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December 18, 2020 7:05 am
Most of us tend to picture Mary and Joseph as an idyllic Jewish couple, but failed to comprehend their plight in their first century culture pregnancy out of wedlock. Wishing imagine what it was like for Mary to hear the news that her body carried a child and he would become the Savior of the world today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll invites us to enter into this dramatic real-life story thinking about the mixed bag of emotions felt by these two innocent teens. Chuck titled his message. Let's witness a troubled romance in Nazareth and he begins today's message with prayer our father I pray that you will give us the same willingness to obey as was modeled by Joseph.
Upon hearing from the angel give us this sense of assurance that when you speak it deserves our obedience may be able to close a deaf ear to what others might think or say. May we follow you explicitly from start to finish. Thank you for this story and how it unfolds for us in such a simple and yet found way. Thank you also for the privilege of giving to the work of ministry. Use these gifts in significant ways, not only in this community but around the world. These things we pray in the name of Christ our Savior and all God's people sent a man.
There is no courtship more intriguing, more fascinating than the one between Mary and Joseph of Nazareth unique and every way. You know some of the details but the truth is there is much about their lives, of which we know nothing what we know nothing of their original families. We don't know precisely what the neighborhood's response was when they did Mary rather hurriedly breaking the betrothed full and moving quickly into a marriage is another factor in all of this. I want to get into because it ties in with things I want to say it's amazing to me how the Christmas story revolves around Mary and almost only Mary Christmas cards emphasize Joseph about the Psalms Mary did you know about Joseph.
Did you know but it's Mary did you look there's another one. What child is this who laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping. Then the baby rest on Joseph's lap as well. It's all about Mary. We are programmed to think mainly of Mary with the baby.
Now admittedly, Joseph has nothing to do with the conception of the child, but he figures into the story highly. As we shall see, but it just doesn't enter our mind when we come to the Christmas story.
I thought of this when I was reading Malcolm Gladwell's book blink retells an imaginary proposal and leaves you as a reader to answer the puzzle to show you how things just don't flash it in your mind. Like in blink of an eye. Listen to this story. Amanda and his son, or in a serious car accident. The father is killed and the sun is rushed to the emergency room. Upon arrival, the attending doctor looks at this child and gasps. This is my son who is the doctor you read that story and you realize it's it's a puzzle. It isn't obvious, as Gladwell writes it's it's not like a math or a logic problem that can be worked out systematically with with pencil and paper. He goes on, the only way you can get to the answer is if it comes to you suddenly in the blink of an eye, from which he gets the name of the book blink.
You need to make a leap beyond the automatic assumption.
The doctors were always men. They aren't always, of course, the answer to the puzzle is now obvious and clear the doctors the boys mother but you don't think that when you read the story, at least most don't dislike that we have a mental block regarding the significance in the Christmas story of the role Joseph Phil. It simply not in our mind. She's the mother he's her husband not the father but he is her husband, but to be honest with you going on the basis of tradition.
Who cares what all answered quickly with two words, God triggers he cares so much that in the genealogy of Matthew. He traces Joseph back through his heritage all the way to the Jewish father of the nation. Abraham you can track it for yourself. You see, Joseph is mentioned when you get to verse 16.
All the way back to see it traces him back to Jesus Messiah and ties it into the story of Abraham and his generations that followed the look closely at verse 16 than five mentioned it.
Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, the great reads from whom Jesus was born to the words in your Bible from whom hold on for a little pedantic moment here in the Greek that's feminine singular. No one will make a point of that syntactical construction because Joseph is out of the picture. When it came to the conception Jesus, Mary, from whom Messiah was conceived, was born the tiny construction underscores the virginity of Mary. She is the Parthenon's the Greek term for one who is never known a man intimately. She, the Parthenon's alone is the Greek way of saying she alone bore the Christ child. No involvement with any man. Now one of the fascinating part of this whole story is that the reader knows things that a character in the story does not know. I like books like that you reread certain novels or you read certain nonfiction books and you you learn things that the people in the story being told in the lines of the book don't know.
