Summary: The Holy Family goes to the Temple for the presentation of Jesus and finds two saints who preach two powerful messages concerning the Baby and the family.
OBEDIENT OBSERVER OBSERVES ORTHODOXY
I. HIS OBEDIENCE:
II. HIS OBSERVATIONS:
III. HIS ONUSES:
I come now to my third sermon in this Christmas series regarding Joseph. The first one considered Joseph being in a quandary over his upcoming marriage, in Mathew 1:18-25. It was shown to our subject by non other than a divine visitor that he should proceed to marry his beloved Mary. The next one in this series deals with our hero taking his young bride to Bethlehem, some ninety miles from his home town of Nazareth in Galilee, Luke 2:1-7. While there the Baby arrived and he rose to the occasion of being the right man at the right spot at the right time. This sermon now picks up where the last one left off and we gain some new insights into this marvelous man whose name was Joseph.
The scene before us is something that is old yet still vibrant with new and fresh applications regarding this man and his family. The Scriptures are full of good lessons for us as we look at the naming of Jesus (eight days after His birth). The Holy Family had to make a required trip to Jerusalem which was about five miles north-east from Bethlehem. Fortunate for the family the trip to the Holy City was mostly down-hill since Bethlehem was over two thousand feet higher than Jerusalem. However, the return trip was not that easy as the family had to walk uphill most of the way to the place they had in Bethlehem. This was quite an undertaking for all of them especially since there was a Baby involved and a woman who was still feeling the effect of giving birth to the Child. When all of these facts are taken into consideration, my sermon title makes a bit more sense as I look at Joseph, Mary and Jesus, but especially at our hero as he became an obedient person who obeyed God in fulfilling the Scriptures as were given by Moses. Once in Jerusalem and at the Temple, this obedient man became a keen observer observing some strange happenings from two devout people. These two were deeply religious living out their later years in divine orthodoxy waiting to see the Messiah before they died. All of these facts weighed heavily on Joseph that time so long ago.
In this sermon today, I notice HIS OBEDIENCE as he did what he was required to do. Next, I see HIS OBSERVATIONS of some things which struck him mightily. Then, I note the heavy burden, HIS ONUSES of which he took to heart considering what he heard and how it affected him for the rest of his life.
I. HIS OBEDIENCE: This is not the first time we catch a glimpse of the obedient heart of this kind man who inherited a ready made family. Joseph, like Mary, was well aware of the words of Moses regarding the specific ritual regarding the presentation of the Baby. As I note in my previous sermon, these two had royal blood in their veins and they knew exactly what was to be done. Hence when time came for His presentation in the Temple, Joseph led the way to go to Jerusalem with his young bride and their first Child.
I marvel at HIS OBEDIENCE especially when he had no choice in the matter if he was going to be a faithful Jewish man and husband. His trip with his family was Obligatory and this was something he had to know and to fulfill as he assumed his divinely appointed role. His reaction, as far as we know to this Obligatory role for him was one of submission. It is one thing to do something because one has to do something, but it is another thing for one to do something which has been dictated to do and one does it without rancor or vile. Joseph could have grumbled at his journey to Jerusalem, but we do not read about it in the Scriptures.
Not only did he comply with a ready heart doing what was demanded by the Law, but it was up to him to come up with the money and or means to supply the Offering. If we just stop and add up the expenses that this man had to pay for his new family, we gain a better appreciation of his kindness.
The first thing for which he had to pay, maybe with the help of relatives but mostly out of his own pocket, was his marriage and all that that event cost him. Next, was his shutting down his business while the family traveled to Bethlehem which cost him money while on the trip. Once arriving in the village of David, he had to secure a place to dwell which cost him money not only for the building, but also for food and what other expenses might have arisen, all the time probably not working since he left his home and shop back in Nazareth.