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Monday, December 07, 2015
Matthew 1:18-21 Thought/Prayer: Joseph, An Honorable Man. Topics: 2 at end.
“The circumstances of the birth of Jesus Christ were these. After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they were united in marriage, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. But Joseph her husband, being a kind-hearted man and unwilling publicly to disgrace her, had determined to release her privately from the betrothal. But while he was contemplating this step, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to bring home your wife Mary, for she is with child through the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you are to call His name JESUS for He it is who will save His People from their sins.” (WEY) (Read these scriptures and more at http://prayerpivot.com.)
Here in this passage, God presents to us the importance of fatherhood. Joseph’s role in life was to be the earthly father of Jesus. God was Jesus’ heavenly Father who conceived Jesus. But Jesus needed a father on the ground, so to speak . . . the ground of Planet Earth. He needed a dad to bring Him up in all the ways of faith and of the world (stand for good and go against the bad).
After Joseph learned from Mary that she was expecting a baby son, Joseph did not want to embarrass Mary, so he was going to quietly divorce her. (Even though they were not yet married, in the Jewish culture then, a betrothal had the binding effect of marriage.) Joseph knew he could not marry Mary, thinking she had been unfaithful; but he was a good man and planned to not make a pubic spectacle of her.
But little did He know the plan God had for his life and Mary’s. God sends an angel to Joseph in a dream. The angel explains how Mary became pregnant through the Holy Spirit. And this changes everything. Joseph then takes Mary to be his own, and in about six months, they make that surely-difficult journey to Bethlehem. And there in a stable, the Lord Jesus is born. What would Mary have done without a man like her Joseph? Without Joseph?
But Joseph was there for her, provided by God. And his role in the life of Mary and the Saviour of the world is undisputed by believers. Joseph was the one who took care of Mary under extremely difficult circumstances . . . and who saw her through her pregnancy and her delivery. Mary needed Joseph. God gave her Joseph, an honorable man.
Is this not a statement about the value of fathers? Thank God for fathers, especially ones like the man Joseph. Lord, we do thank You for bringing Joseph into Mary’s life when she would need someone the most. Thank you for putting into Joseph’s heart a great love for Mary. May we faithfully pray for men who are unexpectedly fathers-to-be. May we pray that they will be . . . or will become, under pressured circumstances . . . honorable men who stand by their unexpectedly pregnant women. Like Joseph.
Topics: Pray for the men who find themselves in the unforeseen circumstance of pending fatherhood. Pray that they will stand firm with their babies’ mothers, for the support they need.
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