Summary: This message is a look at the life of Joseph and his Dilemma, Character, Crisis, and Obedience.

Series: The Nativity

Message: Joseph – The Obedient

Main Text: MATTHEW 1:18-25

Please Stand

The Birth of Jesus Christ

18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[a] because he will save his people from their sins."

22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"[b]—which means, "God with us."

24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25

Pray – Pray – Pray – Pray – Pray – Pray – Pray

The Big Motion Picture is out – The Nativity

□ The story about the Birth of Christ

□ 8 million dollars and ranked 4th it’s first weekend

□ This is so much more than a movie

□ Joseph, Mary, Jesus – so many lessons in this “Nativity Story”

Let’s begin with Joseph – who is he and what do we learn from him.

Who is he?

□ The Bible doesn’t really tell us that much about Joseph.

□ A descendant of King David.

□ His father was Jacob

□ We know he had dreams – the angel appeared to him in one.

□ We know that when Jesus was conceived, Mary was engaged to Joseph.

□ We are told that he was a righteous man—an observer of the Law of Moses.

□ We can surmise that he was a kind man, since he was concerned about Mary’s reputation and well-being as well as his own.

□ We know that Joseph spent time living in Bethlehem, Egypt, and Nazareth.

□ We know he was a carpenter, and we presume that he trained Jesus in that craft.

□ We know he provided for the religious instruction of his family and fully participated in the rituals and pilgrimages of the Jewish faith.

That about sums up the facts of Joseph’s life as recorded in the Bible. There’s not a lot there. Not much is written.

So why am I preaching a message about Joseph?

□ Joseph isn’t flashy.

□ He isn’t the central part of any narrative.

□ He doesn’t proclaim anything.

□ He’s an ordinary guy who’s just doing his best to live an honorable life—faithful to his God and his family, respected by his peers.

That’s why. That’s why, this Christmas season I am preaching about Joseph.

□ Because, metaphorically speaking, most of us are more likely to find ourselves quietly leading a donkey over an uncertain path, wondering what the future might hold, than standing on a ridge, shouting at sinners.

□ Most of us spend our lives as peripheral characters in the Gospel narrative.

□ Most of us aren’t flashy.

□ Most of us are just ordinary folks doing our best to live honorable lives—faithful to our God and families, respected by our peers.

□ Most of us, although, ordinary, are here for an extra ordinary purpose.

□ Most of us find ourselves in a sticky place, or dilemma, a crisis, at sometime in our life like Joseph and we have a great opportunity to respond in a Joseph like way.

Let’s look at what I am talking about.

Joseph’s Dilemma

Matthew 1:18 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.”

□ Joseph probably thought his life was pretty well planned. His marriage and his vocation were all arranged neatly for him, but then his world came crashing down. He discovered that his bride-to-be was pregnant. He was in a hard place to understand and deal with. Why had God allowed this to happen in his life?

□ I am sure Mary told Joseph what had taken place and promised her virginity. But who ever heard of such a thing? What would he do?

□ Joseph had one of three options:

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