Matthew 1:18-25 Running On Rails

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Running On Rails

Jesus, it seemed your life was running on rails.  The players all moved into place and the plan unfolded as expected.  Expected from heaven’s perspective, that is.  Not expected from human perspective.  I don’t see a ‘pattern’ in my life very clearly.  In my mind the past seems somewhat chaotic, in line with my past mistakes.  However, the way your life was laid out gives hope.  In the chaos that is human life a thread of divine will can be traced.

What did you know as you were an embryo?  Precious little.  That gives me hope.  I can know as much as an embryo.  How much of this life I am living is part of the plan?  How much am I running on the rails?  I want to not be in the way.  I want to forget myself.  However, there is so much that I worry about.  It seems some people can’t see past themselves in a positive light, others in a negative light.  I just want to see you and follow.  An angel in a dream would be nice.  Writing on a wall.  Should we expect the supernatural to break through as it did at your birth.  I would like more peace, or happiness as some indication that your will is being carried out.

However, I do have faith.  I believe the events of Matthew happened.  I believe that you came as the one who saves.  I believe that you will save us from our ‘self’.  I believe I am on a path to redemption because your path to redemption was assured.


  1. How was Joseph kept on the divine plan?
  2. What name was he to give Mary’s son?
  3. What does the name ‘Jesus’ or ‘Joshua’ mean?
  4. Do you accept that Jesus was born in a miraculous way and lived out a planned life?
  5. How is your life planned out by God the Father through Christ?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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1 Response to Matthew 1:18-25 Running On Rails

  1. Carrie says:

    I’m not sure what God’s plan is in my life but I do know that I will be a testimony to others because of God’s love and protection in my life. To show that we can heal and love completely even after we have been hurt or wronged. I pray that God continues to heal me emotionally so I can be used as a light for someone else.

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