“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.”
King James Version (KJV)
1:16 The husband of Mary - Jesus was generally believed to be the son of Joseph. It was needful for all who believed this, to know, that Joseph was sprung from David. Otherwise they would not allow Jesus to be the Christ. Jesus, who is called Christ - The name Jesus respects chiefly the promise of blessing made to Abraham: the name Christ, the promise of the Messiah's kingdom, which was made to David. It may be farther observed, that the word Christ in Greek, and Messiah in Hebrew, signify anointed, and imply the prophetic, priestly, and royal characters, which were to meet in the Messiah. Among the Jews, anointing was the ceremony whereby prophets, priests, and kings were initiated into those offices. And if we look into ourselves, we shall find a want of Christ in all these respects. We are by nature at a distance from God, alienated from him, and incapable of a free access to him. Hence we want a mediator, an intercessor, in a word, a Christ, in his priestly office. This regards our state with respect to God. And with respect to ourselves, we find a total darkness, blindness, ignorance of God, and the things of God. Now here we want Christ in his prophetic office, to enlighten our minds, and teach us the whole will of God. We find also within us a strange misrule of appetites and passions. For these we want Christ in his royal character, to reign in our hearts, and subdue all things to himself.
1:17 So all the generations - Observe, in order to complete the three fourteens, David ends the first fourteen, and begins the second (which reaches to the captivity) and Jesus ends the third fourteen. When we survey such a series of generations, it is a natural and obvious reflection, how like the leaves of a tree one passeth away, and another cometh! Yet the earth still abideth. And with it the goodness of the Lord which runs from generation to generation, the common hope of parents and children. Of those who formerly lived upon earth, and perhaps made the most conspicuous figure, how many are there whose names are perished with them? How many, of whom only the names are remaining? Thus are we likewise passing away! And thus shall we shortly be forgotten! Happy are we, if, while we are forgotten by men, we are remembered by God! If our names, lost on earth, are at length found written in the book of life!
1:19 A just man - A strict observer of the law: therefore not thinking it right to keep her.
Mt 1:18 The birth of Jesus Christ. The word rendered here "birth" is the same in Greek that is translated "genealogy" in Mt 1:1. Mary was espoused. Not married, but engaged. Betrothal was, from the times of the patriarchs, a formal ceremony, and was regarded a binding obligation. It generally lasted a whole year before marriage. After betrothal unfaithfulness was regarded adultery. Before they came together. Before marriage. She was found. The angel (Lu 1:26,27) predicted her conception, and when the prediction was verified she probably did not hesitate to reveal it. Her heart would be filled with joyous pride instead of shame. Holy Ghost. Correctly, Holy Spirit. The Divine power. Christ is the only example of such a birth in all history. His birth, like his life and his resurrection, is a miracle.