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22nd December 2014

Matthew 1.18

On the other hand the birth of Jesus Christ was like this: His mother, Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together she found that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

In the first seventeen verses of chapter one Matthew lists the generations from Abraham down through the years until Joseph. For each generation Matthew tells us the name of the man that fathered the next generation.

Therefore, we have a list of the names of men who were the biological fathers of the sons born to them.

However, in verse eighteen there is a change and Matthew wrote: ‘On the other hand’. He used a very small Greek word ‘de’, which in English simply means but. However, in Greek it has various meanings, and in this instance it is used to introduce something that is new.

Therefore, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Matthew is telling us that the birth of Jesus was something new. It was a conception and birth unlike any of the previous generations, or any other conception.

Nothing like the conception of Jesus had ever occurred before or since.

There had been conceptions that were miraculous, such as Abraham and Sarah having Isaac, but that was still by the normal way of conception.

However, this time the birth of Jesus was not only miraculous it was completely different.
This word ‘de’ (but) is used to introduce something new in Romans 8.28: And (but) we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them – (NLT).

Paul had been writing about the troubles and afflictions that Christians were facing at that time. The new thought that he introduces is that through all these things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called by Him.

As we approach Christmas it is good for us to realize again that, in Jesus, God was introducing a new thing, and He was doing it in a way that had never been done before.
Today God is doing a new thing in us, let us welcome and embrace it.

Isaiah prophesied this:For I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness for My people to come home. I will create rivers for them in the desert! – Isaiah 43.19 (NLT).

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