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December 2, 2020 12:25 pm
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This podcast is made available by visiting Christian media close to the generosity support is your donation today means great podcasts like these remain available to help people look to God daily. Please make your donation to vision on today we send out all day. It was a simple man who worked hard and looked humbling. Nothing he said was recorded in the Bible.
God chose him as the father of the Messiah, Turning Point, Jeremiah takes a close look at Joseph. The protective teacher and three promo looks like and integrity for young Jesus from the series why the Nativity is missing why Joseph Prince is there any message that's more wonderful than the message of Christmas maybe Easter. I'm sure it's more powerful because easterners truly the message of our salvation, but the incarnation, the message of Jesus becoming a man is beautiful and it extends longer in the season. As we celebrated some recording this in the month of November. Many have already started to celebrate Christmas, which does not really occur on the calendar until 25 December. There is such a wonderful thing that happens. Even people who do not even understand what Christmas is all about celebrate it with all their hearts.
Those of us who know what it's about who know why we celebrate Christmas and whose birthday it is and what it all means we have all the more reason to be filled with joy friends in this rather dark season that we have been through and are going through. Let us look to the light of Jesus and find hope and encouragement that he brings were going to do both this month to talking about the real message of Christmas right now.
Let's open our Bibles in our hearts and let's learn about Joseph today I want to ask a question that's hardly ever asked during the Christmas season is sometimes referred to as the forgotten man of Christmas is Joseph, the man who was chosen to be the adoptive father of our Lord, the one who would protect the infancy of the Savior of the world, and the word of God. Joseph stands silent. He is spoken to.
He is spoken about but not a single syllable crosses his lips, he is viewed by many people at best is just a bit player an extra and incidental in the Christmas drama.
According to Matthew's genealogy.
Joseph was a royal person.
He was a potential king. Yet we know very little about him.
He appears on the scene for just a moment and then he disappears. The only other time he is mentioned in the life of our Lord is one 12-year-old Jesus was inadvertently left in Jerusalem after that. Joseph is not mentioned again in the entire New Testament. We don't know very much about his outward appearance. From Mary's sacrifice of two turtledoves we may assume that he was a poor man. We do know he was a carpenter and most probably a simple and practical man he would've liked the feel of wood and stone, he would have found great satisfaction in building something useful. I imagine that he desired and orderly and ordinary life he would pursue his crafty would maintain a good name in the community. Ultimately, he would with the help of his parents come together with the woman, then they would be married. They would attend the synagogue, they would raise a family. This was what Joseph's dream certainly must've been and he was headed in that direction, proceeding now to prepare for that wedding.
He had long dreamed about course, you know, in the Jewish culture.
Unlike our own. The groom was the focus of the wedding. Joseph must've looked forward to the celebration and the simple life that would follow.
He would take Mary into his household.
They would have children and this carpenter would fashion a well constructed life and then one day, totally out of the blue. Everything for Joseph changed change so dramatically that he could never again be the same if you know the story, you remember that after Gabriel had announced to Mary that she would conceived by the Holy Spirit and bear the Messiah. Mary left town. The Bible says she left with haste.
She didn't tell Joseph about her visit from the angel and while we do not know from Matthew's account where Mary went.
When we get to Luke and read his account. It is given to us. Luke 139 and 40 says Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth, who was her relative, knowing that she was to be the mother of our Lord.
One can only imagine the conversations that Mary had with Elizabeth. What happened in Mary's heart and in her life was known just to her. The reality of all of this had not yet fallen upon the ears of her husband, but we read of Joseph's discovery of Mary's baby in Matthew chapter 1 and verse 18 now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows after his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
When conception took place. We do not know, and doubtless Mary did not know either, but in due time she became aware of the fact that she was pregnant after three months of past Mary returned home to Nazareth and Joseph could not have been prepared for what he was about to discover. There had been no physical union. And yet, here is Mary.
Obviously with child. Surely there was a moment when Mary tried to explain to Joseph about the angel Gabriel and the message concerning Messiah. But how do you explain something like that and espousal among the Hebrews corresponded to our period of engagement but it was much more binding. You see, it was marked by a gift or a dowry for the bride and another gift was provided for the relatives and writings of betrothal were prepared by those in authority and the obligations in the agreements and among other things, the amount of the dowry stipulated from the moment of the espousal.
The woman was treated by everyone as though she were already married. So according to Matthew 118.
