The second chapter of Matthew’s account presents some challenges in understanding the concept of fulfillment of Scripture. The apparent difficulties of the four fulfillments Matthew records force us to take a look at how to read our Bibles, and moreover bring us face to face with a very difficult question indeed about how and why God acts in history – a question that brings us ultimately to one of the most basic and astounding truths in the whole of God’s revealed word for His people.
Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:31-35
If Jesus is the legal son of Joseph, then he is the birth son of the virgin Mary. We all echo Mary’s response to this news, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”. Drawing upon a few texts, we’ll seek to answer two large questions about the birth of Christ: how can a virgin give birth? and can God become a man?
Throughout his ministry, Jesus was recognized as the son of Joseph. Many times in the Gospels we read of statements like the one made in the synagogue of Nazareth, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” (Lk.4:22). In Matthew’s account of Christ’s birth, he strategically avoids calling Jesus the son of Joseph. Instead, he is “Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.'”