Summary: Joseph, the husband of Mary, seems to be a minor player in the life of Jesus. However, "upon further review," we find him to be a giant among the people in the bible. He was a man of obedience and humility as well as one of understanding.
1. Conquering Fear
Stanley went to a psychiatrist. "Doc," he said, "I've got trouble. Every time I get into bed, I think there's somebody under it. I get under the bed, I think there's somebody on top of it. Top, under, top, under ... you gotta help me, I'm going crazy!"
"Just put yourself in my hands for two years," said the doctor. "Come to me three times a week, and I'll cure your fears."
"How much do you charge?"
"A hundred dollars per visit."
"I'll think about it," said Stanley.
Six months later the doctor met Stanley on the street. "Why didn't you ever come to see me again?" asked the psychiatrist.
"For a hundred bucks a visit? A friend cured me for ten dollars."
"Is that so! How?"
"He told me to cut the legs off the bed!"
Most of us, though, have fears which are much more difficult to overcome -- fear of failure, fear of dying, fear of letting others down, fear of living alone, just to name a few.
And, as you read through the Bible, you see that fear is not unique to those of us in the 21st century. One phrase that reappears over and over throughout the Bible is the phrase, "Do not be afraid.”
2. The “Dad-on-Loan” for Yeshua (Jesus), Joseph, had to deal with some real fear in light of the situation in which he found himself.
3. Matthew 1.18-25
I. The Man – Joseph
A. Joseph was an Obedient Man
The Premier of Australia said that when the Great War broke out, the Australian Commonwealth at once offered to do what they could to back Great Britain. They asked what was the most useful thing that they could do, and the reply came-"Build us ships: we want ships." The Australians did not build ships. Instead, they began to till the fields, sow seed, and reap harvests to send food to the motherland. Grain was gathered, put into sacks, and brought down to the water’s edge to wait for the ships. But the ships never came.
The mice got in, and then found their way into towns and villages and cities, carrying disease with them-a disease that attacked the eyes of many and blinded some. And all the time Great Britain said, "Ships! ships! ships!" All they had to do was "obey." But, instead, they went their own way.
1. He was Torah-Observant – Obeyed the Teachings of God
a. He knew the punishment for immorality – death by stoning
b. He knew he could capitalize on the situation and get the bride price back along with her dowry
c. Divorce was justified
d. He chose a higher road – no death; no money issues; just a quiet fulfillment of Torah
“Love neighbor as self.”
2. He Followed the Instructions He was Given
a. He received the explanation of the angel
b. He went ahead with the marriage to Mary
c. He would take Yeshua (Jesus) as his son
B. Joseph was a Humble Man
1. “Humility is one of the things that when you think you have it, you have lost it.
2. He was more concerned about Mary’s well-being than his rights as the wronged
a. People may have thought another man was the father – adultery
b. People may have thought HE was the father – fornication
c. Any way was uncomfortable
3. He is the kind of man God wants to care for his Son
4. Humility comes
a. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
1) Study the text
2) Walk with God
3) PERHAPS Joseph was a rabbi – at least followed Torah
c. There can be forced humility (humiliation) – Philippians 2.9-11
II. The Message from the Angel -- Salvation
A. An Explanation – Mary’s Child is from the Holy Spirit
1. Remember that the HS is sent to people who believe and follow (Acts 2.38)
2. The HS aids in our service to God; Guidance into truth; Holy living; fruit of righteous living
3. Implication is that Mary is a trusting, faithful follower of God
4. This is a suitable couple to help one another and serve God
5. Consider the scripture references in Mary’s song (Luke 1.47ff)
B. An Instruction – Complete the Marriage Process
1. The process began with the proposal (based on the fathers’ agreement)
2. The process continued with the engagement/betrothal
a. “Kiddushin” – same root as Kadosh (holy, set apart)
b. The couple was set apart for one another
c. Considered husband and wife even without intimacy