Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel concerning Jesus Christ, which was written by Matthew. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses eighteen through twenty-five of the first chapter. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you find Matthew transitioning from writing concerning the book of the generations of Jesus Christ to the actual birth of Jesus Christ. In order for us to truly and properly understand that which we find in this particular set of verses it is absolutely necessary that we pay close attention to what is contained in the preceding verses. I have been taught and have always believed that Scripture interprets scripture, and that more often than not if we want to gain understanding concerning a particular verse of passage we need only look to that which precedes it, or that which proceeds it. In order for us to understand that which is found in these eight verses we must pay close attention to what is contained in the first seventeen verses, for its in the first seventeen verses that we understand the process that took place to get us to the birth of Jesus Christ. In all reality, I would dare say that as much as we might cringe when we come to the series of “begats” in this portion of scripture, it is these references that being us face to face with the history that led up to the birth of Jesus. If you turn and direct your attention to the preceding verses you will find Matthew describing and declaring that there were fourteen generations between the time of Abraham and David, there were fourteen generations between the time of David and the time of exile and captivity, and there were fourteen more years between the time of exile and captivity to the time of the birth of Jesus Christ. Even at the very conclusion of the first seventeen verses Matthew seems to speak of and indicate the importance of the history which led to the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
While it is true that the eighteenth verse begins with the reference to the birth of Jesus, the first verse of the chapter begins with the declaration of the book of the generations of Jesus Christ. We cannot, we dare not, we must not forget, ignore or neglect this very important reality, for to do so would be to miss the awesome significance of what we find in verses eighteen through twenty-five. There would be many who would like to start with the birth of Jesus Christ, and many who would skip over that which is contained in the first seventeen verses, and I am convinced that to do so would be to miss out on the incredible history that led up to the time of the arrival of Jesus the Christ and Lord. I can’t help but think of how many men and women are willing to ignore the history which led up to the birth of Jesus Christ, and yet it is the history preceding and leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ that actually prepares and makes way for the arrival and manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, it was the history dating from the time of Abraham through the time of the birth of Jesus Christ that paved and made the way for the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sustained within and throughout that history was a wonderful and powerful Messianic hope and expectation that would and could not be diminished or dwindled due to time and an intense period of waiting. The Messianic hope and expectation would begin long before the time of Abraham, for the Messianic promise first appeared and was first manifested in the garden when the Lord cursed the ground, as well as the serpent. Directly linked and connected to that curse was a declaration that the serpent would bruise the heel of the seed of the woman, but how the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. As far back as the garden we encounter the Messianic expectation and hope that points to the arrival of the Messiah who would fulfill the purposes of the living God.
There is not a doubt in my mind that sustained within these forty-two generations was a wonderful and powerful Messianic hope and expectation that caused men and women to live their lives waiting for the arrival of the long awaited Messiah. I have to admit that I absolutely love how Matthew begins the gospel account concerning the life and ministry of Jesus Christ by first writing briefly concerning the history of the generations which were present she manifested within and upon the earth. What is truly remarkable, is that Matthew merely mentions the various names which were present during those generations and mentioned absolutely nothing about the history or story behind those names. There would be some names within this genealogy of Jesus Christ that we are familiar with—names such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, and perhaps even Rahab, Ruth and even some of the kings of Israel, and later the southern kingdom of Judah. I would dare state that while in this passage we merely find the names of men and women who made up the generations of Jesus Christ, it is up to us to actually pursue the history and story behind those names. We must not accept the fact that these names are meant to be simply names alone, and that there is absolutely no need for any study or further examination of the history behind those names. I am convinced that if we are to understand the birth of Jesus Christ, it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand the history of the lives of men and women who existed within and upon the earth during those generations. One of the realities that has long fascinated me when reading the first seventeen verses of this gospel according to Matthew is that this book of the generations of Jesus Christ is a list of all the names which existed within and upon the earth and paved the way for the appearance and manifestation of the Messiah. With that being said—while the book of the generations of Jesus Christ bring us face to face with the history which led to the coming and birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, we aren’t in those generations anymore. It is true that there were generations which led and paved the way for the appearance and manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ, but there is a different book of generations of the Lord Jesus Christ. This book of the generations of the Lord Jesus Christ is not a book that is made up of those generations which paved the way for and waited for the first appearance of the Messiah, but rather a book of generations which wait and hope for the appearance and second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is this second book of the generations of the Lord Jesus Christ which carries with it a powerful Messianic hope and expectation—not for the first coming and appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ, but rather for the second coming and appearance of the Messiah.
