Can you believe it is December already? The year has flown by!
While you might have heard the Christmas story told over and over again, for the next 4 weeks, I will be going through some key themes that can be found in different parts of the Christmas story that you may have never noticed before.
This week I will start with Matthew 1:18-25. I would encourage you to open up a real, physical Bible so that you can grow the habit of reading the Bible, but an IPad Bible will do just fine!
The Birth of Jesus Christ 18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and 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,[a]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 be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[b]—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 had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
In this passage, we see so many instances of obedience--and obedience through faith and trust in God.
In verse 19, when Joseph finds that Mary is to be with child, the culturally correct thing for him to do is to divorce Mary. He was being obedient to the law of the land. However, in verse 20-21, we learn that the angel of the Lord tells Joseph to obey another command to take Mary as his wife because it was a part of God's plan. In verse 24, we see that Joseph did what the angel commanded while still following the customs in verse 25. All throughout this passage we see Joseph's continued obedience to God because he has the faith and trust that God's way is the best way--even if it doesn't make sense or seems really hard to follow.
So what can we learn from this?
We can learn that:
a) Joseph was a man who studied the Bible and who knew God well. He understood immediately when he found out that Mary was to have Jesus that the law says he should divorce her. Only a man who studies God's Word and spends time with God would know what to do in a very difficult and tough situation.
b) Joseph was also a man who had a personal relationship with God aside from just studying God intellectually. The angel was able to speak to Joseph because he had a personal relationship with God, and he was able to obey the message because of his personal relationship with God.
c) Joseph was able to obey in both of these circumstances because he had faith and trust in an Almighty God. Because He knows that God's way is sovereign over his own understanding of the world, Joseph trusted that if he did what God wanted, God would provide for him--even if that meant doing things that were scary, difficult, or hard to do. It wasn't easy to face the shame and humiliation of marrying a woman who was already with child, but he knew that God would deliver him from any harm and that this would glorify God in the long-run.
I hope that you've been able to learn something new this week about the Christmas story! I look forward to writing more things that might surprise you.
Until next time,