Are You That Witness Series – Matthew 1:18-25
Intro: Jesus' birth was one of the most irregular and disturbing events in all history. There is this teenage girl who gets pregnant and wants everyone to believe that this child inside her womb was conceived by God Himself. Who of that day would ever believe her story? “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21. There is nothing that is normal here, but then again God isn’t normal He is supernatural. He can do anything He wants and He can use any situation and perform His supernatural ability however He chooses, because He is God!
Text: Matthew 1:18-25 (NKJV)
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.”
Much was required of this girl and God blessed her because of her willingness to serve and be that witness for Christ. Application - Everything is required to experience God!
1. REQUIRED WAS A WILLINGNESS TO BE AVAILABLE:
It seems every year when it comes to the advent season I find myself always talking about Mary and very little is said about Joseph. Mary was a very important person in the narrative of the birth of Christ, but today in this message I want to bring Joseph to the forefront and ponder a little on his role in all this, maybe we might find that we have a role to play to! Required was a willingness to be available to God regardless of embarrassment and the opinions of family, friends, and neighbors. There was Joseph's discovery of Mary's pregnancy. The shock of Mary's broken trust and of personal embarrassment was more than Joseph could bear. Required was a willingness to forget self completely.
There was the child, the Son of God Himself, being born in a smelly manger. Required was a willingness to be humble. The vast majority of persons called by God are from humble stations in life. Joseph came from a humble station in life, and so did Christ.
Jesus' birth necessitated a special revelation. "While he thought on these things." Joseph did just what he should have done: he got alone with God to think and pray through the predicament. Because of his godly dependence and obedience, God met his need. God gave Joseph a special revelation. God's purpose was to give assurance to Joseph. When the angel called Joseph "Thou son of David," Joseph was shocked. He was awakened to a glorious call. He was chosen by God as a son of David to be the earthly father to "The Son of David," the Messiah! All Jews knew the prophecies that said the Messiah was to be of the line of David. Joseph knew them; but to hear himself addressed as "Joseph, thou son of David," quickened his attention and alerted him to an extremely important message. It indicated to some degree a divine call. Remember: Joseph was only a humble carpenter. Joseph and Mary were both willing to be available under very unique circumstances.
2. REQUIRED WAS A WILLINGNESS TO OBEY:
There was the family having to be uprooted and moved to a foreign nation, Egypt “Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him." Matthew 2:13
Required was a willingness to obey at any cost. There was the slaughter of all children under two years of age. The heavy weight of feeling some responsibility was bound to attack Joseph and Mary. Required was a willingness on their part to bear anything. “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.” Matthew 2:16
Jesus' birth wrought a great obedience. Very simply, Joseph obeyed God. Despite the predicament—despite the appearance of things—Joseph obeyed. He did exactly what God said. Imagine how difficult it must have been! Mary was pregnant, yet they were not married. How much gossip was there? What did the neighbors think? What did Joseph and Mary tell them? Would people believe the story of angels and of a virgin birth from two people whom they knew so well? What a situation! Yet, Joseph did exactly as God said—despite all. What a lesson for great obedience on the part of every believer!
Joseph acted as God would have a man to act. He was merciful and gentle and tender toward one who had hurt him so much. He forgave as one who had been forgiven. He had the attitude that is needed by believers when a loved one or a fellow believer is found in sin. “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)
3. REQUIRED WAS A WILLINGNESS TO STAND AGAINST ALL ODDS:
We cannot forget to mention a little about three men who had an important role is this story (Wiseman they say) wise men who had travel for days to find and be a witness of this Christ child on the other end of a light in the sky. They travel this journey again all odds. This of course followed with the uproar of Herod's household traumatically affecting the lives of both Joseph and Mary. Required was a willingness to stand against all odds. “Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also." Matthew 2:7-8
Jesus' birth creates a predicament for every man. Joseph faced the predicament of his life. The words "a just man and not willing to make her a public example" show a deeply troubled spirit. Joseph was literally torn between obeying the law (exposing Mary to the authorities) and his love for her. He struggled, for he was perplexed, troubled, and disappointed. His imagination ran wild. He felt deceived, experiencing jealousy and rage. Mary had committed whoredom against him. Yet he cared for her and loved her deeply. He did not want Mary to be hurt. He wanted to divorce her quietly and secretly. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
There is a right way! There is a right way to confront traumatic experiences. Joseph demonstrated the right way. He got alone and "thought on these things" Being a just and godly man, he got alone with God; he shared his thoughts with God. He probably wept as a child pouring out his soul to God. Believers often weep when facing terrible trials. ‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7
The believer who gets alone with God and thinks through the trials confronting them will be met by God. God will give assurance and guide the believer.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Conclusion: This is how you become that witness, you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you with doing the right thing BUT! Everything is Required! “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13
Jesus' mission was to save. God gave Him His mission, His purpose for living. God gives the mission—the purpose for every person's life who looks to God as Jesus looked. Jesus' birth was a fulfillment of prophecy. There was the prophecy predicting His virgin birth. There was the prophecy predicting His name: Emmanuel. You’re not alone! God is with us! Be that witness.
In : Sermon
Tags: "book of matthew" "are you that witness series"
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