Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jesus Savior from our Sins, Emmanuel God with Us (Matt. 1.18-25)

Scripture: Matthew 1.18-25
Translation: 18And the birth of Jesus the Messiah was like this. When His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found having [a baby] in her tummy by the Holy Spirit. 19And Joseph, her husband, because he was righteous and didn’t want to expose her, planned to divorce her in secret.20And while he thought about these things—look, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be scared to take Mary home as your wife, because what was fathered in her is by the Holy Spirit. 21And she will give birth to a Son, and you will call His Name, Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins!” 22And this whole thing happened, so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled, when he said, 23“Look, the virgin will have [a baby] in her tummy, and she will give birth to a Son, and they will call His Name Emmanuel” which is translated, “God is with us!” 24And when he woke up from sleep, Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took home his wife. 25And he didn’t know her sexually until she gave birth to the Son and he called His Name Jesus.
Passage Summary: See structure
The Point I’m Stressing: Jesus is our Savior, the Savior from our sins, Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us! This means that we look to Jesus to save us from our sins to give us eternal, and to save us from acting sinfully in time, as well as looking to Him to accomplish amazing things and suffer horrendous things with courage and comfort!
1.      Structure
a.       Intro
b.      Problem: Mary’s pregnant
c.       Rising Action: Joseph plans to divorce her
d.      Climax: Angel brings God’s Message to Joseph to marry Mary
e.       Interrupting Explanation: Jesus’ birth fulfills prophecy, He is truly God with us!
f.       Conclusion: Joseph obeys the angel and marries Mary, but doesn’t have sex with her until after she gives birth to Jesus
2.      Theme
a.       Jesus is the Son of David, hence the King
b.      Miraculous Conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit: God is Jesus’ Daddy
c.       Jesus is the Savior of His people from their sins
d.      Jesus is God with Us
e.       Obedience and Faith in God’s message
f.       Fulfilling Prophecy
3.      Doctrines
a.       Virgin Birth
b.      Jesus is God
c.       Jesus is the Savior of His People from their Sins
d.      Faith and obedience is the proper response of people to God’s message, even if it is crazy
4.      Notes
a.       The quotation from Isaiah 7.14 is interesting for several reasons.
                                                              i.      In the Hebrew Bible it reads “and SHE will call His Name Emmanuel” not “THEY will call”
                                                            ii.      In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, it reads “and YOU will call His Name Emmanuel” not “THEY will call” (reading “YOU will call” is another possible reading of the Hebrew Text without vowels, which is how it was originally written down, so both understand the same underline Hebrew Text)
                                                          iii.      Thus, Matthew is intentionally changing the wording of the passage he is quoting to make a point, namely that point is that Jesus is Emmanuel, He is God with us. His point seems to be that it will not just be that His mother calls Him Emmanuel, or even that Joseph is commanded to call him Emmanuel (although it should be noted that the prophecy/command to Joseph is a verbatim quote from the Septuagint Isa. 7.14 “she will…you will call His name ___” in v.21, only instead of Emmanuel the author inserts “Jesus” and gives the explanation for the name), but that everyone will call Jesus Emmanuel, God with us! That is that His people, us Christians, and one day the Jewish people, will recognize that He is God, and that He is with us! And even one day the whole world will recognize that Jesus was God with us, although for them it will be a terrifying realization, since they will have opposed Him. This makes Jesus being God with Us the main focus of the passage, but with the change of Emmanuel in the quote in v.22 to Jesus the point is sharpened to Jesus is God with us, but especially God with us to save us from our sins!
                                                          iv.      (from my Christmas sermon 18 Dec 2011) Notice it is “they will call His Name Emmanuel” it is not “she” or even “you” here in Matthew, but in Hebrew it reads “she will call his name Emmanuel,” which means that the author of here is making a point. It will not just be a woman who will name him, or even Joseph, but everyone will say that He lives up to His name, people will see that God is on their side and given them reason to trust and hope in Him even when there is so much against them, but moreover, that God really is with them, they will see that God has become one of them! That He is with them! More than He ever has! There is a longing in their heart to have God be with them, to have Him be on their side, and Christ is the answer to that, but also a reminder that He has not given up on His people, on Israel, on the promise He made to David!
