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Summary: #2 in series: Responses to the Message of Christmas. Focuses on Joseph and his response to the unusual news of the birth of Jesus.

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Intro: In Joseph, we see some admirable responses

to the news of Jesus’ future arrival. Let us examine

these responses:

I. CONFUSION

A. "Is Mary being honest with me?"

B. "How shall I handle this"

C. "What are the facts??"

II. COMPASSION

A. "to avoid public shame, I will put her away

privately."

B. Despite the disturbing news, I still want

to exhibit compassion in the matter.

III. COMMITMENT

A. After the Angel appeared to Joseph, he made

a renewed commitment to "take her for his wife"

B. He exhibited commitment in that he "knew her

not" until Jesus had been born. (unheard of

in a male-dominated society)

C. His commitment was a result of his character.

IV. CONSISTENCY

A. Joseph was an ideal "step-father".

B. Day in and day out, he did what was right

in being a good role model before this

special child.

C. He was careful to observe all the requirements

of the Jewish Law concerning his son.

D. Although it "wasn’t his child", he loved

young Jesus as if He were his own flesh

and blood.

V. APPLICATIONS FOR US TODAY:

1. GOD MAY PLACE A CONFUSING CHALLENGE BEFORE US

(AS HE DID JOSEPH) THAT GOES AGAINST THE GRAIN

OF SOCIETY’S EXPECTATIONS

2. AS CHRISTIANS, WE ARE TO REACT WITH COMPASSION

COMMITMENT, AND CONSISTENCY.

3. FATHERS, STEP-FATHERS: PATTERN AFTER JOSEPH

IN DEALING WITH THE KIDS GOD PUTS IN YOUR

LIFE. JOSEPH’S MODEL IS A GOOD ONE!!

4. AS JOSEPH PROVIDED FOR AND GUIDED JESUS

IN HIS EARTHLY HOME, JESUS IN TURN PROVIDED

FOR THE SALVATION OF JOSEPH AND GUIDED HIM

TO HIS HEAVENLY HOME.


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