Summary: See what Christmas was intended to be as you see what Joseph saw and experienced.
Christmas through Their Eyes
“Christmas through JOSEPH’S Eyes”
Introduction: What does Christmas mean to you? If you ask the average person it probably has something to do with presents, family, trees, etc.
Stevie Wonder recorded a song entitled “What Christmas Means to Me.” Here’s the first verse: Candles burnin' low,
Lots of mistletoe. Lots of snow and ice, everywhere we go. Choirs singin' carols, right outside my door. All these things and more
That's what Christmas means to me my love.
That would be similar to what many people would include on their lists. To others it would be a time of stress. I read a column in a newspaper where the writer expressed the desire that we only celebrate Christmas every 5 years because of the overspending and hassle of putting up decorations every year. Perhaps you have felt that way at times.
But is that what Christmas is supposed to be? Is that what was intended? As we look at the Scripture today we will see what Christmas was meant to be as we examine “Christmas through JOSEPH’S eyes.”
For Joseph, Christmas was a time of…
1. Fulfilled prophecy. (Luke 2:4)
“went up” – Nazareth is about 1,830 feet elevation and Bethlehem is at an elevation of about 2,564 feet. That's why it says he went up even thought they traveled south.
He went into the city of David. Two cities are identified as the city of David. One was Jerusalem which would have been the capital during David’s reign. The second, Bethlehem is the city of his birth.
By coming to Bethlehem and giving birth they fulfilled the prophecy of Micah 5:2.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
God used a pagan ruler for His glory! God will move heaven and earth and the heart of a godless king to make sure His word is kept and that prophecy is fulfilled. Mary and Joseph would never have made this journey of over 80 miles and a week’s worth of walking in her condition if not for the government requiring it.
Not only is the place a fulfillment of prophecy but also the lineage of both Mary and Joseph is that of David’s which fulfills the prophecy regarding the Messiah in
“‘The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 2 Samuel 7:12-13 (NIV)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)
Christmas was prophecy fulfilled, but was also extremely inconvenient for them. Many times we find ourselves inconvenienced but at the same time God’s will and purposes are being advanced.
We see anything that poses an inconvenience to our lives as a nasty negative! Our agendas are sealed, but God’s agenda will often conflict with ours. When we choose God’s choice, we find the JOY of obedience in the midst of being inconvenienced.
–Brian Bell, Pastor, Calvary Murrieta, Murrieta, CA
This leads us to something else we learn about Christmas from Joseph…
“to be registered” – The whole reason he is here is because of his obedience in complying with the decree of Caesar Augustus and his Jewish background. Romans could have registered wherever they were living and been in compliance, but as a Jew he returned to the place of his ancestry and thus they find themselves in Bethlehem.
But his faithful obedience did not just start at this point. No, about nine months previously he had demonstrated this obedience in three ways.
1:24 – “did as the angel told him” – I would hope that could be said of any of us. “He or she did as God told them.”
First he was obedient toward his betrothed. He married Mary and made her an “honest woman” although he would still endure the scandal for years as would Jesus all His life.