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What can we learn from a man who says nothing--who has no recorded words in Scripture?

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 One day in heaven, Jesus noticed a familiar-looking old man. He wondered, 'Could this old man be My dad, Joseph?' So, Jesus asked, "Did you, by any chance, have a son?" The old man replied, "Yes. But he wasn't my biological son. He was born by a miracle." "interesting," said Jesus. "Did your boy ever have to fight temptation?" "Yes, often. Just after he won, he died. But soon after, he came back." Jesus is almost sure it's his dad. "One last question. Were you a carpenter?" The old man replied, "As it happens, I was." Jesus rubbed His eyes. "Dad?" The old man rubbed his eyes. "Pinocchio?" Let's turn to Mt 1:18-25a. 18aThis is how the birth of Jesus Christ really came about. It starts in Nazareth, a tiny village in Galilee. Far from Judea, a clan in David's line founded it in `100BC. (Why so far out-of-the way? Fear of Herod, Rome, etc.) Last week, we saw that it start with 18bHis mother Mary. She's a 12-14yo girl. Now, she's 18cpledged (betrothed) to be married to Joseph, a local carpenter. Her parents arranged it. Betrothal is for ~ 1yr, & legally they're husband & wife. But they live with parents as they get to know each other. If she gets pregnant during the betrothal, by law it's adultery <slide>. To cancel a betrothal, it takes divorce. About 9mo into the betrothal, Gabriel tells her she'll be pregnant with God's Son. She says, 'Yes.' 18vSoon after, she's with child through the Holy Spirit. She's godly, so she tells her parents. Then Joseph. She also tells her story. We can imagine the conversation. Mary: "God sent the angel Gabriel to tell me I'll have a child, even though I'm a virgin. When I asked how, he said, "The Holy Spirit will overshadow me." Mom & Dad already heard it. Joseph & his parents just gape at each other. Joseph speaks for the 3. "Right..." No one believes her. Who would? 19aJoseph is a righteous man. In God's eyes. Not just to villagers. As a godly man, he wants to marry a godly woman. Yet as a godly man, he's also kind. He's torn between love for Mary & his duty to the law. He doesn't want to marry an impure woman. But 19bhe also doesn't want to expose Mary to public disgrace. And there are only 2 ways to end the betrothal. Divorce her or say publicly that she's a tramp. Either way, their village is tiny. Just a few families. If he says she's a tramp her it'll take <15 min to spread everywhere. Her reputation? Out the window. That's best case. Worst cases, they'll stone her (Dt 22:20-21). What is a godly man to do? He can't marry her. If only she'd tell him the truth! How can be merciful to her yet end the betrothal & keep God's law? Remembering Dt 24:1, 19cJoseph decides to divorce her quietly. People may wonder what happened. But they won't stone her. And he will have kept God's law. 20aAfter he decides on divorce, an angel of the Lord appears in a dream. Gabriel? Who knows? Regardless, the angel has welcome news. 20b"Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary home as your wife. When God speaks, whether directly or thru a messenger, it settles all anxiety. Joseph breathes a huge sigh of relief. But just as his mind begins to wonder why, the angel continues. 20bWhat's conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. He's shocked. 'It seemed impossible, but Mary's telling the truth! I can marry her!' The angel isn't done. 21aShe'll give birth to a son. A son... 21bYou're to name him Jesus. 'To save (rescue / deliver).' By naming Him, you'll adopt Him so He's legally in David's line. 21cHe'll save his people from their sins." Joseph is stunned as he takes it all in. Israel's long-awaited Messiah is coming. And he'll have the highest honor of any man. He'll bring up the Messiah! He can marry Mary. God requires him to marry her! His heavy burden is lifted instantly. Completely gone. All his problems are gone. God is fulfilling His word. 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord said in Isa 7:14. 23a"The virgin will be with child. Mary. 23bShe'll give birth to a son. Without any human father. And her son? 23cThey'll call him Immanuel, God with us." Literally, God will be with us. He'll take on human form, in the person of Mary's child. Because she's a virgin, He'll also be a son of man, not just God's Son. Only as The Son of man can He save people from their sin. This is a lot for any man to digest. Joseph, your fiancée's pregnant with God's child. And you're to marry her anyway. What will he do? 24aWhen Joseph woke up, he obeyed instantly. 24bHe did what the angel of the Lord commanded him. 24cHe took Mary home as his wife. In doing so, he'll show amazing restraint. 25He had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. Newly married, but celibate! How many men on earth could show that kind of restraint? What can we learn from Joseph, a man who never speaks! 1st for me is to listen much more. Joseph listens vs. speaking (or venting his feelings). Because he listens, he gets the highest privilege awarded to any man. Ever. Because he keeps listening, God shows him how to resolve an impossible situation honorably. Godly character surely includes listening. 2nd is his obedience. The instant he understands what to do, he does it. People will think he wasn't celibate with Mary, & still he does it. Because he kept listening, he can reassure Mary's family: she's telling the truth. Lastly, we can learn faith from Joseph, son of David. He'd have known that the Messiah must be a legal heir to David's throne. Kings ascend the throne when the prior king dies. For Jesus to inherit that throne at David's age, Joseph has to die by the time Jesus is 30. He knows he's committing to an early death. And still, he commits to God's plan. Now that's faith! Joseph - Matthew 1:18-25a Page 1 of 1
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