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Joseph's Sacrifice

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
December 9, 2022 9:00 am

Joseph's Sacrifice

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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December 9, 2022 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks to us about an overlooked character in the Christmas story: Joseph. The role he played in the story of Jesus' birth is an important and much-needed reminder of how Christians are called to live a life of sacrifice.

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

30 Days to a New Beginning:


Welcome to the Friday.

Wow. What was that? What was that? Nicholas like barked. He barked. What did you do? It sounded like a little dog. I heard something, but I didn't know what it was.

Let me tell you that again. It is Friday, December the 9th. We cannot possibly keep this, right? All right, let's do it. Let's do it.

It's Friday, December the 9th. I'm Ryan Hill. I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can find us online at, or if you have a question for Dr. Shah or a suggestion for a future episode, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

You can also email us at contact at And you guys can help us keep the conversation in the airwaves by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes, and really just helping us keep the discussion alive. By the way, bless you, buddy. I don't know if anybody said that. I got thrown off by the small dog that was in the recording studio.

No, it's fine. I just truly didn't know we were going to keep going. You want to hit the verse of the day real quick?

I would love to. The verse of the day today comes from Deuteronomy chapter two, verse seven. For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows you're trudging through this great wilderness. These 40 years the Lord your God has been with you.

You have lacked nothing. I think that's a great reminder for us, especially, you know what? This is actually a good time. Oh, it is very good. 30 days to a new beginning, which is Dr. Shah.

I didn't even plan this, but 30 days to a new beginning. This is Dr. Shah and Nicole's book. And the reason I'm plugging it now is because this is one of the biggest things that Dr. Shah and Nicole talk about in this book is that through those 40 years in the wilderness, God was always there. God was always pushing them to move forward.

He's blessed you in all the work of your hand. You've been trudging through this great wilderness. It feels like you're not making progress. It feels like you're stuck in a rut. You've just been doing the same thing over and over and over. And yet, the Lord your God has been with you the whole time.

You've never lacked anything. And He's constantly pushing you forward, constantly moving you to a new beginning. That's right.

I love that. I love that reminder that God is not just with you in the wilderness seasons of life, but He's faithful. And He's also helping you move forward out of that wilderness season. So trust Him in the meantime. That's right. He's not just working to sustain you as you go through an inevitable bad thing.

It's that the bad thing is going to work towards something good, something that He has planned for you to prosper you. I love that. All right, John, I got one for you today. Yeah, man. Million dollars, but forever, for the rest of your life, the rest of your days here on this planet, you have all of your strength, ability, dexterity that you currently possess, everything that you currently possess. But from the waist up, you are a puppet.

Yeah. Why wouldn't I? You, I mean, face, arms, hands. You're going to be a puppet man. You're going to appear to a puppet to everyone, including your wife and your sons. Human legs.

Human legs, puppet torso, arms, face. Does it hurt? No. Yeah. Why not?

And that's forever. Sure. I look like a clown anyway. You would look like a, like a bag, like a canvas bag.

I got a million dollars. I'd be fine. Yeah.

No problem. No. Would you do it?

No, I would not do that. No, I was, I was scared of puppets as a kid. I was really terrified. Terrified of puppets. Um, I don't know what it was, but it was, it was like the generic puppets with like the, with like the circle nose, like, like people like big bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, people who were established characters, not scared of them, but just like the random, like Fraggle Rock puppet show at church would be like, it would scare me.

Yeah. I don't know what it was, but, um, yeah, I think for, and that's a big puppet too. I would think, cause I'm like six one. So that's at least three feet of puppet. Does it, does it like, am I floppy?

Oh yeah. But I can like pick up stuff, drink it, but it's like, yeah, you're not gonna, you're not gonna struggle for anything, but you look and you look, you appear as a puppet to everyone. You sound like yourself. I don't have to act like a puppet. I don't. Okay. No. Uh, do I have ribbons for hair or is it like, absolutely. Absolutely. Ribbons or yarn? Your choice. So I can customize my look a little bit. Don't get crazy.

