We hear a lot about the first two at Christmas, but the third gets very little air time. Our Christmas stories, plays, hymns, teaching and preaching are generally based on the birth of Christ as told in the gospels of Matthew and Luke.
Matthew was a Jew writing primarily to other Jews, trying to convince them that Jesus was their Messiah and King. The gospel of Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus Christ through Joseph to Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation. This showed the Jews that Jesus was of the seed of Abraham and a son of David.
Matthew tells us about an angel visiting Joseph in a dream to inform him that his pregnant fiancé had not cheated on him. She was still a virgin (Matt. 1:18-20). The child was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and would be a son, who would “save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:20-21). Matthew points out that this was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” which means “God with us” (Matt. 1:22-23).
This post provides an introduction to the article. The full article can be found at: The Third Advent Story.