In the 2013 film Man of Steel, young Clark Kent used his super-human strength to save a busload of fellow students from drowning in a river. Clark’s father, who believed the world wasn’t prepared to accept his supernatural son, urged Clark to keep his great strength a secret. He explained to him, “When the world finds out what you can do, it’s going to change everything—our beliefs, our notions of what it means to be human—everything!”

Watching that scene made me wonder if Joseph, Jesus’ stepfather, ever had similar thoughts cross his mind about his supernatural son. I wonder if it ever occurred to him how dramatically the world was going to change when it found out who his boy truly was.

We can’t say for sure if Joseph had such thoughts, but we know Mary did. Several days after an angel broke the news to Mary that she was going to get pregnant (Luke 1:26-38), she went to visit her relative Elizabeth, who was 6 months along in her pregnancy. Luke tells us that the baby in Elizabeth’s womb “jumped for joy” at the sound of Mary’s voice (Luke 1:44). The two women saw it as a sign that Mary was indeed pregnant with God’s child.

Overcome with joy, Mary burst out with what would become one of the most famous songs of the Bible—The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). The last line of the song acknowledges that Mary was fully aware that the child growing inside her womb was the long-awaited fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham—one that would bless and change the whole world (Genesis 12:1-3).

One of the many things the birth of Jesus reveals is that God is faithful. To celebrate Jesus’ birth is to celebrate the One who keeps His promises.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 Peter 2:1-25