Summary: Both Josephs trusted God in tight spots and uncomfortable situations. Both Josephs were pillars others could lean upon because they were faithful and spiritually responsible.

Joseph and Joseph

(Matthew 1:18-25)

1. I have noticed that when I bring up the name of Martin Luther, most people think I am bringing up the name of Martin Luther King.

2. Why is that? Most people not into church history or history in general. Since we have a holiday designated for Martin Luther King, and since he was more recent, people tend to be ignorant about the man for whom King was named, Martin Luther.

3. The same is true when we discuss the Biblical character of Joseph. Most folks are unaware that the Joseph mentioned in the Gospels was named after the Joseph mentioned in Genesis. If it were not for the play about Joseph and his Technicolor coat, most Americans would probably know nothing about the original Joseph.

4. Biblical names were often considered prophetic. When a Jew named his son/daughter after a Biblical character, the expectation was they would be like that person somehow.

5. For example, Mary, the mother of Jesus, was really named Miriam. She was named after Moses’ sister, Miriam, who helped safeguard the baby Moses, Israel’s physical deliverer, from the cruel decree of Pharaoh. After the Exodus, Miriam composes a famous song in Exodus 15:21. Mary, or the second Miriam, protects Israel’s spiritual deliverer from the likes of Herod and is famous for her song, called the Magnifcat.

6. There are certainly major differences, but the similarities are interesting. This similarity exists between the two Josephs and forms the basis for today’s sermon.

7. To keep them straight, I’ll refer to the first Joseph as Torah Joseph and the latter as Gospel Joseph.

Main Idea: Both Josephs trusted God in tight spots and uncomfortable situations. Both Josephs were pillars others could lean upon because they were faithful and spiritually responsible.

I. Both Josephs Righteous Response to SCANDALOUS Situations (18-19)

A. Torah Joseph: ACCUSED of scandal with Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:6ff)

B. Gospel Joseph was involved in SCANDAL not his fault as well (18)

1. David Stern comments, "The Hebrew/Aramaic word for betrothal is "kiddushin," which signifies "sanctification, separation," i.e., the setting aside and separating of a particular woman for a particular man. According to the Mishna, adultery during the betrothal period is a more serious sin than adultery after marriage." [source: Jewish New Testament Commentary, p. 3)

2. Had Miriam (Mary) told Joseph about the angel appearing to her?

C. Joseph was DISCREET and had no intent to punish her

D. How we handle being WRONGED reveals much about us

1. Sometimes things are not always as they appear. I learned this lesson many times over through my counseling ministry…

2. It is a hard habit to develop, and none of us can be perfect with it, but we need to always leave room for what we do not know or have not yet thought of…

3. Still, Joseph is to be commended; he handled what he thought was being wronged in a right way!


II. God REVEALED His Plan to Both Josephs (20-21)

A. Torah Joseph had prophetic DREAMS (Genesis 37:5ff)

B. God gave Gospel Joseph a PROPHETIC dream (20-21)

1. Commanded to care for Mary (20)

2. Prophesied as to WHO Christ was and what he would do (21)

3. The name Jesus (YESHUA)

4. Save his people from their SINS

Jesus came to save us because we are lost by nature, corrupted by sin.

During an all-night festival in Paris, five young people, apparently drunk, broke into the Orsay Museum and left a 4-inch gash in a priceless painting by Claude Monet. Culture Minister Christine Albanel said the painting could be restored, but she was deeply disturbed at the damage done by “a purely criminal act.”

One news headline read: “Monet Masterpiece Marred.” To mar is to injure or damage; to spoil, disfigure, or impair. It’s an apt description of sin’s effect on us. We know well the results of our own choices made in ignorance or defiance of God. [Our Daily Bread]

C. Perhaps the SHEPHERDS and MAGI were sent partly to reassure Joseph?

D. Are we willing to be STRETCHED to serve the Lord?

Most of us do not think of ourselves as the Lord’s servants. We do not view ourselves as at God’s disposal, waiting to do his bidding. Joseph did not have to be persuaded: he was ready to do God’s will at the drop of a hat.

III. Both Josephs Were Connected to Ancient PROPHECIES (22-23)

A. Torah Joseph involved with the prophecy made to ABRAHAM (Gen. 15:13ff)

B. Gospel Joseph was involved with the prophecy made to ISAIAH (Isaiah 7:14)

C. Refers to a BIOLOGICAL virgin

D. Why is this IMPORTANT?

E. Meaning of EMMANUEL

IV. Both Josephs Were FAITHFUL (24-25)

A. Both Josephs OBEYED

B. Both waited PATIENTLY (Genesis 41:1)

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