“King” Joseph’s Obedience
Lord, Your ways are higher than my ways. Your thoughts higher than my thoughts. In this Christmas season, I marvel at Your workings.
Read Matthew 1:18-25
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Joseph participated magnificently with God in the fullness of time because he was compassionate, open and decisive. May we be inspired by God through the example of Joseph.
As we approach Christmas, we reflect on one of the greatest of all moments, when God, in his Son, acted in history by entering the messiness of human life to bring his salvation. Matthew moves from Jesus’ genealogy to pick up the story of the royal Joseph, his wife to be, and Israel’s final and true king, the Messiah.
Our Christmas story begins with controversy, for unmarried Mary is pregnant and must face her fiancé and family–and in a culture that had little time for women in such disgrace. Matthew quickly lets us know, however, that this baby is unique, conceived of the Spirit. Unlike Luke, whose interest is in Mary, Matthew focuses on Joseph. Joseph acts as a true descendant of David and Abraham should. First, as a “righteous man” (19, TNIV) he resolves to do the right thing and break the engagement quietly, to bring Mary no shame. However, God reveals to him the miracle of Mary’s Spirit-conception and Jesus’ identity, and directs him to marry her. Joseph, as a good “son of David” (20) should, obeys God. Despite the potential of public shame, Joseph is prepared to adopt the true King, the final and ultimate Davidic King.
Matthew then recalls Isaiah 7:14, chosen from the Greek Septuagint version, which makes clear that the young woman with child in Isaiah’s prophecy is virgin (Greek, parthenos). His glorious future as humanity’s deity in the three-fold Godhead is intimated. Not only is he the final Davidic King, he is Immanuel, “God with us.” Joseph was faithful in self-sacrificially taking in Mary and Jesus in obedience to God. We, God’s people in Christ, the final and ultimate descendants of Abraham, are to walk in the footsteps of Joseph (Rom. 4:12).
Joseph is an underrated character. Consider his life–what can we learn? As we come to Christmas, ponder the miracle of incarnation–what does it mean?
Loving God, I thank You for the example of Joseph. The way he handled, what appeared to be shattered dreams, is a model for me. I pray for grace to live like that.