In this case we know something right away that Joseph did not know that you forget that much of the fascination is lost much of the understanding is overlooked Joseph as a carpenter, let me just put it in simple red-blooded terms. He is in love with Mary. He looks forward to their their wedding day when he will be alone with her when they will know each other intimately when they will be getting their family together and they will have their children he's working on the carpenter shop. I don't know making a bench for a certain Rebecca in their home or maybe I joke for Solomons oxen, and he's thinking about his work. Mary is somewhere else. Apart from Joseph may be working in a home maybe maybe alone, and in no in a room and someone else's home serving and she stopped in her tracks visited by an angel, who says you are the chosen one. She shot especially when she hears you will bear the Christ child and her immediate response was, of course, how can it be.
I've never known a man intimately never had sexual relations with a man. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be overwhelmed with the presence of the Holy Spirit and the one you choose, you bear will be the Messiah understand all of this is known by Mary. None of it is known by Joseph. I realize as I speak to an audience like you you you know all of that but if you could just remove yourself from the familiar and treated as if for the first time you appreciate what Joseph is going through. Let me say it this way, especially if you are a man and you will love this woman that you have met and you want to spend your life with her and one of things that is drawn you to her is her purity or transparency and you've never touched her intimately.
You have never once violated that part of her life. You're saving all of that for marriage and she says to you, out of the blue. I'm pregnant, your first reaction is, who's the father is in the and then she says, of all things. It is all of God and your your hearing God made me pregnant. Member Joseph is never read Matthew one date.
Always remember that kind of thing when I come to story like that because we are very familiar. Many of us are with the contents of Matthew one know what is whispered in Joseph's ear.
By the way everything she says is true. You know you know what is hearing from his buddies in the carpenter shop, get rid of her.
You want to spend your life with a woman that will be faithful and she told you God made her pregnant. That's blasphemy.
Joseph that's the kind of counsel, the people of the street will give you or the people in the shop or the office and let me add another twist to this whole thing. She leaves right away to spend three months with her cousin Elizabeth down in Judea Donnie miles from Nazareth. We don't have a record of when she said goodbye, we don't even know if she told him she was pregnant before she left to see Elizabeth or after she came back.
That's not in the sacred record so were left with our imagination. Which brings me to an interesting book I just finished reading it say it's a book titled Mary what the Bible really says by amending a pastor named Douglas Connolly and he helps us with a little imaginative part of the story. Listen to a few things Connolly writes maybe this is how the scene unfolded shortly after Mary's return from her visit with Elizabeth so he's assuming she didn't tell into sitting back, which only adds to the intrinsic because his question would now be what happened while you were away. What were you involved in. Who was this man that got you pregnant and on and on. So Connolly goes on after her return love with Elizabeth. She met Joseph in the garden of her parents home or some other suitable location and told him that she was with child. She told Joseph, not with tears of shame but with confidence. That's also interesting how could she speak with confidence and no shame about being pregnant and I've had nothing to do with the pregnancy. Continuing, she told Joseph with no tears of shame, but with quiet confidence.
At first Joseph couldn't believe what he was hearing even entertain the thought that Mary was joking with him but he knew Mary would never joke in such a course way what she said was true. She was pregnant. Joseph's first question was the one any man would ask in the same situation. Who is the father. Joseph conscience was clear he had never violated the purity of their engagement is relationship with Mary have been carried out in full view of her family and the close knit community surrounding them.
But Mary obviously had not been the person. Joseph thought she was one of the things that had attracted Joseph to Mary was her humble desire to live transparently before God and before the community of believers around her, but now in one brief conversation. Joseph found his perception of Mary shattered in his life. In shambles, just a few more words. When Joseph asked her who the father was Mary sent an angel of God had spoken to her and told her she would conceive. Miraculously, her son would be the promised diluted this deliver the Messiah, God's son. She said it so calmly and confidently. But hacker Joseph believe a story like that. He left the garden without saying another word and went back to his home to cry.
