    I got a poem this week from Matthew 1 verse 21:

    The reason for the season celebration is,
    Always has been and will be forever more.
    That Jesus came to save his people from their sin.

    God became a man
    He became the savior of sinners
    So these sinners could by faith become the children of God
    And inherit eternal blessings

    All the glory of God.

    What that means to me is to enjoy both giving and receiving. But always remember that all of our celebrating flows from the simple truth that Jesus was born to save.

    • Jason on May 11, 2021 at 1:25 pm

      Good stuff, Jeri. We celebrate a lot of things in this life but something truly worth celebrating is the birth of Jesus and Him becoming Immanuel and saving us from our sins by His sacrificial death on the cross. That should cause great celebration in our hearts and lives.

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