1:18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
1:19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.
1:20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
1:21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
1:22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
1:23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
1:24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife,
Previously on December 13, we read a short passage from Isaiah prophesying about the messiah and His name, Immanuel. Now see that Matthew utilizes Isaiah’s prophecy in the story of Joseph’s reckoning with his wife and her pregnancy. Who better than the angel of the Lord to point Joseph to the words that the Lord spoke about Jesus 600 years previously. Once Joseph was aware of the Lord’s plans and knew that Mary had not cheated on him, he returned and from what we can tell in the Bible, was an obedient father that served the Lord.
Sometimes we also need a bit of a ah-ha moment like Joseph or even like Paul who was knocked off his horse. Many Christians like myself who were not raised in the church have also had ah-ha moments. It’s a specific time where God shows you something you never saw before. However, we ought not put the onus on God. If you are wondering through this life with no direction do not wait on God to knock you to the ground or visit you in a dream before you do something you shouldn’t. Seek Him first. He will be there.
This is a beautiful passage depicting God’s plan of salvation being put into action. God chose to use Joseph and Mary to be a part of this redemptive plan and here we see that despite fear, God’s comfort and peace pushes through to make way for His plans to come to life.
Joseph faced the fear of knowing that if word had spread that his future wife was pregnant, that it would bring along great shame. He feared mans response to something that God had specifically and divinely ordained. Whether or not this was an ignorant response or willful disobedience, we know that from reading this text that fear plays a great role in sometimes dictating our actions. Yet God knowing the fear of Joseph, took care of that small but important detail and brought him comfort and peace.
This news of Jesus coming to the world is one that fills our hearts with great joy and excitement. It also serves as a reminder of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. This passage is more then just the start of a Christmas Story. It is God having set the stage for Jesus Christ to come to this earth and pay the penalty for our sin.