If you who read these words are going to truly understand that which is contained within verses eighteen through twenty-five of this first chapter found within the gospel according to Matthew, it is absolutely necessary to understand the tremendous significance and importance of the various names which are mentioned in this passage of Scripture—names which point to the appearance and manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ in the earth. Permit me to present unto you the various names which appear within these first seventeen verses, and I would strongly urge and caution you to not allow yourself to get caught up on the various names, and the use of the word “begat,” but to actually focus on the reality that there was a history that led up to and pointed toward the coming and appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider if you will the words which Matthew wrote in the opening verses of this first chapter beginning with the first verse:
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; and Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; and Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; and Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; and Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; and Solomon Egan Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Albania begat Asa; and Asa begat Josaphat; and Jsaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; and Ozias begat Jonathan; and Jonathan begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; and Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josiah’s; and Josiah’s begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: and after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zoroboabel; and Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; and Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; and Elias begat Eleazer; and Eleazer begat Matthau; and Matthau begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying always into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations” (Matthew 1:1-17).
This history is actually quite intriguing and quite remarkable, for when you take the time to read and study each name, a picture begins to emerge and appear within the book of the generations of the Lord Jesus Christ. When attempting to begin a treatise and declaration concerning the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew sought first to write concerning Jesus being the son of Abraham, as well as the Son of David, thus bringing us face to face with the reality that Jesus was in fact the Son of man. If you study the entire New Testament book of Matthew, you will find that Matthew’s favorite distinction for the Lord Jesus Christ is in fact the distinction of Jesus Christ as the Son of man—a distinction which has at its core and foundation the reality that Jesus is both the Son of Abraham, and the Son of David. Time and time again there are references within the gospels concerning Jesus the Christ, and Jesus being the Son of David. It is actually quite remarkable and astounding that we understand this, for it brings us face to face with the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are many times when we would seek to get caught up in the fact that Jesus was indeed and was in fact the Son of God, and was in fact deity in the flesh, but we neglect to pay close attention to the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am utterly and completely convinced that what we find and what we read in this passage of Scripture is not only a picture of the generations of the Lord Jesus Christ, but it is also a powerful picture that points us to the very humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you set the gospel which Matthew wrote side by side with the gospel which the beloved physician Luke wrote, you will find that while Matthew seeks to present us with the reality that Jesus is the Son of man, Luke presents us with the reality that Jesus is in fact the Son of God. Even if you set up the different genealogies presented in both books, you will find that whereas Matthew traces the lineage of Jesus Christ back as far as Abraham, Luke traces the lineage of Jesus Christ back as far as Adam who was the son of God. In Luke’s gospel we are presented with the fact that just as Adam was the first son of God, so Jesus Christ is the second son of God—the ultimate son of God. Whereas Adam was the first son of God formed from the dust of the earth and brought to be a living soul with the very breath of life, Jesus the Christ is the second son of God which was not formed from the dust of the earth, but was the only begotten of the Father. Oh that we would understand the wonderful and powerful distinction between Jesus Christ as the Son of man, and Jesus Christ as the Son of God, for one points to the reality of Jesus Christ’s humanity, while the other points to the reality of Jesus Christ’s divinity.
