Joseph, Obedient Servant
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. 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.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.
Matthew 1:18-24 NLT
Let’s look at Christmas from Joseph’s perspective. He is engaged to be married, excited to start a family of his own. Then Mary tells him she is pregnant. He knows the child is not his. Because of his love for her, he decides not to make a public spectacle of Mary’s mistake and just divorce her quietly.
Then an angel shows up and wrecks his world. The angel tells him Mary is telling the truth. The baby is the Son of God conceived by the Holy Spirit.
In obedience to God’s direction, Joseph takes Mary as his wife. With that act of obedience, Joseph assumes responsibility for the baby. He is now as disgraced as Mary. They both will carry the weight of judging eyes and tongues.
We don’t know if Joseph told anyone about the angel until later. I doubt he made it public knowledge; that would only increase people thinking you were crazy. I believe Joseph and Mary had to carry the weight of God’s plan by themselves for the most part.
God is looking for obedience. People who are willing to obey when it isn’t easy, and we don’t fully understand why or how—obedience when people question and make rude comments.
Maybe God chose a poor carpenter and peasant girl because He knew they would say yes. God knew their hearts before He chose them.
Is our heart in the right place where God could choose us? Could God trust me to say yes?
Holy Spirit, help me to have a heart of obedience. I know that obedience starts in the little things, so help me to obey in every area. Help me to have a willing heart.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.