Do I, do I, do I have feelings still? Like, like, uh, like if my wife like rubs my hair or like it all still feels, yeah, I don't see the issue. I don't see the issue. I mean, people will, people will think differently of me, but that's the good point of, that's the, that's the point of being rich.

I don't have to care. Imagine when a conversation started, that would be like, sir, are you a puppet? Yeah, I am a puppet.

They're like, how does that, how does that work, sir? We don't serve puppets in the, here's a thousand dollars. Don't talk to me again. Get out of my face and serve me my lasagna. Oh my goodness. All right.

Well, look for a puppet, John, to make an appearance very soon. Would you do it? I would not do it.

I would not take it. Not forever. I might do it for like a limited amount of time, but not forever. Yeah. Yeah.

One last question. If I work out, do I get puppet buff? No, no. You have no, you have no puppet muscles. You're just, you're just fabric. I could have, could I have really well, you can be strong. You can be like, you can build your strength up, but you will always appear just as a puppet with just straight stick arms. I could, but I could have super defined legs. Oh yeah. Your legs are human.

That stinks. Cause cause working out upper body is like my zone. That's where that's where I excel. You, you will never appear any different. Your appearance will not change.

Your strength will change, but it's a million dollars. I got to do it. I got it. You're taking it. All right. I'll take it. Puppet.

John. It is. Yeah.

We're going through our December series. Like you guys have heard, if you've been listening to the show this week and we're talking about an aspect of the nativity story today that we sometimes don't think about, you know, we can imagine how surprised Mary must've been, but what about Joseph? Exactly. Right.

We all don't talk about him, but Joseph had to go through a lot during the news. Like let's let's like, if, if, if someone came to me, if my wife came to me and said that, I'd be like, all right, let's sit down. Let's surprise.

I'm pregnant. And it's the Lords. It's yeah, it's the Lord. I'll be like, all right, let's hope we got it. It's not just the Lords.

It is the Lord. Let's maybe, maybe me and you we'll go grab a coffee. We'll chat. Yeah. You know, we'll chat.

Yeah. So we're going to bring Dr. Sean and we're going to talk about Joseph specifically and his perception of the nativity story today. But if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, text us at two five two five eight two five zero two eight.

Or you can visit us online at clearview We're going to get Dr. Sean. We'll be right back. Hey there listeners.

My name is John and I'm David. And we just want to take a second and talk to you about Dr. Sean Nicole's new book, 30 days to a new beginning daily devotionals to help you move forward. No matter who you are or where you are in life, you're going to get stuck.

You're going to have goals that you just can't seem to reach. And you're going to be looking for some new way to start over. Unfortunately, life does not have a restart button, but here's the good news. God's mercy is new every day, right? And so that means every day is a new chance for you to start over. Now, Dr. Sean and his wife, Nicole have written a new 30 day devotional in their 30 day series designed to give you practical tools for starting over no matter where you are in life's journey or what pitfalls you've encountered. This devotional is going to help you move forward, refocus your mind on God's truth and meditate on his word. And you guys can pick up a copy right this second on unless you're driving.

Yeah. Don't shop and drive unless you're driving, in which case, wait till you get home, but we're going to leave a link for you right here in the description of this podcast. So it'll be waiting for you when you get home. That's 30 days to a new beginning daily devotionals to help you move forward. For the remainder of November and all through December, we'll be sending a free copy to anyone who supports the podcast by visiting us online and donating to the show at

That is a very, very good incentive gang. That's 30 days to a new beginning daily devotions to help you move forward by Abaddon and Nicole Shaw. Hey there listeners. My name is Kelsey and I'm John. And we want to pause the show for just a second to talk to you guys about Clearview Church's original EP Together Forward. Yeah. These are five songs, five original songs that we wrote right here at Clear View Church. Myself, Dr. Shaw, David Williamson, our engineer on the Clear View Today show, some of the other guys on the worship team. But sometime during all the shutdowns of 2020, we noticed this really horrible isolationism setting in all over the world.