He wrestled for hours with his response.
Divorce seen his only solution. Local opinion would be harsh. Most people would tell them to divorce her openly in a public condemnation before the religious leaders that would bring Mary shaman reproach or worse in the old days before the restrictions of Roman law and adulterous was stoned. This was adultery.
Even though the marriage had not been consummated for a Jewish custom the betrothal. Began with the exchange of solemn vows is bonding as those of a modern wedding ceremony. You get the picture. Joseph is a real dilemma. What I do. We pick up that story down in down in verse 20. Look at it for yourself. As he considered this, I should go to the previous verse. Joseph, her husband was a good man and did not want to do is to disgrace her publicly.
He decided to break the engagement to divorce her quietly. You could either do it publicly and make a show of it or just quietly having handled with a rabbi and and life goes on chose that in his mind.
And that night wrestling over the issue of what happened, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. This, by the way, is the first time Joseph gets the information from anyone other than Mary and it comes from an angel, which in those days was not uncommon because the Scriptures were not yet complete. God would speak through angelic appearances or night visions, and in this case the angel appeared to him in a dream called them by name Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife for the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will have a son you are to name him Jesus. He will save his people from their sins. Matthew then adds all of this occurred to fulfill the Lord's message through his prophet. The virgin will conceive a child and will give birth to a son. They will call him Immanuel will that is God with us. Now look at this response.
The only thing Joseph has to go on is the angelic appearance. The word in the night visit from an angel, Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded the took Mary as his wife and did not have sexual relations with her until the sun born and he named him Jesus and God's master plan for humanity, each as a young innocent Jewish couple to deliver deity through their troubled relationship. Jesus was born in Christ embodied the gospel you're listening to Insight for living Chuck Swindoll titled today's message. Let's witness a troubled romance in Nazareth. To learn more about this ministry.
Visit us email@example.com now just before your closing comment from Chuck. I'm pleased to tell you that Insight for living has access to several years of preaching material never before shared on the broadcast. The archive of sermons in our possession is very deep and this January we had the delight of hearing a brand-new series from Chuck. It's a verse by verse study through the New Testament book of Matthew to prepare for this significant study, we invite you to purchase the brand-new hardbound two-volume commentary from Chuck is called Swindoll was living inside commentary on Matthew.
If you secure the two books now, you'll receive them in plenty of time to prepare for the study that begins in January to purchase when dolls living inside commentary on Matthew go to Insight.org/store or if you're listening in the United States, one of our friendly staff members at 1-800-772-8888 Chuck thanks Dave.
No one is come to the challenges of 2020 completely unscathed. All of us have suffered loss at some level, whether we want someone we love to the coronavirus or suffering a financial setback or maybe you've been removed from seeing your family as you would love to do all of us have stories to tell. I know this is true because during the pandemic of 2020.
I've heard from many of you I've read your stories. Some of them heartrending.
These shared stories of struggle have woven us together.
In fact in this history of insight for living ministries. I've never felt a greater connection to our family of supporters all around the world, even though many of us have been self isolated or even quarantined. Thankfully, because of the Internet and the reliability of our radio stations are daily visits on Insight for living have continued during this year without interruption and as God provides through men and women like you. We promise to be with you every single day in 2021 as well. Along those lines cannot count on your support as we come to December 31. Many of already given generously to help us enter the new year with strength, some due to the challenges imposed by this pandemic have not been able to do so.
We fully understand yet many of us can give an even should give God will lead us in how much we should give. And when we should do that. So as we conclude the unforgettable year of 2020. I am personally inviting you to participate in the mission of insight for living ministries. Please give a generous end-of-the-year donation as you were able, let's pull together as a family. One member at a time.
Thanks so much for doing your part. And here's how to respond to Chuck Swindoll right now if you're listening in the United States you can give by calling us at 1-800-772-8888 or by going to our firstname.lastname@example.org and then I have a little extra time this weekend.
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