Mat 1:18-25; The Grand Entrance of the Son of God.

Class Outline:

Sunday November 5, 2023


Grace is not only the gift itself but also the manner in which it is conveyed. God’s gifts often come in an unlikely or unexpected manner.


Theme: The virgin birth through Mary teaches us that grace is wonderful and comes to us in unlikely and unexpected ways.


Don’t write a script for God and then be shocked when He doesn’t follow it.


MAT 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.


The people have a sin problem, Isa 1-6.


Isaiah’s calling then comes in chapter 6, but his commission is one of doom. Blind and deaf Israel will not respond to the gospel.


ISA 6:9-10

'Keep on listening, but do not perceive;

Keep on looking, but do not understand.'

10 "Render the hearts of this people insensitive,

Their ears dull,

And their eyes dim,

Otherwise they might see with their eyes,

Hear with their ears,

Understand with their hearts,

And return and be healed."


The ministry of Isaiah is to harden the hearts of the people.


An odd thing to be called by God to do for His people, until we see how it is to be done.


The grace of God is the means of hardening the hearts of the people.


Think of it three ways:

1) You can do nothing for deliverance / salvation other than believe because God has done everything and left nothing for you to do.

2) The most evil among us will be saved in the same way, not having to pay anything (to God) for their sins.

3) Deliverance can only come from God, having all authority and being outside of this world.


We saw last time that right after recording this commission by God to harden the hearts of the people, the event of being sent to king Ahaz is recorded.


ISA 7:10-12

Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 "Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven." 12 But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!"


A sign is given anyway:


ISA 7:13-14

Then he said, "Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.


“virgin” - almah = young maiden ready for marriage.

Who is this? A woman, Israel, Jerusalem?


ISA 49:3

He said to Me, "You are My Servant, Israel,

In Whom I will show My glory."


Put a pin in that and let’s return to Ahaz. Ahaz is the king Isaiah is sent to in Isa 7 (just after Isaiah’s commission). At the end of the section (1-39) is king Hezekiah. As bad a king Ahaz is, Hezekiah is a good king.


Ahaz and Hezekiah.

Assyria is the threat (7:17; 36:1)

Upper pool (7:3; 36:2)

Do not fear (7:4; 37:6)

Sign (7:14; 37:30-32; 38:7-8)

Virgin (7:14; 37:22)


Ahaz says no to the sign while Hezekiah says yes.


ISA 38:7-8

This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that He has spoken: 8 "Behold, I will cause the shadow on the stairway, which has gone down with the sun on the stairway of Ahaz, to go back ten steps."


Assyria attacks Judah and stands poised to take Jerusalem.


ISA 36:9

'Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their land from my hand, that the Lord would deliver Jerusalem from my hand?'"


Hezekiah sends servants to Isaiah and a promise is given to the king that is very much like the one given to Ahaz.


ISA 37:5-6

So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6 Isaiah said to them, "Thus you shall say to your master, 'Thus says the Lord, "Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.


Hezekiah’s response is very different from Ahaz.

He prays as a man of God.


ISA 37:14-15

Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed to the Lord …


The response to Hezekiah’s prayer is sent to him from Isaiah. Notice that the virgin comes up again, as it was with Ahaz.

ISA 37:22-23

“She has despised you and mocked you,

The virgin daughter of Zion;

She has shaken her head behind you,

The daughter of Jerusalem!

23 Whom have you reproached and blasphemed?

And against whom have you raised your voice

And haughtily lifted up your eyes?

Against the Holy One of Israel!”


She, Jerusalem, is addressed as the virgin daughter. Her walls are her womb and within her are the children of Israel. Assyria is an evil man seeking to violate the virgin, but she is protected. “She has shaken her head behind you,” means that she sees what must have happened as he walks away in shame and defeat.


The virgin is Jerusalem. The Servant is Israel. To this point, 701 BC.


As Hezekiah is shown victorious (by God’s intervention) and as the Book of Isaiah now moves towards the redemption and deliverance of Israel (40-55), perhaps it is he, Hezekiah, who is the anointed one.


ISA 39:5-8

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the Lord of hosts, 6 'Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon; nothing will be left,' says the Lord. 7 'And some of your sons who will issue from you, whom you will beget, will be taken away, and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.'" 8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good." For he thought, "For there will be peace and truth in my days."


That is not something the Messiah would say, “As long as my days are peace, to heck with the future generations.”


Is it no wonder that the Servant is called Israel …


ISA 49:3

He said to Me, "You are My Servant, Israel,

In Whom I will show My glory."


… but who could not be Jerusalem nor king David, nor any other king in his line. The virgin is not the city (contrast to the times that God calls Israel a harlot), which laid in ruins after the Babylonian captivity and would again after the Roman conquering. The virgin was a daughter in Israel, blessed to be chosen to give birth to the Messiah in the most miraculous way.




ISA 49:1-6

Listen to Me, O islands,

And pay attention, you peoples from afar.

The Lord called Me from the womb;

From the body of My mother He named Me.

2 He has made My mouth like a sharp sword,

In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me;

And He has also made Me a select arrow,

He has hidden Me in His quiver.

3 He said to Me, "You are My Servant, Israel,

In Whom I will show My glory."

4 But I said, "I have toiled in vain,

I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity;

Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord,

And My reward with My God."


5 And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,

To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him

(For I am honored in the sight of the Lord,

And My God is My strength),

6 He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant

To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;

I will also make You a light of the nations

So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."


Bread and cup.


Grace, the gospel, Christ has always been the world’s stumbling block. He is the One people trip over or build their house upon (foundation).


Grace is God’s offer to you. Often what He offers is not what you would expect (an obscure young maiden).


It is grace that always trips up the human race. Grace still causes Christians to stumble who will not forgive, continue to judge, continue to seek revenge, will not serve the undeserving, will not stop protecting their own reputation and things, etc. Grace is given and we are, every one of us, unvaluable and nothing, but for the things that God has given us.


God’s grace is supremely revealed in the Person of Christ.

The Father gave the Son of God for us.


Follow all that is given to you. Do not neglect the things given which came in an unexpected manner.