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Advent Characters Jospeh Matthew 1

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Matthew 1:18-25 - Joseph

Secular:

  • The more I drive… the sadder I get…
  • Stop sign… (4-way… abused law… I was angry)
  • Horn honking… (get going… you shouldn’t)
  • Tail-gating… (move… faster… go…go…go)
  •  How we react….
    • When someone encroaches
    • When someone makes a mistake
  •  Right?
  • What do we communicate?
  • Too often… we love to waggle the long finger…

Biblical:

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

Personal:

  • How does our world look from the outside…
  • Do we have a life that looks like Christ… throughout…
  • I was pleased to open my copy of Faith Today this past month… and find to old friends in a pictorial section on marriage… Jack an Fran have been married over 60 years!
  • How does that happen… they are a retired missionary couple who fought for truth in the trenches… in areas openly and violently hostile to Christians!
  •  I remember whenever he spoke into my life… his words were always grace-filled, loving and truthful (never wishy-washy).
  •  When given an option Jack always chose to bless with his tongue, in truth…
  • We often prefer righteous indignation… looking for an opportunity to pounce… instead of speaking gracefully with caring selflessness
  • Marriage… do you fight for each other… or fight to the finish…
  • The idea is to extend grace and serve one another in love… and to pursue truth.
  •  Being tender-hearted, obedient to God and selfless.
  •  Ask your spouse, parents, boyfriend, girlfriend… if this is who you are?
  • God gives us some examples of godly living in Scripture

Bridge:

  • Looking at characters… versus looking at God…
  • Story backwards…
  • But Joseph… he is mirroring Christ-like behaviour…
  • So as he mirrors Christ we can follow his example…
  • Tender-hearted… Obedient… Selfless…

Body:

Tender-hearted….

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

  •  Betrothed…it’s official
  • No sexual relationship… even though husband and wife terms used.
  •  Sexual unfaithfulness…. Adultery punished by stoning
  •  Needed divorce to end
  • Choices? …
    • end it quietly (2-3 witness)
    • Or save face…. Declare it was her fault… she was unfaithful…. disgrace at a minimum…. Stoning at a maximum….

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • Joe didn’t know it was God… not at this point
  • But he responded with love and grace…
  • He responded with consideration….
  •  Not out of a sense of entitlement…
    • Not about what could he have
    • Not about what was good for him
    • What was right in God’s eyes
    • What served Mary
    • Joseph thought about his God and others first…
  •  The age of deserving
    • Selfish
    • Self interested…
    • Missing from church…
      • No one missed me
      • What about…. I feel bad…
      • Involved missed…
      • Entitlement….
    • I don’t like… I don’t want… I… I…. I…
  •  Joseph didn’t desire… what was his due…
  • Joseph desired to honour his God and honour Mary… even in the difficult situation.
  •  Are you tender-hearted...
  • Living as God desires you do….  John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another

Obedient…

20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife,

  • God said…. Via his angel…
    • And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him…
  •  Wow… isn’t it more complicated than that?
    • Cultural issues… pride issues….
    •  Offence
    • What about what Joseph thinks…
    • What about what Joseph wants….
  • Luke 11:28 … blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."
  •  Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
  • Do you think the magnitude of the promise weighed on Joe?
  • Two very interesting aspects of the promise…
    • Will be Jesus… God Saves… does
    • Will be Immanuel… God with us… is
  • Guess Joe wants to be obedient… because this REALLY matters!
  • Joseph the righteous man… does what God calls him too… not merely what Joe wants…
  • Jesus is God with us… God who saves us… How important… Joe has a key role… and wants to be faithful to God!
  • Joe was responding to the fact God called to him to care for and handle Jesus in his life….
  • Gee I wonder if we could imagine such a calling… how would we react…
  • Jesus in our lives….
  • Indwelt by the Spirit… in Christ… in Baptism… in Unity…
  • Wouldn’t we act like Joseph…. Doing what God called us to…
  • 2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
  •  Joseph was tender-hearted… Sought God’s heart and was obedient to God’s command… not exclusive… intertwined….
  •  Sometimes we think upholding scripture….
    • Isn’t tender-hearted… truth is tender-hearted…
    • Isn’t best… it is ALWAYS best…
    • God is Love…. And God is Holy… we can’t separate Him… to be tender-hearted is to live the truth of God.
    • And love others and call them to that truth.

Tender-hearted…Obedient… Joe

Selfless…

 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

  • Joseph was betrothed to a beautiful young lady… one who had preserved herself for marriage… who had faithfully followed her faith… and was prepared to present herself as a virgin to her husband…
  • Then Joseph… finds out his wife-to-be is pregnant…
  • And he acts tender-hearted…
  • Then he finds out that his beloved is carrying the Son of God…
  • And He is Obedient
  • Then in an act of reverence for his God… he takes his wife in marriage but does not consummate his marriage with her… protects her…
  • And He is selfless…
  •  That would be a little tough… beautiful young wife… a pent up sense of desire… and yet he set aside his own needs and desire to honour his God…
  • When was the last time we set aside what we want to honour God.
  • Selfless….
  • Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
  •  Whom do you live for….?

Conclusion:

Tender-hearted

  • Living as God desires you to….  John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
  • Joseph put God and Mary first…
  • He dealt with her lovingly…. When he could do otherwise…
  • When we have a choice… what do we do…
  • Are you tender-hearted… do you use your liberty to honour god and others?

Obedient

  • Does the magnitude of the promise weigh on you… like it weighed on Joe?
  • God with us… God Saves..
  • Does your relationship motivate you?
  • Does the nature of God motivate you?
  • Does God’s love motivate you?
  • Does God’s holiness motivate you?
  • Tender-hearted… and obedient…
  • An ambassador… in love and truth… undivided… in unity for God!

Selfless

  •  In liberty… choose God
  • In liberty… choose others
  • Jesus did… in liberty
    • Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
  •  This Christmas… live Jesus Christ in the midst of our world. Tender-hearted… Obedient… Selfless….
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