It was like nothing we've ever seen before. That's right. And one of the things that we've always been about here at Clear View is forward motion and community.

Those are both very important. So the whole heart behind the EP was, Hey, let's just take these two things and let's put them together because we truly feel like that's the antidote to what's happening in the world today. We're right in the middle of writing a whole bunch of new material as a church, but while all of those projects are still in the works, we want to help point you guys towards these songs that God has given us. You can listen to all of them right now on Spotify. Just look up Clear View worship, or if you want to support what we're doing here at Clear View Church, you can buy it on iTunes right now. And always remember you can support us directly at the Clear View Today show by visiting us online at

That's right. Thanks for listening. We hope these songs are as much a blessing to you as they were for us. Amen. Let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadon Shaw, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shaw, welcome back to the studio today. It's great to be here.

I hope you guys are doing well. Absolutely. You're looking good. I do like the purple a lot. Well, you know, it's Christmas is here, so I figured might as well. This is, you know, December is here, so I decided to go very Christmasy. Yeah.

Everything on the set is like black or gray. So I mean, it just pops out. For the radio audience, you guys are missing out. I'm sorry. Go over to the Facebook page so you can watch the video. That's right.

Clear View Today on Facebook. That's right. And if this is the first time tuning in, you've never heard the show before. Dr. Abaddon Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show.

You can follow his work on his website, That's right. And we are talking through our series on Christmas as we're in December, as we're heading closer and closer toward the 25th. We're talking about different elements, different characters that are in the Nativity story. And we talked about things like the wise men. We've talked about the shepherds up to this point. But today let's talk about somebody who doesn't get a lot of airtime in the Christmas story. Rudolph. Not who I had in mind, honestly.

He's got a whole movie devoted to him. Yeah. That's true. Yeah.

I guess one of the others, like dancer or prance or something. Yeah. I had Joseph in mind is who I was thinking. Yeah.

That's true. Mary's husband, Joseph. Yeah. You don't really think about Joseph a lot, but he's, he's pretty important.

Yeah. We talk a lot about how Mary must've perceived what was going on and how, what she was experiencing, but we don't talk quite as much about Joseph. So we're going to talk about Joseph today. Dr. Shaw, what do you think it must've been like for Joseph to find out that his wife was pregnant with the son of God? I mean, I can only imagine, you know, especially considering the time in which Joseph lived. You know, it says that he was minded to put her away secretly.

But what does that mean? Minded to put her away secretly so there won't be any shame. But, you know, there would be shame. Now, of course we're talking about Galilee, right? So maybe things were a little looser when it came to some of the laws of the old Testament. You know, if a woman was caught on adultery, what do you do and all that stuff. Now think about the woman caught on adultery. What were they doing to her?

They were going to stone her. I know there's, there's text critical issues. And as a text critical scholar, I'm tempted to go deal with that issue, but I'm just gonna leave that alone for right now. You know, even text critics on, on the side that doesn't believe, that believes that the woman caught on adultery doesn't belong in the Bible.

They still agree that this is a very old account. I mean, it's, it goes way, way back in a, in a time period where, you know, very close to the original text. So, you know, what were they doing to the woman caught on adultery? They were about to stone her. What would they have done to Mary?

They would have stoned her. And she was from Nazareth. And if you remember Nazareth, that word comes from Netzer, which means root. The people living in Nazareth were, of course, you know, we hear about people working in Nazareth. So they, living in Nazareth, they could work, you know, a few, few minutes to the north where there was a Roman colony and a lot of building was going on. But the people living in Nazareth, according to our best understanding, were coming from a priestly clan, a group of priests who felt like they were the ones through whom the Messiah would come. Do you think there was like a holier than thou complex?

Yes, of course. So if one of theirs were to be caught in adultery or something, it would be bad news. It would be bad news. They would have, I don't know, driven her away or found a way to purge her.

Wow. By stoning her. That's what they were doing. And that's, remember this whole account of the woman caught on adultery, you know, Jesus began to write on the ground. We don't know for sure what he wrote.

