Summary: Jospeh was just the first one to see how upside down Christ really was going to make the world.
Believing the Unbelievable
(Reasoning with the Unreasonable?)
There’s a book out you’ve probably heard of – it’s called Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, and its general point is that Men & Woman pretty much live on different planets. Well, when it came to finding out about the birth of our Saviour, it was pretty much right on the money. Look at Mary’s reaction in Luke 1 – Her reaction is to sing a love song to God about this precious baby she is about to have. Joseph’s reaction is a bit more understandable. Okay, he says, the woman I’m supposed to marry has just gotten pregnant. What do I do? That’s a man talking. And, frankly, it’s a reaction I can understand a heck of a lot better than I can Mary’s reaction!
That’s why I’m confused by vs. 24 here. It says, Joseph had this dream. But ultimately, he knew it was from God. Now here’s the part that I find so amazing – he got up and did what he was commanded. Put yourself, if you would, in Joseph’s shoes for a minute. I want you to forget that you know who this kid is going to be. Realize the amount of faith that Joseph had to have here.
I. Joseph was called to believe the unbelievable
II. Joseph was called to associate with the disreputable
III. Joseph was called to give up his rightful due, with nothing concrete in return.
In many ways, this is the same call God gives when he calls to accept his Son. But you and I who have been saved by his grace know, that while it makes no earthly sense, it is ultimately the most divine logical thing we can ever believe. That’s why understanding Joseph here is so important – he is called to accept the very same Gospel that we all face, and so I want to look at that this morning.
I. Joseph’s Dilemma
a. Joseph was called to believe the unbelievable
i. Our conditioning:
1. Chaste Women don’t get pregnant. Reasonable to assume that Mary was just foolin’ around.
2. Miracles don’t happen – or do they?
3. Anything “too good to be true” probably isn’t.
ii. Why does a miracle have to happen to me? – Thank God it does!
b. Joseph was called to associate with the disreputable
i. Look at Jesus’ crowd:
1. Jesus associated with prostitutes, tax collectors, and other sinners
2. Jesus was announced by a crazy man (John the Baptist)
3. His disciples were uneducated fisherman who Constantly kept their feet in their mouths!
ii. We as Christians are often ashamed of who we identify with
iii. Face it – we’re afraid he’ll send us halfway around the world, etc… Been there done that – It’s ok!
iv. After all, Jesus didn’t come to heal those who are well!
c. Joseph was called to give up his rightful due, with nothing concrete in return.
i. It was his “right”
1. to humiliate this woman who had “humiliated” him!
2. to have some time with his wife before they had kids. (THIS IS EVERY MAN’S FEAR!!!)
3. Frankly, it was his right to have been able to have relations with her.
II. So, why is it that Joseph, when every human sign would tell him to put Mary away chose to believe a Dream sent from God? Because, he understood the nature of God-