Matthew 1:20-23. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).
There are some things in life that are simply too confusing for us to figure out. Questions we just can’t answer. Situations that demand information beyond what we have (or maybe ever will have).
Joseph had to be confused. The story Mary was telling must have made no sense to him whatsoever. Especially coming from an upstanding girl like her. Why this story? Why now? All his plans were in place. Get betrothed. Build the house. Start the business. Get married. THEN make babies. And live happily ever after.
Before the angel appeared Joseph thought he had all the information he was going to get. Mary’s side of the story was all he knew. And he considered her story over and over, deciding to end their engagement and move on. But when the angel arrived, Joseph’s eyes were opened to a whole new level of reality. New truths about God’s role in Mary’s pregnancy – that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Truths about who this baby would be – he will save his people from their sins. And the greatest of truths in all of history – God with us.
God with us. These three little words are everything. They’re the whole point. They’re the goal of all history. The plan and purpose of God. They are our salvation.
By the incarnation, God in his great grace has chosen to break into time and space and enter our earthly reality. You might think that God with us would just add to our confusion. The supernatural? Miracles? Virgin births? God in the flesh?
But God with us never increases our confusion, it always dispels it. God with us answers all of our questions. It ends all of our dismay. Whenever God arrives we gain enlightenment. The truth is that when we look at life without the eyes of faith seeing God’s deeper spiritual realities, we will stay trapped in even greater confusion without the answers to life’s biggest questions.
Where does life come from?
What is the meaning of life?
Why do we exist?
What is love?
How can we live forever?
How will we all be saved from ourselves?
How does God feel about us?
How can there be forgiveness and yet justice?
How can Jesus die for the sins of humanity?
What happens to us when we die?
God with us answers all of these questions and more.
What questions do you have about life today? About God? About yourself? God today? God with us answers each of them.
And here’s the best part – the answers to the biggest questions in life are also the answers to the ever day questions of life. When we know WHY we exist, we then know HOW to exist. When we know the life and love of God with us, we then know how to live with and love others. When we understand God’s gracious incarnation into our suffering, we then know how to graciously incarnate into the suffering of those around us.
Isn’t this exactly what happened with Joseph? His immediate questions of what to do about Mary were answered by the immeasurable answer of God with us. What would move Joseph past his self-protection and law keeping into a life of self-sacrifice and grace? What would allow him to choose the impossible – raising the Son of God? God with us.
And God with us is the answer we all need in order for our hearts to move past self-protection and into love’s self-sacrifice. It’s the answer we need in order for our hearts to move past law keeping and into grace giving. And praise God, God’s answer to Joseph is the same answer that we have all heard in Christ. God with us is now Christ in you.
“To live is Christ.” The end of all our confusion. The answer to all our questions. The fulfillment of God with us.
What in your life is confusing to you? What about God is confusing to you?
You in Christ
How can God with us, begin to remove all your confusion?
Christ in you
What is one specific response you should have today knowing that God is with us as Christ in us?
Playlist: God with us.