The betrothal agreement had been signed, gifts had been made friends and relatives in general knew that Joseph and Mary were engaged and now Joseph discovers Mary's baby and the discovery of Mary's baby creates a dilemma for Joseph that weekend quite try to understand but never truly understand Matthew 119 says, then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make Mary a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
Mary's situation was so incredible to Joseph. He considered all the options that were his. Based on the customs of his day. One of the slanders of the early Christians was that Jesus was born out of wedlock. They cited Joseph's failure to report to the authorities. Mary's pregnancy as one of their evidences of this Matthew does not deny that Mary had become pregnant before her marriage to Joseph was consummated. Matthew tells us that Joseph desired to shield Mary from shameful exposure and was going to quietly divorce her, but before Joseph had time to take any action he was instructed in a dream that he should not be afraid to take Mary to be his wife. All that raced through Joseph's mind when he first learned of Mary's condition will never be known.
The Bible says Joseph was not willing to make Mary a public example. He was minded or determined to put her away or divorce her secretly.
Joseph took counsel in his heart, and after mature consideration resolve the right of know what to do. He still loved Mary and he didn't want her to be exposed to the criticism and perhaps even to the penalty through his options as he thought them through. First of all I suppose it may have thought that Mary had been unfaithful to him and had committed adultery with Joseph.
This would have been impossible.
Mary was a godly woman. Joseph knew that she would never have violated her purity and their engagement agreement. I suppose he could've thought that she had been raped but had this been so, she would have told him and so he was left with this option that Mary had been chosen by God to be the mother of the Messiah, just as she had said Joseph was a devout man, a Hebrew and is a reason concerning this matter in his head he would ponder the fact that Messiah was to be born of the house of David and the Bible says he took counsel within himself. What could he do, he would dismiss her quietly and his decision could have been motivated by some of the following things number one. He may have decided to divorce her because he really did not know what else to do.
To fail to dismiss.
Mary might represent failure to uphold the spirit of the law to dismiss or publicly was unthinkable.
He did not consider her guilty. He was in a position of not being able to condemn all fully justified and so we decided just to divorce her, but quietly, without any public exposure, possibly Mary did not explain much to Joseph could not bring herself even to tell Joseph what she knew. So Joseph in the absence of all of the facts before having been visited by the angel, being a just man reason that the proper course to pursue was to divorce her, but in such a way as not to bring her public criticism or yes this was a dilemma for Joseph. Perhaps Mary had told Joseph the real facts and now Joseph believed her, but that didn't solve the problem. Knowing what Mary had been asked to do. Joseph might easily have thought that marriage to this woman, now would be considered an unholy act, he would divorce her God had made a special vessel of this noble Hebrew woman that he loved and so that he would not interfere with the purposes of God. He would set Mary aside so that all the purposes of God could be fulfilled in her if this was what was going through Joseph's mind that he was himself contemplating a noble thing in order to be obedient to God.
Joseph was willing to give up the woman that he loved dearly. All of this circulating in his head and then something happened. Joseph had a dream, Joseph's dream about Mary's baby is recorded for us in these next verses in verse 20 we read, but while he thought about these things, we hold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says that while Joseph was trying to sort all of this out in his mind sleep overtook him and began to dream. The word for dream in this text is a special word that means to have a vision during your sleep and not have a vision while you're awake like the Joseph of the Old Testament. This New Testament Joseph would also receive his revelation in dream. Both Joseph of the Old Testament and Joseph of the New Testament were dreamers and all in the New Testament.
Joseph had four different dreams and their detail for us in Matthew's gospel. In this his first dream, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and relieved his burden to heart. The angel said Joseph, the son of David, it was providentially and prophetically ordered that this child should be of the lineage of David.
Joseph was not Jesus physical father but by his marriage to Mary he would give to Jesus, the true legal status.
The angel explained to Joseph that he should have no hesitation in taking Mary to be his wife because her pregnancy was of the Holy Spirit. Joseph understood now beyond all doubt that the circumstances of Mary's pregnancy were ordered by the Lord when Joseph understood the message from the Lord. He heard the Lord instruct him that the child's name would be Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. And Joseph called him by his name, and Jesus is his name. Matthew goes on to explain to us that this was done in order that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated God with us.
God always keeps his word, and to the house of David. Isaiah wrote the words of Isaiah 714, and in that passage, the definite article appears before the word version.
He did not speak of a version he spoke of the virgin the one virgin the virgin Mary, and the precise wording is carried over into the Greek of Matthew chapter 1 where we read the same construction. In other words, both Isaiah and Matthew point to a very specific person.
