Fulfilled! by Virgil Stripes
Matthew 1:18-25 (ESV)
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.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
The Gospel of Matthew was written for the Jews by a Jew. Since it was written for the Jews, it focuses on the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. Many times in the Gospel, it will say, this or that happened to fulfill what was foretold by the prophet... The purpose is to show how Jesus fulfill the prophecies so that the Jews might believe and be saved. Each of the four Gospels was written for a particular audience, and this is part of the reason there are differences. They all serve to tell the same story. The story of Jesus, Who came to earth to bring peace between God and men.
We are blessed to have the many volumes written explaining all the intricacies of the writers’ styles. People have made it their lives’ work to discover and explain all the differences and why. I do enjoy some of that, but not to the extent that some people do. Most study Bibles today tell us who the target audience of each book is, and why (most scholars) believe it was written the way it was.
So grab a cup of coffee, and spend some time in the Gospel of Matthew. Look at the prophecies fulfilled. Rejoice in God your savior.
May God enlighten your heart and mind. May He bring you peace today and everyday.