With child and righteousness greater than the law
The last few weeks in many denominations they looked at a time of remembrance of the coming on earth of the Messiah. At the end of the month many Christians use the birthday of the goddess of light and creation, to celebrate the birth of Christ (who was born in 4 bCE October 17) This birth is the beginning of the New World whereof the evangelist John is talking about when he looks at that new period like at the beginning of everything new, or the Bereshith (Bereshit or Bereishit), the Genesis. In the Genesis book by Moses you may find God Speaking and by speaking or uttering His Word, everything came into being. In the same way spoke God and the child came into being.
“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (NWT) (John 1:1)
The Word, which was spoken before everything existed had also spoken in the Garden of Eden. That was a time long before Abraham. As such God His Word came unto the 1° Adam and promised to provide a solution for his misstep. Adam and Eve came to hear the first promise for their descendants. Later the Word of God would come to other offspring, who at their turn also told the world to look out for that Saviour or Messiah.
Not the evangelist John his work was placed first in the Books of the New Covenant. Matthew got the honour to open the New Testament. His account of the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:18-25 has one primary concern: to establish the identity and mission of Jesus from the very beginning of his story. For the evangelist Matthew, who came to know the Nazarene Jeshua early in his public life, this special teacher no doubt is the Messiah or Christ (see Matthew 1:18), the agent of God who will establish God’s kingdom and save his people from their sins (see Matthew 1:21).
Lots of people do want to find a very special person and a very special story. Because they can not find that in the Bible they started creating several stories to make their evening of remembrance much greater.
The evangelist Matthew brings a very human story involving a young couple: Joseph and Myriam or Miriam, by most English speaking people known as Mary (others know her as Maria, or Blessed Virgin Mary). Mary gets a message which may have been very strange for her and any other human being. The messenger of God, an angel pronounces that she has found great favour with God. We do find a simple village girl through whom God decides to work His plan of redemption.
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,” (Luke 1:26 NIV)
“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” (Luke 1:28-29 NIV)
“And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34 ASV)
From the evangelist and apostle Matthew we come to know she got to know the workman Joseph and also in Luke is written:
“to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” (Luke 1:27 NIV)
“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”” (Luke 1:28 NIV)
“18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:18-19 NIV)
Matthew grounds his lofty message about Jesus’ identity and mission as the Christ in the earthiness and complexities of human life. It doesn’t get much earthier than a pregnancy out of wedlock; put that together with the fact that the young couple had not yet had sex and you have the makings of a real potboiler. This young girl could be killed for what she got herself into. Regardless of the cost to her societally, she is willing to submit to God’s will for her life. For her the wrath of the Law and the weight of the village’s condemnation have no value opposite the message she got from a celestial being. Though she did not get stoned because most rabbis required a lesser penalty, including divorce and public shaming. The public shaming may have come over the fiancée of labourer Joseph who was still willing to take her as her bride.
Matthew portrays Joseph as a righteous man who confronted a significant dilemma. Him at first in love with this young Essene girl, had to face a very devote Jew who seemed to have been unfaithful to him. Most people usually understand the description of Joseph as “righteous” to mean that he was a good man, a kind man. But Joseph’s “righteousness” in this context has a specific meaning: it refers to Joseph’s thorough adherence to the law, the Torah. Joseph was also a devout, practising Jew. His decision to divorce Mary was the right one according to the law.
Matthew tells us that while Joseph had decided to sever his relationship with Mary, in accordance with the law and the custom of his time, he had decided to do this so “quietly,” evidently to reduce Mary’s public disgrace. Joseph had found a way to be faithful to the requirements of the law, but to do so in a respectful and sensitive manner. Joseph struck a remarkable balance between righteousness and compassion.
In the Torah were given many examples of how strange God’s ways might be for man. More than once appeared celestial beings to man to turn their coarse. This disappointed workman also came to hear an angel of God in a dream. Believing in the truth of his dream he abandoned adherence to the law by accepting the angel’s exhortation to take Mary as his wife. In this extraordinary situation, Joseph’s righteousness transcended the letter of the law. For Joseph, being righteous no longer meant blind, literal adherence to the Torah; the instruction from the angel trumped the law. The imminent arrival of Jesus somehow transformed the righteousness expected of Joseph. This is a theme that Jesus would articulate again and again later in this Gospel: there is a righteousness greater than the law.
Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:26-38 – Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary
Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
Literature of interest:
- With God All Things Are Possible
- Message from the family tree in the Tanakh
- Why do we need a ransom?
- A promise given in the Garden of Eden
- The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
- Written to recognise the Promissed One
- OT prophesies and the NT fulfilment of them
- Prophets making excuses
- Belief of the things that God has promised
- About a man who changed history of humankind
- Which man is mentioned most often in the Bible? Jesus, Moses, Abraham or David?
- Together tasting a great promise
- Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
- The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
- Virgin Mary’s girdle
- The Gabriel Revelation Real or forgery
- Who was Jesus?
