Summary: Matthew places his emphasis on Joseph during his retelling of the birth of Jesus. Joseph’s trust in God is an amazing story.

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The Best and Worst Day

Matthew 1:18-25

Preached at Laurel Church of Christ

On Sunday, December 8, 2002


I. Robert Beringer writes about a geography lesson from elementary school

A. He learned that the southern most tip of Africa is a point, which for centuries has experienced tremendous storms.

1. For many years no one even knew what lay beyond that cape, for no ship attempting to round that point had ever returned to tell the tale.

2. Among the ancients it was known as the "Cape of Storms," and for good reason.

3. But then a Portuguese explorer in the sicteenth century, Vasco De Gama, successfully sailed around that very point and found beyond the wild raging sotrms, a great calm sea, and beyond that, the shores of India.

4. The name of that cape was changed from the Cape of Storms to the Cape of Good Hope.

B. Until the Messiah had come, died and rose from the grave, death had been the Cape of Storms on which all hopes of life beyond had been wrecked.

1. No one knew what lay beyond that point until, on that fateful morning that Jesus rose from the grave

2. Jesus became victor over Satan.

3. Suddenly, like those ancient explorers, we can see beyond human death to the hope of heaven and eternal life with the Father.

II. Considering the significance of Jesus life, I believe it is pertinent to view the life of Jesus consistently.

A. The Holiday season is here.

1. Whether we recognize this time as celebration of Jesus birth or a celebration of giving, both bring us to a study of the life of Christ

2. It is because of Jesus’ life that we now know how to live, and that we live.

B. Today we begin a series of the utmost importance for the Christian

1. We begin a reminder of the important events of Jesus life

2. Even Jesus said that some things are more important than others.

3. We will briefly touch the surface of the major events of Jesus life over the next four weeks.

4. Beginning today with the account of Jesus Christ’s Birth from the gospel of Matthew.

C. There are two defining moments in someones life that seemingly far outweigh the rest.

1. Those are a persons birth and death.

2. For Jesus included these plus his life, and resurrection.

3. Today we will begin with the subject of his birth, but instead of me tell you the whole sermon how amazing it is to have God with us.

4. We will put the focus on where Matthew placed it.

5. On Joseph.


I. The Wedding Planning

A. Most of us have been through a wedding in our lifetime personally.

1. I apologize for using my wedding as an example, but at the moment this is all I have to draw from.

2. The planning of the wedding can be just as intense as the wedding itself.

a. Men, to a woman the day she is to be married; she has dreamed about her entire life.

b. It is a day that she will wed the person she loves and dedicate her life to this man.

c. So it only stands to reason that they dream of the perfect wedding.

3. Ours was of course no different, Becca had this day planned from ten years earlier.

a. The footage

b. Becca could pull movies down from the shelf and place them in the VCR to play.

c. She would then insue in multiple different settings.

1.) The dress

2.) The flowers

3.) The tux

4.) The words

d. Then there were the photo albums

e. Then the memories

f. Then there was figuring out how all of this was going to manage to fit in a reasonable budget.

4. For women the wedding planning is the best time of their lives, for men it is gruelling

B. In the Jewish setting of the first century, the process of marriage was very intricate indeed.

1. The courting process alone was complicated.

a. The young man and woman did not decide on who they would wed

b. The betrothal period

1.) Young couple agrees

2.) A legal document is signed

3.) By Jewish law they are considered "husband and wife"

c. The marriage ceremony

2. We know that at least sometimes the festivities following the wedding would include the entire town.

C. Going through a wedding of my own, I am sure they too were getting ready for the wedding.

1. You know Mary is rushing from here to there back to here

2. She keeps asking Joseph what do you think about this and this and this.

3. I don’t know how exactly she broke the news to him, but it might have happened something like this.

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