Our daily lives fall effortlessly into a conventional set of circumstances.
The daily grind.
The predictable path.
The ordinary set of expectations.
The likely outcome.
The natural consequences.
The record of the nativity implies this as well.
Those in power win (King Herod).
Pregnant, unwed teens are abandoned (Mary).
Refugees live in fear (the Holy Family in Egypt).
But Matthew records an unconventional word that disrupts the anticipated outcome:
The word “Behold” is spoken at the point when God inserts himself into conventional life and changes its course. (Matt. 1:20; 2:13, 19)
“Behold” is a marker identifying a moment when God upends ordinary occurrence. He disrupts expected outcomes. He flips the customary narrative of how things are supposed to happen.
“Behold!” The angel tells Joseph to take the girl as his wife even though it’s not his child (Matt. 1:20). “Behold!” The angel commands Joseph to relocate to a foreign nation (Matt. 2:13). “Behold!” The angel instructs him to risk the return to a tenuous land (Matt. 2:19).
“Behold” means that God unexpectedly redirects life. He invades the conventional and changes the common trajectory. His will is clear contrary to the safe and secure choice. His plans contradict the clichés and conventional wisdom of our age.
The crucifixion is also a great “Behold!” The suffering and death of our Lord is a reversal of what we expected. It’s the great twist of history that God would rescue his people, and do it in this unconventional way.
When you were in a chaotic cloud, bewildered by a change, had God not enacted a great “Behold!”? Has not God performed blessed pivots in your life, as unexpected or even painful as they were?
What needs God’s great “Behold!” today?
Where might you call upon him to enter into your timeline and alter its customary course?
We’ve come to expect God’s unexpected intervention. After all, the infant in the manger has already adjusted our trajectory, eternally.