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Joseph's Perspective

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Reading:
Ephesians 5:21-27 “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”
Introduction:
Last week we peeked into the experience Mary had regarding the Messiah coming into the world.
She had been commissioned to birth the Messiah into the world.
She found favor in the Lord’s eyes, because of His love, not her merit.
She chose to obey the Lord and submit herself to His will.
Facing persecution, embarrassment, and shame for having a child outside the bounds of marriage.
We will see: she wasn’t the only one who would face a choice of giving up her will and fear for the Lord’s will.
Joseph’s faith would be challenged too.
The boy who would be stretched into manhood, by his obedience to God’s will.
Connection:
Joseph sacrificed of himself:
He put aside what his rights were and gave preference to the Lord’s will.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this, since this is the kind of man Joseph was. We are given a peek into a very stressful and crazy time in his life and are privy to:

The Character of Joseph.

Matthew 1:18-19 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.”
Transition:
The story begins with the proclamation of truth:
The Birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way..
That really sets the bar high for what will be written next. Either way It presents:

The Situation.

Matthew 1:18 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.”
Have you ever written anything for the people of the future, not for the people of now but for those who would read it later?
The previous passages up to this point, layout the family lineage for both Mary and Joseph.
Both lineages can be traced back to King David and Abraham.
This both reinforces the prophecies and fulfills it.
I Chronicles 17:11-15 “When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.’ ” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.”
Jesus’ birth is the long awaited King that would set up His throne forever.
He is Abraham and David’s promised offspring.
Transition:
The message is presented to Joseph; but the revelation is meant for us; the generations who would be born after Jesus’ life on earth.
To piece together and understand the promised messiah was Jesus and we can trace back all of the history.
Being confident that God walked amongst us and all He taught and did is true!
The scenario here is about:

His Position.

Matthew 1:19And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.”
We can see Joseph is given the title as “Husband”.
What does husband mean?
Husband: The male member of a marriage and his role in the relationship.
Nelson’s dictionary states: “a woman’s marriage partner. In Hebrew society, the husband was the absolute authority in the home. But the apostle Paul called on husbands to temper their authority with the higher value of love: “Husbands, love your wives” (Eph. 5:25). Paul compared the relationship between Christ and the church to the husband-wife union (Eph. 5:23).”
Joseph had duties as the man in the relationship:
Lead
Provide
Protect
Companionship, etc..
Joseph may have not had the ceremony before the Lord; but He is considered to be Mary’s Husband.
Transition:
Joseph recognized what responsibilities he had as the husband. He could be justified to make an example of her in the community and place all of the shame and responsibility to her.
I John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
Illustration:
How do you like a person when someone that talks big and their deeds don’t line up with what they say?
Growing up playing sports with neighbors, I was typically the new guy who just wanted to play.
It didn’t matter what sport it was, I just wanted to play.
No sooner that I began to play there was always one guy that acted as though he was the gift to that sport.
He was usually the bigger one of the group, didn’t help that I was typically the smallest and youngest.
If there was ever a pet peeve in sports it was acting like your so much better than you actually are.
That is the same type of characteristic traits the 1 John passage is speaking about.
Being a man of deed and word.
Transition:
This is the character trait of Joseph and we can see:

His Heart.

Matthew 1:19 “And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.”
I head someone say one day: Every man has moments in their lives when they can make a choice that reveals what kind of man they are and Joseph was placed in this position.
He was given the opportunity to show what kind of man he is.
The scripture portrays what kind of man Joseph is:
He was the man who loved his wife.
He took responsibility for her life, every aspect of it.
Illustration:
Let’s take an opportunity here:
Joseph’s betrothed was found to be with a child, before their marriage and consummation of it.
Joseph could biblically give a bill of divorcement to her.
Mark 10:3-5 “He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.”
Joseph had justification to divorce Mary.
Imagine the turmoil he was dealing with, concerning Mary.
These passages confirm what he was going to do
Divorce her. Not publicly; but quietly.
Probably to save face for her, her family and any lighten the load of shame.
Point:
How many times are we justified to make choices that would hurt others and give them what they deserve?
We all are given those opportunities that reveal what kind of Christians we are going to be.
Transition:
The decision brought God’s intervention by way of:

The Vision.

Matthew 1:20-23 “But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).”
Joseph was caught in:

The Consideration.

Matthew 1:20But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
The phrase: “as he considered these things”
Reveals where in the process Joseph was. He wasn’t sure what to do.
God has intervened like this many times before, on one occasion:
Genesis 22:10-13 “Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.”
God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his promised son.
Then He provides the sacrifice to honor the Lord with.
God, through an angel, intervened into the decision process of Joseph.
Transition:
I wonder if Joseph began praying:
Asking for wisdom, guidance, etc...
Who would you run to in this situation?
I’m not sure about you but with all the things Joseph couldn’t control he was seeking help from the one who could provide it.
God answered by:

Confronting.

