Sermons

Summary: Both Josephs trusted God in difficult situations. Both Josephs were pillars who protected others because they took the Lord seriously.

Note: This is a revision (with some reworking) of a December 2010 sermon, also posted on Sermon Central, entitled, "Joseph and Joseph."

Joseph Times Two

(Matthew 1:18-25)

1. We often assume things that are not true. Joke. “Thanks for the electric guitar you gave me for Christmas," little Chris Cody said to his uncle the first time he saw him after the holidays. "It's the best present I ever got." ? ?

"That's great," said his uncle. "Do you know how to play it?" ? ?

"Oh, I don't play it," the little fellow said. "My mom gives me a dollar a day not to play it during the day and my dad gives me five dollars a week not to play it at night.

2. Because people assume, 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.

3. The same is true when we discuss the Biblical character of Joseph. Most folks are unaware that the Joseph (Yosef) mentioned in the Gospels was named after the Joseph mentioned in Genesis. Many of us do not know the story of the first Joseph.

• One of Jacobs sons, spoiled and his dads favorite; resented by brothers.

• He told them about a dream: the sun moon and stars were bowing to him.

• Brothers sold him as a slave in Egypt; ended up in an officials home, Potiphar.

• Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, he fled, ended up in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. While there, two of the kings officials had dreams; Joseph interpreted.

• Pharaoh had dream; heard of Joseph, called him in. Made prime minister.

• Due to a famine, his brothers came to Egypt, assuming Joseph had died in slavery. They had to deal with their long lost brother and all move into Egypt.

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. Consider 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. Their major similarities & differences are interesting. This is especially true with the two Josephs, and forms the basis for today's sermon. 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 difficult situations. Both Josephs were pillars who protected others because they took the Lord seriously.

I. Both Josephs Responded Rightly to SCANDALOUS Situations (18-19).

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

• A lot of scandals in Washington and Hollywood right now, but, in most cases, the accusations are provable and the people admit them; being accused falsely is a horse of a different color.

B. Gospel Joseph: Involved in SCANDAL not of his doing (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. When Paul says, “For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ” in 2 Corinthians 11:2, we understand what it means for us to be set apart.

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

C. Joseph was DISCREET and did not intend to get even.

D. How we handle being WRONGED? The answer reveals much about us!

1. Our first impulse should be, “we may not understand everything.”

2. Counseling, often only hear one side.

3. Not always misunderstanding; delay and ponder.

4. The Bible talks much about suffering because we do the right thing; we are rewarded for enduring suffering, if we handle it rightly.

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) — play on words (yeshuah)

4. Save his people from their sins

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.”

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