According to some readings and some commentaries, it was like Jesus was writing the sins of the people standing in the crowd with a stone in their hand. We don't know for sure. But nonetheless, the point is they would have killed her.

Wow. And you know, something that kind of gets me that I don't usually think about is when the angel comes and says, don't be afraid to take, marry your wife. Like at this point, she wasn't even his wife yet. I would understand if it was his wife and he feels like, okay, even if there was some adultery, there may be some, but like he's not even married yet.

And so to show that mercy and to put her away secretly, I mean, that was a very honorable thing. At the same time, keep in mind the betrothal period in that time of the world was not the same as the engagement period today. Okay. Like today, when we talk about somebody being engaged, hey, they can break off their engagement, right? It's sad, but it's not as complex unless like they went out and bought a house and put it in their names or, you know, then, then it gets complicated. Right. But most people won't do that. You know, unfortunately in our culture, you know, cohabitation is a big problem, by the way, cohabitation, let me just say this. It doesn't help you have a good marriage. That's true.

The statistics are against that, which is this, if you do that, the likelihood of you going through divorce is far higher. Yeah. People don't think about that.

They think, oh yeah. You know, like sort of a try this out before we actually get into this. You got to try it before you commit.

Right. It's compatible, but I mean, just like you said, Dr. Shah, the statistics actually point the opposite direction. Like you're much more likely to be headed for divorce. If you were going to cross that boundary and say, we're going to play marriage, but we're not married. Then when you get into marriage and things get tough, your mind says, hey, you're just playing, right?

You can get out of this game anytime you want to. And so anyways, that's a different subject. But since we were on this, I thought might as well cover that as well. But going back to Mary and Joseph, betrothal was different and they were much more vested. They were locked in.

And in a sense, she was already his wife. Wow. Okay. Yeah.

That is helpful to know. I can't imagine though, what he must've been thinking. Cause I mean, we talked yesterday about how much, what Mary must've been thinking and what would have come against her, you know, people in Nazareth shunning her, calling her names, just judging her.

But Joseph, man, that, that would have been, I mean, that would have rung my bell to hear like, Hey, I'm pregnant and it's not yours, but I promise it's, it's the son of God. Yeah. I mean, the first thought for me is, well, obviously you're lying. You know, that doesn't happen.

That's not like a regular occurrence. Yeah. You fell and hit your head or something.

And why don't you go lay down? Yeah. Best case scenario, you're confused, right? Gosh, I can't even believe what must've been going through his mind. But, but then, you know, he has that encounter with the angel and then Joseph, he believes, even when it's difficult, even when the odds are against him, even when, you know, the, the logical, uh, part of his brain is saying, this can't be true. He, he believes and he trusts in what the angel tells him.

That's right. I mean, the Bible tells us in, um, Matthew chapter one and verse, I believe 20 behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, Joseph, son of David. So it gives him a title, which is, I don't know if he's deserving of that title yet. I mean, but later on he will be, but he's, the angel is asking him to step up to that position and don't be a coward. Don't run out right now. This is the high moment of the history of the universe. Don't, don't abandon your post. You have been called just like Esther for a time, such as this. So Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you, marry your wife for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

And they will bring forth, and she will bring forth a son and you, not Mary, you shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins. So it's not enough to say, Hey, you just be there. Okay.

Just be a supportive husband slash stepdad. No, you need to be the one naming this child, which means this child is not going to be illegitimate by any stretch, by any imagination. Right.

This is, this is, he's to be treated as your son. I wonder, is it, what would the ramifications have been if people had believed that Joseph was the biological father, if they had just said, Hey, you know, we had this baby during our betrothal period, but before we messed up or whatever, I'm guessing it would have been somewhat the same. Like they both would have just gone down for that. Yeah. I mean, I would say that would be compromising the gospel message.

Further. Yeah. So for him to say not mine, but no, she is not being promiscuous or was promiscuous.

