The Nativity Story: The Courage of Joseph
Sermon shared by C. Raymond Van Pletsen
Summary: Because of his allegiance to God, Joseph displayed moral courage and manly courage. He showed courage in his personal life, by being a morally and spiritually strong man in a corrupt world.
Series: The Nativity Story
Denomination: Christian/Church of Christ
Audience: General adults
About Sermon Contributor
THE COURAGE OF JOSEPH
The Main Idea
Because of his allegiance to God, Joseph displayed moral courage and manly courage.
Moral. He showed courage in his personal life, by being a morally and spiritually strong man in a corrupt world.
Manly. He demonstrated his courage when, despite personal embarrassment and in the face of social ostracism, he believed God and married the pregnant girl who was not carrying his baby.
He revealed his sustaining courage in protecting the mother and child during the life-threatening years of Jesusí childhood.
Applied To Today
∑ The world needs morally strong men, men who have cultivated such a deep relationship with God that they have begun to share His character.
∑ Wives need husbands strong enough to defend them, even at great personal cost.
∑ Children need fathers who are morally strong enough to protect them against the hostile world.
∑ Joseph Was An Ordinary Man
∑ Joseph Lived A Morally Upright Life
∑ Joseph Restrained His Anger And Chose To Treat Mary With Love
∑ Joseph Resisted Societal Pressure
∑ Joseph Obeyed God And Took Mary Home To Be his Wife
∑ Joseph Protected The Child Whenever His Life Was In Danger
It was not until I saw the movie World Trade Center that I realized how courageous the rescuers were in the days following 9-11. The movie told the story of one team of rescuers and two policemen whom they dug out in time to save their lives. These rescuers had to be extremely courageous men to climb down into the chasms formed by broken concrete and steel to rescue trapped people.
Film Clip Form ďWorld Trade CenterĒ Movie
Show the scene of the rescuers reaching the first policeman.
At any moment the massive wreckage above and around them could shift, trapping or killing them as well. They also were aware of the danger posed by the dust and smoke they were inhaling.
And yet they did their duty. They did what they had been trained to do and what the trapped people needed them to do. The nation was right to honor them for their courage even though many of their stories may never be told.
There is a story of courage that is told every Christmas season. But it is a story we often miss because the hero of the story is usually in the background. In nativity scenes he stands silently next to the manger in which the baby Jesus is laid. His name is Joseph and he seems to play a secondary role in the nativity story. He is not even given a single line to speak! Then he disappears completely from history after the teenage years of Jesus.
And yet the courage of Joseph was what made it possible for the child to be born in Bethlehem and to survive the life-threatening early years of his life. Joseph was the man to whom God entrusted the task of protecting the mother and her child from the time she conceived Jesus. He was the rugged and brave man who led Mary safely along the dangerous roads to Bethlehem, to Egypt and eventually back home to northern Israel.
God selected this man to protect the infant Jesus in the dangerous first years of his life. As we look over the span of his life we see that Joseph had the courage to:
∑ Live a morally upright life in an immoral world
∑ marry a pregnant girl who was not carrying his child
∑ protect his wife and son in their flight
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