Summary: part 3 of our 2017 Christmas series

The gift of Christmas

Part 2

“What a strange way to save the world”

Matthew 1:18:25

Last week in the first of the gift of Christmas series

We took a look at what Mary did not know

And saw how with just a small piece of the plan

She willingly accepted the plan

Rejoiced in the plan

And became highly blessed by the plan

At the community service

Part 2 of our series

The Gift of Christmas

We looked at the significance of “the star”

And how each point

Points us to Jesus

His birth

His life

His ministry

His death and resurrection

And his eternity

I wanted to preach that sermon again this morning


We had such a good turn out

That I did not want some of you to hear it twice



In the third part of the Gift of Christmas

We are going to look at



And then his response

To his part in the plan of salvation

He must have thought as the wonderful Christmas song states

“That this is a really strange way to save the world”

Let me introduce you to a man named Joseph

A simple hard-working carpenter from the town of Nazareth.

In the culture of the day, every Jewish boy and girl was required to memorize their ancestry.

Beginning with Adam and Eve, going on thru Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. On thru David and Solomon and the many great kings of Judah.

They did this because God had made a promise to his people.

Through the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 9:6

God said

6 For a child is born to us,

a son is given to us.

The government will rest on his shoulders.

And he will be called:

Wonderful Counselor,[a] Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


Every Jewish family dreamed that God would honor them by allowing them to be the parents of this great messiah.

They hoped that they would be permitted to raise the next King of Israel - a king promised to bring deliverance from the chains of bondage.

But…Joseph was just a carpenter.

A good carpenter, but still, just a carpenter.

Neither a prophet nor a priest

Neither prince or king

And Mary – as sweet girl as she was

Was also of a humble a background.

Just common folk

They had no idea that they would be the parents of the Messiah

In order to understand the ins and outs of Josephs story

We must understand a bit about their culture

Marriages of that day were arranged

For more than a year before a man and woman physically became husband and wife

Their families became as one.

They were intertwined.

They would spend their days together.

Eat together.

Talk together

Really get to know each other

Her parents would get to know him

His parents would get to know her.

It was a good arrangement.

It became the strength of good families.

It was foundation of good marriages.

And Mary came from good stock.

She was a gentle girl - easy on the eyes.


Joseph was the envy of all the men of Nazareth

Then one day the wheels seemed to fall off his plans

Joseph had planned to get married

Planned to work hard

Raise a family

Joseph planned to live a life of service to God

Hoped to live a life of integrity

To be respected in the community

Then it happened

Mary was pregnant

And Joseph was not the father.

Her family was understandably upset.

His family was devastated

Joseph was shocked



I can’t even begin to describe all that he must have felt

To make things worse

Mary said

That she had not been with another man

That she was pregnant with God’s baby

Joseph was having a really bad day

In that day

In that time in that culture

Unplanned pregnancy was unacceptable

If the child was not his, and he knew it was not

Mary would be viewed as a harlet or worse

If he claimed the child

He would lose all respect and integrity

Because it would appear that he had broken all the rules about marriage and engagement

If he accepted her word

And they told people

They would likely be rejected


Called crazy

Or even convicted of Blasphemy

And killed

He was in a tight spot

His parents would never accept her.

The people of Nazareth would never forget.

If I he took Mary as his wife,

They would have to pack up my tools and move far enough away so that her shame would not follow them

So, Joseph as a man knew he must put an end to this whole marriage plan

He knew he must derail his plans

He felt betrayed


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