Bible Society of South Africa

A birth announced – 1 December 2022

By Carina Francke

Bible text(s)

23“A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).

Matthew 1:23GNBOpen in Bible reader

Very soon, we will celebrate Christmas. Every country will do so according to its tradition, beliefs and customs. Giving gifts to loved ones, as well as dining or spending time together, are usually customary. For the Christian believer, this yearly feast is a reminder and a celebration of the fulfilment of God’s promise that a Redeemer for man will be born – a truth that stands forever.

It must have been very awkward when an angel appeared to Mary, a young, engaged virgin and greeted her as the “highly favoured” amongst women. Even more so, it must have been terrifying when he broke the news that she will become pregnant! And that without the involvement of a male person! “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus” (Luke 1:31-35). How can it be if she never has been with a man? The angel explained that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and the power of the Most High will overshadow her (Luke 1:35). She let the matter rest and knew that God will walk every step with her on this unknown and unique journey. Then follows the climax of this news: “The holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:31-35)

Do you hear, dear reader, this little child is the Son of God! The prophetic words of Isaiah hundreds of years ago, namely that a Saviour will be born, went into fulfilment. With this pregnancy, Jesus planted his human feet firmly on earth. He was God and man simultaneously. And for this reason, he was the only one who had the power to save lost man.

In her lifetime, his mother realised who her Son was and what his task on earth entails. In awe, she could only be an onlooker and experience how one prophetic word after another regarding him, was fulfilled. The words of Simeon inspired by the Holy Spirit: “This child is destined to cause the falling and raising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35)

Who is this special Son deep down? He is Jesus – a male human being, called into being by the Holy Spirit. He is called Jesus; he is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23); he is great, and he is the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32). God gave him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. (Luke 1:32-33)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your work of grace: Immanuel made home amongst us. Everything is different now for us, people – God is now God with us. Amen

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