December 22

Matthew 1:18-25

Dear Matthew,

I have just a few questions to ask you. You set out to tell us how the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place, but you say nothing about the manger or the shepherds. I know Mark skipped right over the topic, and John gave it a very different treatment, but Luke told us about those things. Why not you?

The other thing is, you trace Jesus’ family tree back through Joseph, yet you say that Joseph was not his biological father. I can see that you were trying to emphasize that Jesus embodied God in a unique and thorough-going way. I get that. But if God used Mary to bring his Son, the Messiah, to birth, why not also Joseph?

Your story reminds me of the beginning of the Bible where it says that the Spirit of God moved over the invisible, formless nothing and spoke creation into existence. In saying that Jesus was conceived by the Spirit, were you trying to say that, through him, God brought a new creation into existence? Paul spoke about that.

I think I understand why you included the story about the wise men. You wanted it known that Jesus was the Messiah for all people, not just for Jewish people.

I hope you don’t mind me asking these questions. Thank you for collecting the material about Jesus and putting it together so powerfully. You have given us a remarkable and wonderful picture of Jesus. Thank you.