Summary: 2nd sermon in my 2008 Christmas series, looking at Christmas through point of view of Biblical characters, another attempt at a topical sermon.
Christmas Through Their Eyes Series
“What Can You Give”
For me, one of the most intriguing characters in the Gospel accounts is Joseph.
You would think for someone who had such an influential role in the life of the Savior, more would be written about him…but there really isn’t much.
The same can be said about Mary, the mother of Christ, who is scarcely mentioned through out the New Testament, yet some churches have managed to build entire doctrines on her…out of speculation.
When I think about Joseph, I’ll be honest, it does cause me to speculate a bit, especially now that I am a father myself.
• When I think about how inadequate I feel at times…I can’t help but wonder what it was for Joseph whose job it was to raise the Messiah.
• When I think about how blessed I am by my kids…I can’t help but think how it fails in comparison to Joseph who was called “Dad” by God incarnate.
• When I think about what kind of legacy I want to leave my kids…I can’t help but think about Joseph again, and how he must have laughed at the thought of leaving a legacy for the Word made flesh.
Joseph was a simple carpenter, a common laborer, but God chose him and anointed him with the privilege of bringing up the His only begotten.
And this morning I want us to try to put ourselves into Joseph’s shoes just for a few minutes and consider Christmas through his eyes.
Let’s read a little bit about him this morning together.
Read Matt. 1:18-23, Luke 2:1-7 and pray.
My inspiration for this series comes from a Christmas CD by Todd Agnew that he released last year.
All of the songs that he wrote for this record was from the point of view of the Biblical characters involved in the Christmas account from Scripture.
I want to share a little bit of the song he wrote called “This is all I have to give”, which is Joseph’s song on the CD.
I’d always dreamed I’d build the cradle we’d lay You in
When we brought You home, when we brought You home.
But there You lay, fast asleep in a feed trough,
It was all that I could find
I’d always hoped You’d have my eyes,
And maybe a bit of the skill of my hands
But as I look into Your eyes I see Your hands created mine
This is all I have to give
You can share my home and bear my name
But this is not how you should live
But the Son of God has become the Son of man
And this is all I have to give
Transition: Joseph didn’t have much, but He did give what he had.
The irony is had Jesus been born a couple of hundred years earlier, the situation may have been much different.
Both Joseph and Mary were from the lineage of David, taking separate routes after Solomon…both were from the royal line.
But in 1st Century Israel, the line of David had long been removed from power, and they were now awaiting the promised Messiah who would return the throne to the rightful family.
So, a few centuries earlier and Jesus would have probably been born in a palace rather than a stable…and His earthly father may have been king rather than a carpenter.
But God in His timing chose this time and this place for His Son, the long awaited Messiah to make His appearance.
And this time and place included a stable and a carpenter…exactly what God had planned.
Joseph was a man of faith, probably a lay student of the Scriptures who also knew of the promised Messiah.
His betrothed, Mary, was someone who had probably been in His life for many years up to this point.
As a young Hebrew man Joseph probably left home in his teens to learn a life skill in preparation for becoming a husband and starting a family…he trained as a carpenter.
When he was ready to set out on his own, his family arranged a marriage agreement with another family, in this case the family of Mary, and Joseph and she began an engagement that in essence was a courtship leading up to the day they would celebrate and make their marriage official.
We all know the story, a “wrench” was thrown into the works when Mary received a divine visitor that informed her she would be with child…and she reluctantly broke the news to the man who would be her husband.
According to their religious tradition Joseph could “put her away”, which in essence was a divorce, and he decided to do it quietly so not to ruin her future because of his love for her…until he received a divine visitor also.