By Brooke Holt
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 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. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’” Matthew 1:18-21
This Christmas story is one you know very well. You have heard it in church, Sunday school, and even on the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Yet do you take time to consider the incredible miracles that unfold throughout these words? Mary became pregnant before she had sexual relations with Joseph or any man; a child was conceived by the Holy Spirit; Mary was visited by an angel; and then an angel communicated the Lord’s words to Joseph through a dream. Four miraculous occurrences just in the proclamation of the Christ child!
What is a miracle? The online dictionary defines miracle this way: “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency". In the context of this passage from Matthew, these miracles demonstrated both God’s intervention in human events as well as his divine power. Mary was surely overwhelmed by the miraculous work of the Lord, as was her soon-to-be husband! God had done what they could never have expected or even asked him to do.
Beyond these miracles was the greatest miracle yet to occur. Jesus, the son of Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit, would save his people from their sins. Who could do that? Only the Lord. It was a miracle that God would come to dwell among his people and then Jesus would do what no human could ever do before – make the way for salvation.
Do you believe in miracles? God certainly worked them throughout the Old Testament; God worked them in the birth of his Son and then throughout Jesus’ ministry; and God continued to work miracles through his disciples in the early church. Thankfully, the miraculous work of the Lord didn’t end there. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon God’s people, miracles can and still happen today! May you believe, ask for, and receive the miraculous work of God in your life today.
Have you considered that miracles still happen today? What miraculous work do you need the Lord to do in your life? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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