Can you imagine being in Joseph’s shoes that first Christmas?
It might be easy for us to read through the account of Joseph and his dream and pass right through the significance of it all. Let’s pause here today and consider this simple carpenter as we continue Rediscovering Christmas.
As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21 NLT
We don’t know much about Joseph. He was a carpenter and a descendant from King David. But, from what I read, Joseph was a kind and gentle soul.
He planned to divorce Mary quietly once he found out she was pregnant. He knew the child wasn’t his, however he didn’t want to cause her disgrace by being unwed and pregnant… and soon divorced. Back then, engaged couples could only break their engagement by divorce.
Scripture doesn’t fill in the blanks of Joseph’s thoughts and possible struggles.
I almost wish I could peer into Joseph’s mind. We can imagine he thought Mary was unfaithful to him. Not only were his future plans broken, but it’s possible so was his heart.
We could guess he was embarrassed to marry a young woman who was pregnant. That just didn’t happen back then. Pregnancy out of wedlock was subject to harsh ramifications, even stoning.
And, we probably can’t blame him if he wanted a divorce to spare himself of ridicule and shame. Can you imagine the talk of others, the looks, the sneers?
Scripture doesn’t share those details, nor does it answer the questions we may ponder.
But, what it does say is profound. Click here to read the full eight verses.
The angel stopped Joseph in his tracks.
His crazy dream caused him to change his direction. With this we also see Joseph was obedient to God. Even when what God asks him to do seemed crazy.
Can you imagine his thoughts? Can you imagine the amount of faith and trust Joseph had in his God, and how utterly dependent he was on his Lord? To experience this angel of the Lord’s encounter would alone be quite amazing. But, then walking the journey of pregnancy with Mary, and taking her as his wife. All along Joseph trusted what the angel said to be true. Despite what the world around him and the people in it did or said, he followed through on the angel’s words.
Because of Joseph’s obedience, he and his dream impacted the entire world.
Did he ever wonder how significant his obedience would be?
Friend, what about you? Is God asking you to do something crazy today? Is there a tugging on your heart toward something that consciously makes no sense? Are you facing a decision as your head tells you one thing and your heart tells you another?
I pray we do what Joseph did. I pray we’re not afraid to do the crazy if that’s what God is asking us to do. May we be like Joseph and be obedient. This Christmas season especially, may we be completely dependent on our God.
There’s much we can gain from Joseph and his part in the Christmas story. May God speak to each of us specifically and meet us right where we’re at through it today.
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the birth of our Savior, and share moment of rejoicing together. I invite you back to be a part of the discussion. Until then, Merry Christmas, my friend. Thank you for spending a few minutes with me today.
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