The virgin shall bring a child into the world. Mary was a virgin who was with child of the Holy Spirit. Joseph had discovered Mary's baby and gone through the dilemma of Mary's baby. One night he had a dream about Mary's baby and finally he had to make a decision about Mary's baby. We read in verses 24 and 25, then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife and did not know her until she had brought forth her firstborn son and he called his name Jesus. Without hesitation, Joseph rose up to publicly take Mary to be his wife. Doubtless all the ceremonies of the usual wedding were involved, including the feast and then took her into his house, as was the custom. Nothing was missing from the usual procedure, Joseph instantly obeyed the instruction of the Lord and surely some time later along the way. Joseph told Mary all about that night when he had that fateful dream when happened in Joseph's life is a very interesting illustration of what often happens in our lives in a very simple way. Max Lotito, in his typical freshness describes Joseph's as being caught between what God says and what makes sense. Have you ever been caught. There between what God says and what makes sense, yet Joseph didn't let his confusion disrupt his obedience. He didn't know everything, but he did what he knew God protected it all along the way God made sure that everything that was in his divine plan would be carried out to the minutest detail notice verse 25 says, and Joseph did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn son and he called his name Jesus. What the text means is not that they were not acquainted with that they were not intimate as a husband and wife until after Jesus was born disabled. Why would that be important simply because the holiness and purity of Jesus must be protected at all cost. This baby must doubtless be the son of the Holy Spirit and not the son of Joseph and the Holy Spirit. Even in the Scripture is so very particular to protect that even here just in one chapter in the book of Matthew it is reiterated in so many ways. In verse 18 it says she was found with child of the Holy Spirit before they came together in verse 20. It says that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit verse 23 says, behold, the virgin shall be with child.
Verse 25 says, and he did not know her until she had brought forth her first born son, let there be no question this child born to Mary was not Joseph's child. It was the child of Almighty God conceived in her by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was chosen to be the adoptive father and he played a magnificent role in that respect. So the question is why Joseph Wright was Joseph chosen to fulfill God's plan. God needed a carpenter. He needed a man who was sturdy and stable and practical yet sensitive to the voice of God.
He needed someone who would stand quietly with the young virgin who was an object of ridicule and yet who carried in her womb. The hope of the whole world.
Joseph was strong but compassionate. He was able to lead the tiring expedition to Bethlehem into the stable to love and encourage the mother of Christ. Joseph is the man of the house was the teacher to give Jesus his first lessons in the law of God, and in Jerusalem when the boy was 12 and it became evident that his first allegiance must be to another father Joseph was the man to humbly and silently step back while God stepped forward. Amazingly, Joseph never spoke a word in the Christmas story, but what he did speaks volumes to us all. One of the great lessons that comes from the life of Joseph is this but the most important thing in the whole world can happen to the least important people in the world that the King of Kings and Lord of lords can take up residence in the most ordinary of lives that the greatest somebody who ever lived can come to nobody's like Joseph and Mary and like you and like me and it seems to me if we go through the Scripture we will find that there is a response God requires from us and that response is the same response that was in the heart of Joseph.
And here it is.
Lord, just tell me what to do and I will do it. I will be obedient anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Anything Lord God, I don't understand it and it doesn't make sense to me. And as far as I know it's never happened before in the history of the world, but if you say it. I will do it. Joseph and Mary could not possibly have known the eternal things that would happen from there. Obedience with thank God they obeyed and most of all, thank God, our Lord Jesus Christ came to be our Savior. A man tomorrow will go to the other side of the family and talk about Mary why Mary and she gets a lot more press than Joseph, and in many respects is more important in the narrative because she actually is.
The human mother. She wore the body of Jesus in her womb. She was the answer to Isaiah's prophecy of a virgin giving birth and that will talk all about that tomorrow and again on Monday as we continue asking these questions why Joseph why did Jesus become a man, and tomorrow why Mary know the daily challenges of this past year have had an effect actually in the cumulative effect on all of us leaving people both wary and wary were weary from the upsetting news that filled our screens every night for most of the year and were wary because we don't know what is ahead of us but the good news is this God is still in control. I remember in the run-up to the election. I read Psalm 11 in the middle of the Psalm it says when the foundations of law and order are broken, what shall the righteous do the next verse says the Lord is in his holy temple.
He rules in the affairs of men and doubtlessly write you tomorrow on the screen station for more information on Dr. Jeremiah's commissaries like the nativity visitor website with those I find to revise the help you stay connected monthly magazine Turning Points and L daily email devotional enough to value David Jeremiah.org/ready that Jeremiah.org/right when you do ask for a copy of Dragon 365 day devotional for 2021. It's called strength for today and it's filled with political tree for the yearly and the gifted and EMS and to keep the spirits right through the holiday season. Visit the home for Christmas candlelight Turning Point.tv 3000 Christmas music videos, messages and behind for Christmas gentle and Turning Points.TV Gary.
Hopefully please join us tomorrow as we continue the series why the nativity is here on Turning Point but don't deny the Jeremiah for taking time to listen to on tonight from these increased in