Behold! An angel, a virgin, wise men, a star... and Immanuel

Dec 20, 2013

by Justin Huffman


The command "Behold!" appears 247 times in the New Testament. Each time this imperative is used in order to call attention to what is being said, or seen, or considered. It is a powerful word that forces us to pause, consider, and be amazed by the subject matter being described. There are some things that are simply worth taking a long and careful look at.

Not surprisingly, then, the New Testament opens -- in the first two chapters of Matthew -- with no less than six occurrences of this command as the story of Christ's birth is narrated.

We are called to consider the uniqueness, the majesty, and the miraculousness of this pivotal event in human history.

We are meant to be in awe of the angel's announcement to Joseph concerning Mary's miraculous conception (1:20), of the wise men following a new star in order to worship the Christ child (2:1,9), and of the divinely directed flight to and from Egypt (2:13,19). And, most of all, we are commanded to consider the world-tilting implications of this wonderful reality: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (1:23).

Perhaps you are very familiar with the narrative of the birth of Christ. But when did you last "behold" this marvelous event? How long has it been since you focused by faith on the truth that God has come to us, in the person and work of Jesus Christ?

We are not meant to skim lightly over this miracle of all miracles, this mercy of all mercies, this wonder of all wonders.

We are called to "behold" it, to carefully consider the reality of Christ's birth and be transformed by it.

So, during this holiday season, do not be content merely to spend time with family and friends, or give and receive presents. Take the time to consider, to behold, the virgin-born Jesus, who is God come to live with us.

Resource: 'Finding Grace' Blog
Categories: Bible Study, Finding Grace
Collection: Christmas
Matthew 1:23
More resources about chapter 1:
A Virgin Shall Be With Child

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