Summary: Joseph conducted himself nobly in a very difficult situation.
18Now 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. 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20But 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. 21And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
This chapter deals with two important subjects:
1. The genealogy of Jesus shows His legal right to the throne.
2. The greatness of Joseph is evidenced by his actions. He
conducted himself nobly in a very difficult situation.
I. THE MAN
A. JOSEPH WAS A POOR MAN.
1. The skills he possessed were an indication of his poverty.
2. The sacrifices he presented were an indication of his
poverty. Cp. Scripture
“And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.” Leviticus 12:8 (quickview)
B. JOSEPH WAS A PIOUS MAN.
1. He was not flawless.
2. He was faithful
II. THE MYSTERY
A. THE UNEXPECTED PREGNANCY WAS A MYSTERY.
1. Mary was betrothed to Joseph.
2. Joseph feels betrayed.
a. At first he has no message from God.
b. He only has Mary’s word.
B. AN UNPLEASANT PREDICAMENT
1. She could have been publicly denounced.
2. She could have been put to death.
“But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.” Deut. 22:20,21
C. JOSEPH’S UNFAILING COMPASION
“Not willing to make her a public example.”
III. THE MESSAGE
A. GOD SENT A PERSONAL MESSAGE TO JOSEPH.
“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.”