Following Joseph

Dec 18, 2022

Following Mary – Luke 1:26-55
Following Joseph – Matthew 1:18-25

We can follow Mary and Joseph on their thoughtful journey to wonder and devotion.

Joseph is given the truth about who Jesus is. Joseph carries this truth.

What is the message that Joseph carried?

What does this message mean to Joseph?

“you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21

Jesus – the Lord saves

“he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16-17

“God is with us.” – Matthew 1:23 Isaiah 7:14 8:8, 10

Jesus Christ is God, human, with us.

A. God

John says that Jesus Christ is the “Word” who was never created, who existed with the Father since the beginning, through whom everything was made, and the Word is God, John 1:1-3.

Paul, a Jew and a Pharisee, says that all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus bodily, Colossians 2:9, and not just a third or a half or a part of it but all of the divine substance.
“For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.” – Colossians 2:9

The apostle Peter, another Jewish man, writes “Through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ,” – 2 Peter 1:1

Jesus Christ showed a consciousness of his divine identity. All through the Gospels Jesus is constantly forgiving sin, which only God can do. He also claims in, in various places, “I am going to come back and judge the earth,” and only God can do that. He claims to have mutual equal knowledge with God the Father, Matthew 11:27-28. At many times and in many ways Jesus Christ, said, “I am God,” and thousands believed him and came to worship him, Acts 2:41.

This is an intellectual watershed, a personal crisis, and/or a great hope.

The claim that Jesus is God also gives us the greatest possible hope. This means that our world is not all there is, that there is life and love after death, and that evil and suffering will one day end.
God is infinitely holy, so our sin could not be shrugged off. It had to be dealt with. He is also infinitely loving. He knows we could never climb up to him, so he has come down to us. God had to come himself and do what we couldn’t do. ” – Timothy Keller Hidden Christmas

B. Human

Jesus is truly God. Jesus is truly human. This is unique among all the philosophies and religions in the world. Go through the history of philosophy. They are always arguing: What is more ultimate, the absolute or the particular? The One or the Many? The ideal and eternal or the real and the concrete? Is Plato right or Aristotle? But the doctrine of the incarnation breaks through those binaries and categories. “Immanuel” means the ideal has become real, the absolute has become a particular, and the invisible has become visible! The incarnation is the universe-sundering, history-altering, life-transforming, paradigm-shattering event of history.” – Timothy Keller Hidden Christmas

When God showed up in Jesus Christ, he was not a pillar of fire, not a tornado, but a baby.
Think about Joseph’s journey, seeing Jesus Christ born as an infant in need of care, nurture, and parental guidance.

Jesus looks like us, “fully human in every way”, according to Hebrews 2:17. That means “because he himself suffered when he was tried and tested, he is able to help those who are being tried and tested.” Hebrews 2:18

Jesus triumphed through his suffering. This means that Jesus has infinite power to comfort.

Millions of people have found this to be true. That is how we have come to be able to know this today.

Isaiah predicted the Messiah to be a “Wonderful Counselor”.

Jesus knows what it’s like.

Jesus gets us.

C. With us

Jesus grew up and lived a normal life for years. Jesus Christ lived among them. Jesus Christ Savior God.

Jesus chose twelve so that they could be “with him,” Mark 3:14.

How can we be more aware that Jesus is with us?

Jesus moved heaven and earth to get near us – what should we doing now to truly be with him? What are the elements of a genuine, personal relationship with Jesus? It requires, as does any close personal relationship, that you communicate with him regularly, candidly, lovingly. That means not simply “saying your prayers” but having a prayer life that leads to real communion with God, a sense of his presence in your heart and life. Consider Psalms 27, 63, 84, 131 to see this kind of prayer. On the other hand, being in a close personal relationship means that he communicates with you. That comes from a deep acquaintance with the Bible, the ability to read it, understand it, and meditate on it. Consider Psalm 1 and 119 to see how to have the Bible become a vital force in your life.” – Timothy Keller Hidden Christmas

We can follow Mary and Joseph on their thoughtful journey to wonder and devotion.

This journey of receiving Jesus should include wonder and devotion. It brings peace and joy here and now. Jesus will bring ultimate fulfillment.

What should we do?

1. Read the story, found in Matthew 1.
2. Search out answers to your questions.
3. Pray, asking God for guidance.
4. Take a next step in your journey.
5. Share the journey with someone in your church family.

Skip to content