On our first Christmas in the house we now live in, we went all-out with the Christmas lights. Icicle lights twinkled from our eaves, the bushes were covered with shimmering strings and a big spotlight glowed over a nativity. The display didn’t quite rival Clark Griswold’s, but we did keep blowing fuses. I wonder if our neighbors were able to get any sleep that year.
In those days before street lights and night lights, a radiant beam shining down like a beacon must have been an amazing sight in Bethlehem.
When Matthew set out to write an account of Jesus’ life, he wanted to start at the very beginning. His friend, Mark, who had already penned his gospel, began with Jesus coming to John for baptism. But Matthew must have done some extra research, because he opened his narrative with a 42 generation family tree.
Then the story opens. “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph…” Matt. 1:18
His mother Mary. Of course. Matthew must have interviewed Mary. Where else would he have been able to get such detailed information about the birth of Jesus? Who else would have been able to report how a bright light in the sky came to rest right over their roof? How else would Matthew have known the list of gifts from unexpected guests?
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
That’s what mothers do. They remember their birth stories.
Maybe it was the way Mary recounted the events, or maybe it was Matthew’s intention, but five times in his narrative, Matthew used the phrase, “the child and his mother”. Never “the mother and her child”.
Above all, this is about Jesus, God’s Son.
The spotlight should always be on Him.