Summary: Joseph wasn’t so thrilled with the whole idea presented to him at first, but eventually accepted the present as God presented it to him. Joseph is really the forgotten figure of Christmas.
A Savior Worth Waiting For ~ Luke 2:8-20
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011).
Let’s look at the gifts that a woman named Mary received that first Christmas. God gave her gifts that were a perfect fit for her. She was going to have a son named Jesus. He was going to be great because He was the Son of the Most High God. His kingdom will never end and He will be called the Holy One. Mary responded in Luke 1:38 with the only gift she had, the gift of herself, when she said, “I am the Lord’s servant…May it be to me as you said.”
So then, let’s look at how a man named Joseph responded to the gift that God had for him. We’ll see that he wasn’t too thrilled with the whole idea at first but eventually accepted the present as God presented it to him. Joseph is really the forgotten figure of Christmas, paling in comparison to the infinite who became an infant and to Mary the mother of Jesus.
Did you know that he’s the only one in the nativity narrative who isn’t heard from? In fact, he doesn’t say a single word in the gospels. While he was silent, this quiet man of character left behind something that speaks much louder than his words ever could.
A church was putting on a Christmas pageant, which included the story of Mary and Joseph coming to the inn. One boy really wanted to be Joseph, but when the parts were handed out, he was assigned to be the innkeeper instead. He couldn’t stand the guy who got to be Joseph but he kept quiet about everything. Inside he was secretly plotting how to get back at his rival.
On the night of the performance, Mary and Joseph came walking across the stage and knocked on the door of the inn. The innkeeper opened the door and asked them gruffly what they wanted. Joseph answered, “We’d like to have a room for the night.” Suddenly the innkeeper threw the door open wide and smiled even wider, “Great, come on in and I’ll give you the best room in the house!”
For a few seconds poor little Joseph didn’t know what to do. Thinking quickly on his feet, he looked inside the door past the innkeeper and then said, “No wife of mine is going to stay in a dump like this. Come on, Mary, let’s go to the barn.”
Joseph doesn’t get a starring role, but his part is so important. The real Joseph tried to think quickly on his feet when he thought the lines were messed up, but he needed some angelic intervention before he was able to play the role that had been assigned to him.
He probably thought his life was all scripted out. His marriage to Mary and his vocation as a carpenter were all neatly arranged for him. He would have a lucrative career, a beautiful wife, and a large family. But then his world came crashing down on his head. He had a day of disappointment, which was followed by a night of discovery that eventually led to a morning of dedication.