She is, she is, she was a virgin and it's not much out. I mean, that's a, that's a tough one. It's tough. And especially when you try to put yourself as a man in his place, like what would I have done?

I know like how the story ends and I know like what Joseph did was the right thing, but genuinely what would I have done? Yeah. Cause I mean, that's something that is gonna, I would imagine follow them. That, that stigma is always kind of attached to them.

You know, your, your wife had a child and it's not, and whether it, whether or not it was in the betrothal period or not, the child is not yours. And then, and then like, it's not just the two of them in a vacuum. Right.

They live in a community where other people, like when he's away from Mary, other people are talking to him like, Hey man, come on. Like, yeah, it's not, it's not God's son. You know that.

Right. And he's also full-blooded human being, right? Joseph is. And the Bible tells us in Matthew 1 24, then Joseph, Joseph being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife. And then it says verse 25, and did not know her till she had brought forth her first born son. Wow. And he called his name Jesus.

So imagine for those nine months, not touching your wife. Yeah. That's a sacrifice. Yeah.

I mean, that man really sacrificed. Right. So is that in verse 24, is that the moment of their marriage where they married before Jesus was born? Yes, of course. Yeah. Yeah.

Okay. And so I think, I think he took her as his wife. You know, we read that so quickly without thinking about it, but I mean, he, he told Joseph in 21, you're going to, you're, she's going to bring forth a son and you're going to call his name Jesus. He could have hung out until Mary had the baby and then just slipped away. You know what I mean? He could have, he could have taken that door out.

And I feel like God's plan of salvation would have still happened, but his sacrifice and his willingness to stay there and to be that man, even taking, not a subservient role. He's not taking a subservient role, but it's just a, a, a servant leadership. You know what I mean? That servant leadership that God has called us to be. I don't know. I mean, it's just, it's something that you just really don't think about until you sit down and start thinking about it.

Yeah. It certainly as a, I mean, it's not something that I considered much as a young man, but becoming a husband and becoming a father, it's definitely something that's, that's carried a little more weight for me as, you know, as, you know, as I got married, as our kids were born, I think more about what Joseph must have, what his experience must have been like. And the longer you live in this world and raise your family and, and build relationships, the more you realize how much sacrifice is part of the joy of life.

You know, you, we only tend to think of working hard, working smart and then reaping the rewards. No, unfortunately life in this sinful world doesn't work like that. There are complications. There are sinful behaviors.

There are, you know, people close to you or further away from you, doesn't matter. They will act in ways that are, you know, not right. And then you have to make the sacrifices. It's not like they're going to be sacrificed or make sacrifices. You have to make the sacrifice, right?

And that's tough. I think it's also important to remember that Joseph is doing this not as a sacrifice so that he can make the martyr players or so that he can suffer needlessly, but because God's plan of salvation is coming to him and it's being laid out right in front of him and he can see that vision. He means just to even be part of that vision. What a huge privilege that it is, you know, to be part of that plan of salvation. I believe that's the message today for our generation, you know, be willing to make sacrifices, big one, painful ones, and know that when you do make those sacrifices, God honors you and God, God honors that. So if it's not going to cost you anything, then it's not worth anything. Wow. You know, if it's not going to cost you anything, it's not worth anything. What free thing do I have that's precious to me? Can I go back and make that my quote? Yeah. I'm just going to rewind and make that my quote.

Just edit that in. Just stick that in the episode where I have my quote. If it's not going to cost you anything, it's not worth anything. At the same time, how much can I truly sacrifice? Like I can never out sacrifice Jesus. I can never sacrifice more than him. And he's never going to cause me to lose. Not that he would cause me to lose things. But what I'm saying is he's not going to ever demand more than he himself has already given. That's right.

That's right. He gave the ultimate sacrifice in his life for hours, even while we were sinners, even while we were enemies of God. It's one thing for somebody to die for somebody who's nice and good. You know, like any of us here will lay our life down, other than David, down for our children, right? You would do that.