Matthew 1:20 “But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
The angel calmed the mind of Joseph.
Illustration:
Let’s say you find yourself in a perplexing situation.
The future that you had planned is extremely blurry, you can’t focus on what the end result is, you can’t even see it at all.
Your pleading with the Lord, crying out to Him with all your heart for direction.
Asking Him to put back into focus your future plans.
Would you believe an angel if one came to you?
God’s messenger shows up in your dreams to bring a His response to your pleading.
The angel tells Joseph:
Stop questioning what the Lord is doing!
Marry her, love her, provide for her every need.
Transition:
The angel brings:

The Proclamation.

Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.””
The messenger of God obeys the Lord, brings the message Joseph needs to hear:
Your going to have a son.
Illustration:
I’m not sure what you did when you were having kids; but when we found out Katie was pregnant with our first child, I couldn’t wait to find out whether or not it was a boy or girl.
She would continuously tell me after each doctor appointment that we couldn’t see whether or not the baby was a boy or girl.
Maybe I should’ve just pleaded with the Lord, like Joseph did, to find out.
By the way YHWH has already picked a name for Him.
This name is very important.
Jesus means:
Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation.
No one else could have this name.
There isn’t a person who could uphold the title of Jesus in this world.
Only one could: God Himself.
The best was saved for last about the angel’s proclamation:
Through Him everyone’s sins can be forgiven.
Point:
God isn’t just telling Joseph who Jesus will be and what He will do.
He is proclaiming the truth to us here and now!
We have all the prophecies about God building a bridge for us to gain access into His presence once again.
They are written there for us to know, understand and tell others about.
Transition:
The angel’s proclamation soothed Joseph’s mind for what decisions to make.
God writes:

His Response.

Matthew 1:24-25 “When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”
The angel visiting appears to be:

A Vision.

Matthew 1:24When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,”
The angel’s message was heard loud and clear.
He woke up free and clear from stress and fear.
God supplied assurance and confidence for his current situation.
Transition:
Joseph had been presented with information:
The Lord’s will for what was happening in Joseph’s life.
Joseph was about to wake up in the morning and end the wedding; quietly.
That wasn’t God’s will for the Messiah’s entrance into the world.
The Angel presented what the Lord willed for Joseph and Mary’s life.
This presented an opportunity for Joseph to show what he believed.
Joseph was a man who reverenced the Lord, and it helped that an Angel came to him.
Joseph’s faith was revealed as:

He Obeyed.

Matthew 1:24 “When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,
It is simple:
He did as the angel commanded.
What is a man willing to go through when they fully trust God and are 100% confident about His will?
Illustration:
I believe at the bare minimum we have 12 men who’s life had been changed by God.
Their spirit was alive and they followed the Spirit’s leading for everything.
They changed the whole world and are still impacting it to this day.
Do we have to mention the martyrs?
When one’s faith in God is solidified it is 1st nature to abide and obey.
Transition:
How long did Joseph have before Jesus was born? (9 months)
He could’ve still obeyed the Lord and waited for her to deliver, then marry her.
Entirely putting his own spin on the details.
Joseph didn’t hesitate with his choices, or justify them.
Instead:

He Honored the Lord.

Matthew 1:25 “but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”
Joseph married the pregnant mother of Jesus; which made him Jesus’ earthly dad.
The choices honored the Lord.
Illustration:
In the gospel of Luke we are told parables for learning principals to live a life honoring to the Lord.
In many of them we find that the details aren’t the important part.
The motivation is where the heart of the matter is.
The why we do something.
Are we doing things because it is what our church would expect?
Are we doing things because it is what society expects?
Are we doing things because of what others expect?
The only “because” that we are taught through Luke that matters is what God would expect!
What does God expect?
He expects us to love Him enough that our choices are dictated by wanting to please Him
And do what He would have us do as His children who want to honor our Father.
Conclusion:
Joseph was stretched into manhood through a trial of his faith.
Believe that God used the messenger?
Or that you have the right to divorce her?
We are posed with questions like this all the time.
Do you want justice for yourself?
Or is God doing something?
Joseph’s character was revealed:
He knew:
The situation
His position
The result was his heart being shown, he was struggling with what to do.
Joseph was given a vision:
He was:
Considering how to lovingly severe the betrothal
Confronted by an Angel and the truth
He proclaimed who the child was and revealed Joseph’s role.
Joseph’s response was:
He obeyed
He honored the Lord
Connection:
How are you being tested in this season of your life?
What is God’s messenger telling you today?
- Have faith in Him and where He has you?
- Show honor to the Lord even though you are justified in giving some people what they deserve?
Do what Joseph did:
- Wrestle through how the Lord would have you handle it!
Joseph followed the Lord’s will and was the earthly dad of Jesus!
- How is God wanting to impact the world through you?
Pray.
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