Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The first Christmas when Jesus came, it was anything but silent and peaceful, it was a HUGE disruption to everyone involved.
For Joseph, it was a family issue.
Family is so complicated – tis the season, right? We visit with our families and we eat a lot of food and we think, “surely I don’t share DNA with all of these people.”
Nevertheless, families are important. I had an OT professor who said to never read thru Biblical genealogies too quickly. In
Matthew 1 Jesus' genealogy is rolling along with so-and-so the father of so-and-so and so-and-so the father of so-and-so until 1:16, which says “and Jacob, the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.” Something doesn't seem quite right. It doesn't say "Joseph, the father of Jesus."
Can you imagine what it was like for Joseph when he found out Mary was pregnant? He had to have been stunned. In the end, he had two choices: take her to trial and have her stoned to death for adultery, or divorce her quietly and make no accusation. The Bible tells us that he was a "righteous" man and therefore chose the second.
But then...the angel shows up and clues him in. Stun gun, take two. Joseph, Mary is pregnant by the Holy Spirit, take her to be your wife and name the child Jesus because He will save us from our sins.
And so he did. And because we know the rest of the story, we applaud his obedience. But, think about his decision at the time. The angel didn't show up to the rest of the village to explain what was going on. By taking a pregnant Mary as his wife, Joseph opened himself up to a lot of gossip and ill repute.
You see, Joseph takes on a life that only history will celebrate. In his life, it will not be celebrated. He’ll be the discussion in the corner at the family Passover celebrations. He’ll be talked about in the town square. He’ll be the guy the other guys leave out on spin the dradle nights.
And yet, he was obedient because following Jesus is so much more important than your reputation.
Here’s the deal – Joseph may not have fathered Jesus in the traditional sense, but it was through Joseph’s family line that God promised a Savior would come. God had a plan for Joseph’s life – didn’t fit Joseph’s plan, wasn’t very popular, BUT…
God has a plan for your family this Christmas. When we let Jesus into our lives, into our families, our decisions don’t look the same, our lifestyles don’t look the same.
What is God asking you to do this year that will be hard in the moment, but unforgettable in the end?