Sunday, December 11, 2011
Matthew 1:16 declares, "Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus Christ." From this verse we see two things: 1) Joseph did not begat Jesus, 2) yet, Jesus was born of Mary. How did this event occur? What transpired? Rudolf Schnackenburg says the explanation is found in Matthew 1:18-25, which serves an extended footnote to verse 16. Verse 18 opens with these words: "Now the birth of Jesus was as follows." The remainder of the section fills in the details, telling how at first Joseph suspects Mary of adultery, only to change his mind after having a God-inspired dream in which an angel reveals that the pregnancy is of supernatural origin. One interesting tidbit in the account is that the angel says that Mary will have "a son." Here is a case where the gender of an unborn child is revealed two millennia before the invention of the sonogram!