I am convinced that in order to truly and properly understand Jesus’ humanity as it is presented unto us through the book of the generations of the Lord Jesus Christ in the first chapter of Matthew’s gospel, it is absolutely necessary for us to consider the words which are found in the first chapter of John’s gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, as well as the words which the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote in the second chapter. If you examine both of these passages of Scripture, you will be brought face to face with the wonderful and powerful reality concerning the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ—a humanity which enabled Him to fulfill and accomplish that which the Father sought to accomplish within the earth. Consider if you will the words which are found in the first chapter of the gospel of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ according to John, as well as the words which are found in the second chapter of the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-14).
“But now we see not yet all things put under Him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:9-18).
It is quite clear from each of these passages that when the Lord Jesus Christ came to the earth, He took not on Himself the form of angels, but rather the form of human flesh. The apostle John—in the first chapter of the gospel account which he wrote concerning the life and ministry of Jesus Christ—points to the fact that the Word became [or took on] flesh and dwelt among us. The apostle John was very clear and vary adamant on the fact that Jesus Christ was in fact the living and eternal Word of God, and that the Word was with God in the beginning, and the Word was God. Moreover, the Word took on and became flesh and dwelt among us, in order that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest. The author of the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews also presented us with the wonderful reality that Jesus Christ chose not to take on Himself the nature of angels, and the nature of divine beings, but rather, the nature of human flesh. What’s more, is the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote and declared that Jesus took on Himself the nature and seed of Abraham—a reality which directly correlates to that which Matthew wrote in the first chapter of his gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. I am actually convinced that Matthew’s linking Jesus Christ to Abraham not only directly connects the lineage of Jesus Christ to the Jewish people, but by doing so, he also links Jesus Christ to the promise which was given unto Abraham when he was called from Ur of the Chaldeans. By directly linking Jesus to Abraham, Matthew is bringing us face to face with the reality that Jesus is intrinsically linked to the promise which was given unto Abraham—first when he was called forth from. Ur of the Chaldeans, and secondly, years later when the Lord would appear to Him again. By linking Jesus Christ to Abraham and speaking of Him as the Son of Abraham, Matthew is emphatically declaring and proclaiming that Jesus Christ is in fact the fulfillment of the promise which was given unto Abraham. When the Lord declared that through Abraham all nations would be blessed, it would be through the seed that was passed down from Abraham throughout the generations that would cause all generations to be blessed. It would be the seed of Abraham present within the generations that would be the environment and atmosphere that would make ready the earth for the arrival and appearance of the Messiah. It would be the seed of Abraham present within the earth that would ultimately and eventually make way and make room for the arrival and appearance of the Messiah. It would be through the descendants of Abraham—it would be through the lineage of Abraham within the earth—that the promised Messiah would be brought forth within the earth.
I absolutely love how Matthew directly links Jesus Christ two Abraham, for by doing so, He intrinsically links Jesus Christ to the promise given unto Abraham, as well as presenting Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the promise. What’s more, is that while linking Jesus Christ to David, Matthew is also intrinsically linking Jesus the Christ to David the king of Israel, thus presenting Jesus as the rightful heir to sit upon the throne of David. JESUS CHRIST: KING OF THE PROMISE! JESUS CHRIST: HEIR OF THE PROMISE, HEIR TO THE THRONE! What we encounter when reading the words which matthew presented us with in this passage of Scripture is a wonderful and powerful reality that Jesus Christ is not only heir to and heir of the promise, but Jesus is also heir to the throne of David. Jesus Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the promise which was made unto Abraham several millennia ago, and as such, it would ultimately be through Jesus that all nations, all peoples, all races, all tongues, and every tribe would be blessed. What’s more, is that Jesus Christ is the ultimate heir to the throne of David, and as such is destined and appointed to rule and reign from the throne of David upon the earth. Consider if you will the words which are found and recorded in the ninth chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah concerning the coming Messiah: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7). This reality was even presented unto Mary when the angel Gabriel appeared unto her proclaiming that she would carry and conceive the promised Messiah, the Savior of Israel and the world. Consider if you will the words which are found and recorded in the first chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke, beginning with the twenty-sixth verse:
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:26-38).