1.      Believe in the Virgin Birth, it is true and it is the first step of trusting that God is the God Who can do anything, and in believing that Jesus really is God!
2.      Be like Joseph, when God tells you to do something even if it seems impossible, trust Him and do it
3.      Depend on Jesus to save you from your sins, don’t depend on being a nice person, on having a certain Christian social status (trusting that being an important person in the church will get you saved), on sin not being a big deal, don’t depend on growing up in a Christian family, on going to church, or even on God forgiving you for no reason, but only on Jesus as your Savior from your sins. As Christians we don’t depend on God to forgive us because He is nice or because He doesn’t care about sin, rather we trust in God to forgive us because Jesus saved us from our sins, that is from the punishment that God was going to give us because of our sins! We depend on Jesus to save us! We depend on Jesus to have forgiveness! We depend on Jesus to deal with our sins!
4.      Of course, Jesus being our Savior from our sins is not just about Jesus making it possible for us to have forgiveness and a relationship with God the Father, Jesus being our Savior from sins, means that Jesus saves us from living lives of sin, Jesus saves us not just from God’s wrath, but from having to live as sinners. Jesus empowers us to overcome sin by His Holy Spirit. Jesus’ own life and example show us how to live lives in a broken evil world without succumbing to sin!
5.      God is with us!!! This is what we know is true about Jesus, not only was He 100% human, at the same time He was 100% God! God really lived with us, lived like us, lived as One of us! God is with us in Jesus Christ! Jesus is with us even now! This is what we believe and depend on! Jesus is God and He is with us! The book of Matthew ends with these words, “Look, I am with you all the days until the end of the era!” Jesus is with us! All the time, forever! There is never a day that Jesus is not with you and me and with us together! Jesus is God and He is with us! That means there is never a time where you or I will ever be truly alone! There will never be a time when God has abandoned you! there will never be a moment where you or I or us together won’t be able to depend on Jesus for something! Jesus being with us is about Jesus being our God and us being His people! Jesus is with us, He is with us in power, so He is with us to empower us to overcome, to live for Him. He is with us when our lives and dreams and desires and loved ones are falling apart! He is with us when we are telling our friends about Jesus! He is with us when we need Him! He is with us when cruel people say horrible things about us, when our friends betray us, when we fail our final, when our grandparent dies, whenever we need comfort!
6.      But Jesus is also with us in our successes, in our joys, and in our victories, and it is because He is with us that we can give Him the credit He deserves for those successes, joys, and victories, because they really came by Him and because of Him!
7.      So we can have comfort and courage all the time because He is with us! We can overcome and we can suffer because He is with us! He is with us to rule and He is with us to save!
8.      It is interesting that the angel says “His people” and not “your people” when talking to Joseph, that is because ultimately the most important thing about us is that we are His people. Even the Jews, Joseph’s people, His own ethnicity and relatives, are more Jesus’ people that his own. He is God and belonging to Him is the most important qualifier. Our identity must be mainly with Him, but this is also a comfort, because it assures us that Jesus will save us, we belong to Him, He will save us! He is with us to save us!
9.      Questions
a.       What does knowing God is with you all the time forever change about how you live your life? What are some things you need Jesus to be with you to accomplish? What are some things that you need Jesus to be with you to suffer through?
b.      Where is your ultimate identity found? Is it found in being part of God’s people? In being with Jesus? In being saved? In being Korean, or white, or black, or Hispanic or whatever? Is it in grades? Is it in your family? Is it social status? Where is it? And why is it there?
c.       What sins do you need Jesus to save you from? Have you trusted Him to save you from all sins? If so, what sins are you struggling with that you need Him to save you from? What are some sins that our whole group as a group needs to be saved from?

1.      Imagine you were Joseph and Mary comes to you and is like “Honey, I’m pregnant” and you’re like “with whose baby?” and she’s like “it’s God’s baby, it’s a miracle!” would you be like, “Oh, Mary, I believe you, it being a miracle is so much more likely than you running around on me, let’s get married anyway!” or like “Girl, what’s your problem, you couldn’t wait a few more months? Who is it? Cheater, the wedding is off!” 

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