Summary: Joseph’s DILEMMA, Joseph’s DREAM, & Joseph’s DECISION. An earthly dad meets the Heavenly Father and is forever changed. Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Presentation, + many more Christmas Sermons.
Jesus’ Dad Hears From Jesus’ Father
Matthew presents the birth of Christ from the vantage point of His earthly dad (Joseph was not the father). God was the Father who planted His sinless seed into the virgin womb of Mary, who was engaged to Joseph.
A divine DNA proceeded from the Heavenly Father…thank God for that or Jesus could not have been the God-Man, the Savior / or shed His blood for us!
Joseph was Jesus’ legal father, but not His literal father. We don’t know much about Joseph. In all 4 gospels: not 1 quote from Joseph (we never hear him speak)
-strong silent type? (carpenter / callouses)
-is this indicative of the fact that he’s not vital to the story? I don’t think so.
Either way, he was just what Mary needed at this time in her life.
He may not be an integral part of the birth of the Savior, but you have to admit, it was an honor to be handpicked by God to be the earthly dad that Jesus would need. Anybody man can be a father, but it takes someone very special to truly be a dad…what kids really need. Jesus had a good dad, and of course, the best Father of all!
Joseph and Mary were good people, but they were sinners, just like you and me…and we can learn from their lives. They were engaged, but did not sin before their time…but they were still sinners indeed in their very nature.
3 thoughts on Joseph:
1. Joseph’s Dilemma
v. 18 Jewish marriages took place in 3 stages:
The contractual stage / espousal stage / actual consummation
Young people had little to do w/ the process as most marriages were pre-arranged. This marriage was likely arranged when Joseph and Mary were little kids! A legal contract would be signed w/ details of the dowry put in writing! [ “2 Chickens for your daughter!” ] They grew up knowing who they would marry and didn’t question it (divorce rate was low then!)
Joke—little boy said, I hope a pretty girl moves into the neighborhood…on my side of the street! Someone asked, why your side? “’cuz someday I’ll want to get married and momma won’t let me cross the street!”
After the contractual stage was the espousal stage, what we would call an engagement period, which normally lasted about a year. Now they were allowed to spend time together and start getting to know each other (told to learn to love each other! [not fall in love] Love is a choice, a decision, a commitment! [Eph. 5--God commands men to love their wives…a decision, not just a feeling] Today we make much more allowance for attraction, and none of us would want our marriage completely arranged for us as it used to be, but you have to admit we often err on the superficial side of things as a result. Nowhere does God tell us to wait until we ‘fall’ in love…rather, we are commanded to love…because we can ‘fall’ for anything!
In Matt. 1 they are in that espousal stage…they are supposed to spend lots of time together, but must keep themselves pure during this time.
Temptation is the strongest at this time, esp. if the couple believes the lie: “oh, we’re gonna get married anyway”.
It’s still sin…the God who created you created sex for marriage, no exceptions, I don’t care how many people are doing it (test drive!) And respect and trust are undermined when a couple doesn’t wait (my partner is immoral, as am I…if they’re willing to sin w/ me, they may be willing to sin against me!)
Ill.—we test drove our new vehicle this week, didn’t notice until after we got it home that it was a smoker’s vehicle. We were looking at it from a mechanical and superficial view…then we got to know it!
So, it was important for Joseph and Mary to spend a quantity of time together, but to avoid allowing things to get out of hand.
That was the espousal stage…next was the actual marriage (huge 7 day wedding feast, w/ consummation to follow)
In Matt. 1 they are espoused, but not married…so how stunned was Joseph when he found out she was pregnant?! Probably as shocked as the producers of the new movie “The Nativity” were upon hearing their star Mary is expecting!
Here’s a clip from the movie that helps us imagine what it may have been like for him at first… [embedded in PowerPoint file to run automatically]
If Joseph said it was his, it would be a lie…and if he accused Mary of unfaithfulness, she would be stoned. He did not want that. What would they do?
We can read v. 18 and see that the child was conceived of the Holy Ghost…we know that, and Mary already knew that, but Joseph did not know that yet! All he could think, naturally, was that Mary had been unfaithful / immoral. (It must have torn him up inside. His heart had already come to trust in her, she seemed incapable of doing such a thing, and it must have felt like his heart just fell out of his chest!)