As we come to the eighteenth verse of the first chapter of Matthew’s gospel we find the apostle beginning to bring us face to face with the birth of Jesus Christ, and how it came to be. Whereas in the first seventeen verses we are confronted with the incredible reality of the book of the generations of Jesus Christ, and the history which led up to and paved the way for the manifestation and appearance of the Messiah, the latter portion of this chapter bring us face to face with the birth of Jesus Christ. It would be in these verses where we are brought face to face with the fact that Mary was espoused to Joseph, and how before they came together in the covenant of marriage and engaged themselves in the marriage bed. Mary was found to be with child of the Holy Ghost. If we are to understand the birth of Jesus Christ, we must understand it as being that which is completely orchestrated by the Father in heaven, and bring brought into existence by the person, the presence, and the power of the Holy Spirit. When the angel Gabriel appeared unto Mary, he declared unto her that she would conceive and bring forth a child, and that that child would be born by the Holy Spirit who would overshadow her. When we begin reading from the eighteenth verse of the first chapter here in Matthew’s gospel we begin to read concerning the birth of Jesus Christ, and how He actually came to be brought into the world among men. What is so incredibly important about what we find in this passage of Scripture is that in order for Christ to be manifested in the earth—in order for Christ to be manifested within our hearts and lives—He must and can only be brought forth through and by the person of the Holy Spirit. We dare not, we cannot, we must not forget the fact that when Jesus was brought forth in the earth the first time, He was brought forth and conceived by the person of the Holy Spirit, as He overshadowed the physical body of Mary, thus enabling her to carry the Messiah within her womb. Even when the angel appeared unto Joseph in a dream, he declared the same reality unto Joseph—the reality that what was conceived within, and what was growing inside the womb of Mary was conceived not of man, but of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the work of bringing forth the Messiah into the earth is a work that can only be performed and completed through and by the person of the Holy Spirit. Try. And try as men and women might, they cannot bring about the person of the Messiah in the earth, and even within their own lives through their own flesh, through their own will, through their own devices, and through their own making.
In all reality, I am convinced that there is a direct link between Jesus Christ being linked to Abraham as the Son of Abraham, and Jesus’ being conceived within the womb of Mary by the person of the Holy Ghost. You will recall that when the Lord appeared unto Abraham, He declared unto him that Sarah his wife would give birth in her old, and would bring forth a son who would be the fulfillment of the promise that was made nearly twenty-five years earlier. More than twenty years prior, the Lord appeared unto Abraham and declared that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed, and as you read in the Old Testament book of Genesis, Isaac was to be heir to Abraham, and Isaac was to be the fulfillment of the promise. Though Abraham and Sarah tried to bring about the promise through an unholy and unauthorized union between Abraham and Hagar, Sarah’s handmaiden from the land of Egypt—such an act could not bring forth the promise which was made unto Abraham several years earlier. It is imperative that we recognize and understand this, for just as the promise could not be brought forth during Abraham’s day by human, by earthly,, and by natural means, so also the promised Messiah could not be brought forth into the earth by human and natural means. In fact, I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote concerning that which is born of the flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit. What’s more, is that I can’t help but also be reminded of the words which Jesus Himself spoke when He talked with Nicodemus by night. Consider if you will—first the words which the apostle Paul wrote in his epistle unto the churches in Galatia, and secondly, the words which Jesus Himself spoke unto Nicodemus when they talked by night:
“Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the Scfripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free” (Galatians 4:21-31).
“Jesus answered and said unto him Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, He cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, He cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:3-8).
