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Summary: This sermon uses the name JOSEPH as an acrostic with each letter representing a characteristic in the life of this famous father figure.

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JOSEPH

(Matthew 1:18-21)

There are many monumental statements we associate with fathers. Statements that reverberate down through the corridors of time. Statements like:

Ask your mother.

I was watching that!

It’s only blood, wipe it off.

I’m not lost. I’m taking a short cut.

Today as we think about fathers, we look to the life of one of the great father figures of the Bible. But strangely enough, not one word is attributed to him in the scripture. His name is J O S E P H. Let’s use his name as an acrostic with each letter representing a characteristic of his life.

I. J - JUST

(Mat 1:18-19 KJV) "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. {19} Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily."

1. Joseph probably thought his life was pretty well planned.

a. Occupation – carpenter

b. Marriage – arranged by parents

2. Everything going smoothly and then he discovers that his bride to be is pregnant!

3. Joseph had options

a. Divorce – betrothal or engagement could only be broken by divorce

b. Stoning based on adultery

c. But being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

4. Just

a. Upright, righteous, integrity, moral

b. Desired to do the right thing

c. Word suggests the idea of transparent character

5. Joseph was a JUST man

II. O - OBEDIENT

1. (Mat 1:20 KJV) "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."

2. Joseph was struggling with his dilemma when God spoke to him

3. Joseph was obedient to God

(Mat 1:24 KJV) "Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:"

4. Joseph did what the angel of the Lord had bidden him . . . consistently

(Mat 2:13-14 KJV) "And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. {14} When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:"

(Mat 2:19-21 KJV) "But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, {20} Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life. {21} And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel."

5. Joseph had a close walk with God!

III. S - SILENT

1. Not one word is recorded in the scripture from Joseph!

2. We sometimes equate silence with weakness.

3. Joseph may have been a man of few words, but his strength is revealed in his character and actions.

IV. E - EXAMPLE

1. Of commitment to his wife, despite the hardships of stress, embarrassment, frustrations, inconvenience

2. To Jesus

(Mat 13:55 KJV) "Is not this the carpenter’s son? "

(Mark 6:3 KJV) "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary."

3. Joseph clearly had a lasting influence on the life of Jesus

V. P - PROTECTOR

1. Joseph clearly protected his family from the evil intent of Herod

2. He returned to his homeland from Egypt only after the death of Herod and the threat was gone

3. (Mat 2:21-23 KJV) "And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. {22} But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: {23} And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene."

4. Carpenter

VI. H - HELPER

1. It has been said that the best thing a father can do for his kids is love their mother.

2. Joseph clearly reflected an unselfish love for Mary.

3. His was a humbling experience.

4. Not really prominent. Referred to as the husband of Mary

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