It was her first pregnancy, but heaven knows it wouldn’t be her last. And this babe she was carrying was called the Son of the Most High. His birth had been prophesied many years earlier, but no one knew the timeline. He wasn’t expected at this particular moment in history. And Mary definitely wasn’t expecting to be expecting the Savior of the world. Ever. She just wasn’t. And neither was her future husband, Joseph. Sure. They were planning to marry and have a family, but family before marriage just wasn’t acceptable. It was unthinkable with serious consequences.
Even the mystery surrounding the conception brought division between Mary and Joseph. She knew she was a virgin. But, in the moment, she couldn’t just prove it to Joseph. And he had every right to suspect her of being unfaithful. It was a quandary of even the most modern of times. Pregnancies didn’t just happen without consummation. But this is exactly what happened. And it was difficult to explain. And even more difficult to prove.
Joseph could have had Mary put to death for this act of adultery. It took a miracle of trust and faith for Joseph to move ahead in the relationship. But he stepped forward to claim her as his wife, even when he could have stepped out of the picture. Although this child conceived supernaturally would not have his DNA, the child would be counted in the family line of David. It may not make sense to those of us on earth. But to an all-knowing, all-seeing, always present God, it doesn’t have to make sense to us in order for it to be right and true and good. God had spoken.
If Mary and Joseph knew the prophecies about Jesus, they would have known that he was to be the Prince of Peace. But in those moments of confusion and chaos, perhaps peace wasn’t their first thought. Mary. Confused about being pregnant while an unmarried virgin stood to lose her life. Joseph. His thoughts went to divorce because his betrothed was pregnant with a child not his. But as they each privately stepped back and listened to the words of the angel, the plan made perfect sense. Oh. In future days, confusion and chaos would return as their news spread to an unsuspecting world. But in their private moments, they each came to the acceptance and understanding of something far greater than themselves. Confusion and chaos could wait for another day. Today. In this quiet moment. Peace reigned in their hearts. They were at rest with God’s plan to allow them to parent this God child. They would move forward with God leading the way. There was no turning back.
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Luke 1:31-33
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Also. If Mary and Joseph knew the prophecies surrounding the promised Messiah, they would know that the government would rest on his shoulders. What does that even mean? Having something resting on your shoulders seems to be a very heavy burden to bear. An unbearable yoke. Yet it would be on him. How does a Prince of Peace carry a heavy burden and proclaim peace? Jesus would lay down his will and accept the authority to rule on earth as it is in heaven. He would have full responsibility of bearing the sins of all the world. He would suffer and die for the sins of all mankind. That is a heavy burden to bear for a mere mortal. But he was God Incarnate.
He would be called Wonderful Counselor. And who isn’t looking for a wonderful counselor these days? Certainly those in Bethlehem were. And yet. They didn’t know that the new baby born in an unnamed stable was their Wonderful Counselor. Little did they know that he would rule the world. The name of Mighty God points straight to God himself. Jesus would do things only God could do. And as Everlasting Father, he pointed to eternity. His wouldn’t be an earthly reign. His would be eternal.
Jesus is the originator of peace. But in a world full of chaos and confusion, peace seems to elude us. And the reason peace eludes us is because we’re not looking to the originator of peace. We’ve trying to find peace and fulfillment in things of this world. Not eternal things. And so we’re constantly on the hunt for peace. It always seems to be around the corner. But the plan for eternal peace begins with Jesus Christ. His heavy burden of dying on the old rugged cross for our sins brings the peace to each of us as we bow and repent of our sins. The peace that knows no ending does not have to be elusive. It can be eternal. If only we turn over the chaos and confusion and control of our lives to him. The peace will reign in our hearts. And we can truly call him our own personal Prince of Peace.
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27
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Merry Christmas to you and your family!
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