I fully and completely believe that there is a wonderful and powerful link between Matthew’s declaring Jesus Christ as the Son of Abraham, and his recounting of Jesus Christ as being born by the Holy Spirit of a virgin. Just as Isaac was born and conceived by the barren woman, and was brought forth according to the Holy Ghost according to the promise, so also was Jesus born of a virgin, and conceived by the person of the Holy Spirit. Just as Isaac was conceived and brought forth as a direct result of the Holy Ghost overshadowing the physical body of Sarah in order that she might conceive and bring forth a child in her old age, so also was Christ brought forth as a direct result of the Holy Ghost overshadowing the young body of the Virgin Mary, in order that she might conceive and bring forth the promised Messiah within the earth. We dare not, we cannot, we must not miss the tremendous significance and importance of this reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the fact that Jesus the Christ was conceived and brought forth in the earth by the person of the Holy Spirit, for it was the Holy Spirit that not only overshadowed the physical body of Mary, but also caused the seed of Christ to be conceived within her womb and grow inside her. With that being said, it’s important to recognize that when we read the words which Matthew wrote in this passage of Scripture, Joseph initially thought to put away and divorce Mary quietly when he learned and discovered that she was pregnant. Figuring her to be pregnant as a result of adultery or fornication, he sought to put her away quietly, so as to not publicly disgrace her. This is actually quite fascinating and remarkable when you consider it, for it brings us face to face something we tend to do more often than not—run from those things which we don’t understand, and run from those things which don’t make sense. More often than not we tend to run away from and put away those things in our lives which don’t make sense—even when those things come not from human flesh, or the will of man, but from the Holy Ghost Himself. More often than not we tend to want to run from those things which we don’t understand within our lives—particularly and especially when it comes to those things which come from God. More often than not we—like Joseph almost did—run from, and flee from that which doesn’t make sense to our natural mind, that which we simply cannot fathom or understand. How many times have you found yourself wanting to run from something you did not and could not understand—not realizing or recognizing the fact that what you are attempting to run from is actually of God. Were it not for the angel Gabriel appearing unto Joseph by dream at night, he would have most certainly put away Mary privately and quietly, thus leaving Mary to be with child alone, and perhaps even afraid.
I can’t help but wonder what it was like for Mary when she discovered she was pregnant, and what it was like knowing that that which was growing inside you was not of your own flesh, nor came as a direct result of union with man, but as a direct result of the person, the presence and power of the Holy Ghost. As I am sitting here right now I can’t help but be confronted with the fact that not only must we acknowledge that in our lives which is conceived by the person of the Holy Ghost, but also that which is of God and not man. Oh that we would possess the courage that is necessary to not only accept that which we cannot and do not understand, but also that we would accept that which is of God and not of man. Oh that would possess the courage to remain in the work of God—even when initially everything inside us wanted to run in the opposite direction. Joseph initially sought to put Mary away privately, so as not to disgrace or reproach her, and if it weren’t for the angel Gabriel intervening and appearing unto Joseph by dream at night, Joseph might very well have done so. When the angel Gabriel finally did appear unto Joseph by dream at night, he not only instructed him to not fear taking Mary as his wife, but also to not fear and to accept that what was growing inside her was of the Holy Ghost. Oh, how many times are we threatened by that which is taking place within the life of another, and we aren’t aware that what is being worked and conceived within them is not of man, nor of their own flesh, but of the Holy Spirit. Joseph knew that there was something which was conceived within the womb of Mary, and there was something growing inside Mary, and it wasn’t until the angel Gabriel appeared unto him by dream during the night that he understood that the work which was being done in her life and within her physical body was a work that was being completed and performed by the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. I am convinced that there are times when we are intimidated and even threatened by that which is taking place within the lives of others, and perhaps even within our own lives, and we aren’t aware that what is being conceived, and what is being worked is actually brought forth by the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. Oh that we would possess the courage, the boldness and the willingness to accept what we don’t understand, and to accept that which is conceived within us by the person and presence of the Holy Spirit—a divine work of God which comes not from, by or through our own flesh or imagination, but through the person of the Holy Spirit and Him alone. Let us have the courage and the boldness to face that which we don’t understand, and accept that which comes not from flesh, but from the Spirit and from Him alone.