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Summary: Why did Joesph REALLY want to divorce Mary, the answer may surprise you.

Christmas: Mt. 1:18-25

The Real Story of Joseph!

Intro. A little boy was lost in a mall. He didn’t know what to do so, knit hat in hand, he just stood and cried. People passing felt bad and wanted to do something, so they started putting money in his hat. A short while later a Security Man came and said he knew where his mother was to come with him. Seeing the money, the boy said, “Not Yet!”

If you’re normal, you’re saying of the Christmas Season, “Not Yet! Please, it can’t be here already, I’m not ready. A few more weeks, please!”

Well, Joseph may have said that when he got to Bethlehem. Not yet, not HERE! But, that’s the message of Christmas, and Jesus: I am Now, Here!

There’s a mystery surrounding Joseph. Many believe he desired to put Mary away, when he found out she was pregnant and it wasn’t him, but quietly, so as not to be too shameful for Mary.

I don’t think so. As wild as being the mother of the Messiah might be, I believe Joseph BELIEVED MARY! It was a time of expectation! Every Jewish woman prayed that she might be the mother of the Messiah. Mary was blessed above all women and full of the spirit of God, when she told Joseph what had happened, the way it happened, I think Joseph BELIEVED

HER.

Then why put her away? It was humility that caused Joseph to suggest this, not fear of an unwed pregnancy. Perhaps a little fear, as he thought, “Me? The Earthly Father of the Messiah, Oh Lord, I am not worthy, please pick someone else!”

I think this was the nature of Joseph’s reluctance to fully wed Mary. In any case, the Lord showed him this was exactly right and to go ahead with it!

It’s a good thing because psychologically the Lord needed the right man to be the father of Jesus!

I think I heard Dobson say, “Mothers determine the emotional nature of a family, but Fathers determine the SPIRITUAL nature.” So, a word about Mothers, and a word about Fathers:

1) Mothers

Of course, we all know, “If Momma’s not happy, nobody’s happy.”

Illus. I confess that I have sometimes met the kids at the door, saying, “Be careful, Mom’s had a hard day, STAY OUT OF HER WAY!”

Of course the reverse is also true, and this means that my (husband’s) top priority is to help my wife, be happy.

Illus. I remember traveling through Detroit on our way through Canada to Maine. Cities were always trouble for us and our family and we’d normally lapse into some loud words and strong emotions. THIS TIME, I was ready. I had secretly hid some BUBBLES, under my seat, and when we hit the traffic, and the kids, together with my wonderful wife were getting “testy,” I pulled them out and put the bubbles in front of the air conditioner. It was bubbles, glorious bubbles. The kids laughed uproarously, the wife, well her voice can still be heard.

2) Fathers

Fathers determind the Spiritual nature of most families. It’s not hard to see why America is having Family Troubles.

Illus. A mother was trying to encourage her son to go to Sunday School. He didn’t want to go, so she pointed to his dad, sitting on the big easy chair with the Sunday Paper in his hand, and said, “Your Father went to Sunday School,” to which the son said, “Yeh, and it didn’t do him anygood, either.”

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