Joseph’s Example

In today’s portion of the Christmas story we transition to Joseph. As we see in this passage, he was an upright Jew who followed the law. He shows compassion and caring for Mary as he does not want her disgraced and plans to divorce her quietly. Their betrothals were more binding than our ‘engagements’ as to end them they actually had to seek a divorce.

Matthew 1:18-25 “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: 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 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, 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”(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”.

From this passage we can tell that Joseph is open to listening to the angel and takes what he says as truth. He does not question the angel as to how this could even be possible, but accepts the circumstances of Mary’s pregnancy as fact and acts in faith by taking Mary home to be his wife. He did not object to the possible ridicule they would face or the difficult times ahead for them both but trusted the Lord to see them through as he knew it was God’s plan. I admire Joseph’s faith and trust in God and his compassion and love for Mary.

From this passage we can also tell things about God. God knew Joseph’s inner most thoughts. He did not have to hear them aloud as the angel came and addressed Joseph’s concerns and future plans as He had prior knowledge of his thoughts. God is Omniscient and knows all that happens and will happen in our world. God knows our inner most thoughts and there is nothing we can hide from Him. God had a plan to save all mankind through His Son Jesus and used a miraculous plan that only God could conceive and execute. God is Sovereign over all actions in our world and can make things happen that defy our natural world though his Omnipotent power. By using the Holy Spirit to indwell Mary so that she would conceive a child showed God’s ability to be present within us, His Omnipresence.

Which of these attributes of God is most meaningful to you today? Do you forget that God is Omniscient and try to ‘get away’ with sin? Do you rationalize it by thinking it is a little sin and God won’t care? What about His Sovereignty and Omnipotent power? Do you trust God to be in control of all things in your life? Do you pray like you believe that He is and can do all things? Forgetting or ignoring the fact that God is Omnipresent denies the truth that He is with us always. Jesus’ parting words in Matthew 28:19-20 say otherwise, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus promises to be with us, Omnipresent with each believer always. Do you live life like Jesus is right there with you in the problems and in the celebrations?

There is much to ponder in this portion of the Christmas story that can lead us to greater faith and trust in Almighty God. Will you follow in Joseph’s path and walk with humility, faith and trust in God today? Will you trust God to walk before you and with you to face the problems and challenges each day brings? Use your faith and see the miracles only God can do in your life!

Linda

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