By Rex Wiseley
Read today’s scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
Following the genealogy of Jesus in the first half of Matthew 1, in verses 18-25, we read that Matthew now introduces his Jewish readers to Jesus as Immanuel, “God with us.” If we are to focus on verse 23, we can see several firsts: it’s the first Old Testament (OT) quote in the New Testament (NT), it is the first of many prophetic fulfillments found in Matthew and it is the first place we encounter the incarnate Christ.
It’s fascinating to note Jesus’ incarnation, especially in comparison to the OT reality. As we’ve been told, the new covenant came and superseded the OT in many and various ways. In the OT, the spirit of God manifested itself either in a place (Jerusalem) or in a thing (the tabernacle). In this passage, God’s presence is proclaimed to now be in the form of a baby born in Bethlehem.
Matthew 1:18-25 fulfills Isaiah’s promise of a virgin mother and also anticipates many other promises. Let’s join together as we celebrate that our God came to dwell among us and to live out “God with us.”