I would do it. Absolutely. But it's quite different to lay your life down for somebody, let's just say somebody who has deeply hurt you.

How about abused you? Would you lay your life down for that person? No.

That's when we go, no, I can lay my life down for my enemy. But that goes deep. Right. That's how we were towards God. Yep. Wow.

What do you think? What lessons can we take as husbands and as fathers, but just as believers from the life of Joseph? I would say personally, you know, when God calls you to do something, it'll cost you. You know, it'll be painful.

It'll be tough. Some days you're going to question God. Some days you're going to question yourself. You're going to feel, you know, betrayed, or you're going to feel that, you know, you're being misunderstood and mislabeled and all of that. But if you simply trust God, if you just believe in your core that God is in control and that whatever's happening right now, it's going to work out for the best. That's the only way to move forward.

That's right. There's a, there's a verse in first John, I think it's chapter five and verse three, where it says, for this is the love of God that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not burdensome. And I think it just shows, especially in Joseph's case of how much he just unconditionally loved God. And I mean, not everything God calls us to do is going to be pleasant. It's going to be uncomfortable. It's going to require sacrifice.

But I think here's the thing. As Christians, as Christians, we claim to love him unconditionally. Our actions have to show that. And we have, when we obey, it has to be joyful obedience.

It has to be obedience that it may not make me immediately happy in this immediate circumstance, but joyfully, I want to obey you. Absolutely. And I love the way you pointed it out earlier, John, like Joseph got the opportunity to be used in God's, in an integral way in God's redemptive story, in the unfolding of this pivotal moment in the history of the universe. Of course, we have Mary.

Of course, we have Jesus. But Joseph himself became a major player when he didn't have to be. And it speaks to it because it can so easily be twisted. Like my masculine pride could overtake my thoughts and be like, God is going to use me, but I'm always going to be like the guy who his wife got pregnant, not by him.

And I just kind of took the back seat in this whole story that that could easily be twisted in my mind, but that's not at all what it is. And I think to either recognize that or to sacrifice in spite of thinking that either way, there's a lot of respect there for Joseph's character. Absolutely.

Yeah. I love that. If you guys enjoyed today's topic, or if you have suggestions for future topics, let us know by sending us a text at 252-582-5028. And you can also visit us online at And remember that there's a place for you to donate right there on that website. Click that donate button and join in this partnership with us as we seek to impact the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dr. Shah, you already gave me my favorite quote of the day. If it doesn't cost anything, it's not worth anything. What is your favorite quote that you want to leave listeners with today?

Well, I have many, but there's one I want to share today. When you talk about sacrifice, at least in the context of our nation, I cannot think of somebody more appropriate for that image than Abraham Lincoln. That's true. You know, he was willing to step on the stage, get into the hot seat at a time where nobody wanted to touch that because they knew this was going to go bad. This is going to kill people, destroy lives.

Our way of life will be changed forever. Nonetheless, this young man, I would say young man, you know, went into that position and on April the 15th, 1865, you know, he was assassinated. And one reason he was willing to do that is because he loved our country. He wanted to preserve the union. You know, I know today people have all kinds of ideas about Abraham Lincoln and who he was and what he did not do right and all that, all in all. But overall, nobody would doubt that he loved this nation. And of course he loved God. And he was doing what he was doing because he felt that this is what you have to do if we're going to survive as a people. But a quotation from him would be this one. He said, my dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope on earth.

The last best hope. Keep in mind, I mean, this is before 1865, right? And he was how old? Did you know that? Anybody here know?

I don't. Only 56 when he died. Really? Wow.

That's it. Only 56 years of age when he died. Not sixties, not seventies, definitely not eighties and nineties. We know that he was only 56. That's kind of hits me hard because I'm 49. So I'm just like seven years away from him.

I can just touch him just right in my age range. So for him at such an early age to be gone. Yeah. Wow.

Because he cared about this country. Wow. I love that. That's amazing. We love you guys. We'll see you next week on Clearview today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-09 10:14:38 / 2022-12-09 10:28:05 / 13

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