- Jesus and his God
- The Christ, the anointed of God
- Around pre-existence of Christ
- A season of gifts
- Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
- Wishing lanterns and Christmas
- Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
- Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
- Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
- Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
- Jesus begotten Son of God #5 Apostle, High Priest and King
- Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
- Jesus begotten Son of God #7 A matter of the Future
- Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
- Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
- Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
- Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
- Jesus begotten Son of God #15 Son of God Originating in Mary
- Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
- Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
- God has visited His people
- Jesus spitting image of his father
- A man with an outstanding personality
- Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
- Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
- The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
- What Jesus did: First things first
- Servant of his Father
- Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
- A Messiah to die
- Impaled until death overtook him
- Cursed is the one hung on a tree
- Atonement and the race been bought
- Jesus three days in hell
- What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
- Christ having glory
- Words in the world
- Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
- God or a god
- Be Thankful: 5 Things God Has Given Us We Should Thank Him For (authorbrianlknack.wordpress.com)
Be Thankful God Gave Us Life – Not only did he breathe the breath of life into us that we might become a living soul but he has given us New Life in the New Covenant through the blood of His son Jesus! God put us here for a purpose and that purpose is to live for Him and experience the joy of His presence every day. For those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives God has also given to us the gift of Eternal Life in Him!
Because God loved us so much, He didn’t want us to continue to drift away from Him in our selfish, self-centered existence. He loved us so much that He gave us the gift of His Son, Jesus, to be the way back to Him. That gift is the best, most amazing, most expensive, most valuable gift ever given, and it was given to us. He loved us enough to give us Jesus.
- Focus On God (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
the Bible teaches us that the flesh (since we are all born in sin through the fall of Adam and Eve) is enmity against God.
- The Tense of Life – Future Perfect (cerkas.wordpress.com)
In truth, time is but a fabrication and rationalization of our minds in an attempt to avoid confusion and chaos. Simply, time helps us comprehend our existence within the limits of our knowledge.
The true beauty of Christianity, however, is that by being born again via Baptism, we are cleansed from sin’s blemish on our soul and are blessed to have the opportunity to live this earthly life in God’s Light, striving to become like Him, understanding that at times, we will falter and sin. And in the wisdom of our Creator, He provided a mechanism for us to redeem ourselves of sins via repentance, along with his Grace via forgiveness.
- Why does God make a way for us to return to paradise? (christianitymatters.com)
Because we are mostly focused on the negative, we think a lot about why things are bad and messed up in this world but we spend little time thinking about why God makes a way for us to return to paradise.
- Found By Grace (ponderingtheheartofjesus.com)
When people can’t talk about difficulties together, they tend to avoid just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden when they realized they had sinned against God.
Have you trusted in the mediator Jesus as your Savior from the wages of sin? God is pursuing you and inviting you to be reconciled to Him right now, this Christmas.
- Oh, Christmas Tree! (atimetoshare.wordpress.com)
We are introduced to two trees in the Genesis account of creation – the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The first inhabitants were given the Tree of life for food. The other one they ate from in hopes of becoming as wise as God.
- History of Christmas Trees part 1 (joannerambling.wordpress.com)
In 1584, the historian Balthasar Russow wrote about a tradition, in Riga, of a decorated fir tree in the market square where the young men “went with a flock of maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree aflame”. There’s a record of a small tree in Breman, Germany from 1570. It is described as a tree decorated with “apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers”. It was displayed in a ‘guild-house’ (the meeting place for a society of business men in the city).
- Come Together (dbethandrews.wordpress.com)
There are a lot of people in recent days talking about what divides us as a nation and how to bring some sort of reconciliation between people. We have all seen the protests and the anger and hurt. We have seen grief and sadness and bitterness and distrust – and all our protesting and postulating and town-hall meetings only seem to make the chasm wider. In this season of Christmas, this time when there should be “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14) and we should “love one another” (John 13:34) we see everything but. How did we become such an angry society? What is the root of our discord? And how do we reclaim the peace we’ve lost?
God gave Jesus as His gift to humanity to reconcile the creation with the Creator. To bring us peace. And when we are restored to God, when we have peace with God, we can then be restored in our human relationships and have peace with one another. But not until we first receive the gift of Jesus into our lives.
Peace that Never Ends
God offers peace in our “dark night of the soul,” bringing His light to the night that surrounds us.
One day, and I think not so very far away, Jesus Christ will return, and bring with Him the fulfillment of God’s promise of peace. He will come, not as the baby in the manger, but as the victorious King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will come with power and authority. He will bring an end to evil and wickedness. He will bring punishment to those who love evil and hatred and corruption – to all who rejected Him in this life.
- The Bible and Mythology (ezracommentary.wordpress.com)
Myths are stories that people make up to explain various aspects of life and to express worldview, how we see and interpret the world. There are myths about the world and the creation of the sea. There are myths to explain where man and woman came from. Some myths are about the islands and how they came to be populated. There are myths that try to explain good and evil. Other myths have to do with how man and woman are to relate to one another and to each other’s families. There are myths about children and the consequences of disobedience. There are myths about the afterlife, what happens to a person and where he goes when he dies.
So myths are stories which attempt to explain life and its meaning. They often share wisdom as to how we should live and relate to others and to the world around us. Myths are meant for teaching so that the wisdom can be transmitted from one generation to another.