Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25 ESV)
Okay guys, let’s go back to when we were dating our wives. You’ve grown up together, been in church together, worked in the fields together, and now you are both of the age to get married. You have watched this young woman her whole life, and she is one of the godliest women you have ever met. The best description of her is found in Proverbs 31:10-31—a virtuous woman. You have talked to her father and made all the arrangements to be married on a specific day. You both are excited and looking forward to spending the rest of your life together.
One day before the wedding she comes to you and say, “I had a vision from God yesterday. He sent an angel to tell me that I am with child and He will be the awaited Messiah.” How would you react? As for me, the first words out of my mouth would be, “Check please!” or “I’m outta here!” Most of us would dump her faster than she could say “Do you believe me?” However, that is not how Joseph reacted.
The Bible tells us that Joseph was looking at divorcing her quietly so that she would not be stoned for adultery. Then, while he was sleeping, he had a vision from God. An angel told Joseph the baby is of God, his name is to be Jesus, he will save his people, fulfill Scripture, and will be Immanuel—God with us. Without a question Joseph took Mary as his wife and raised Jesus like his own son. Joseph was obedient to what God had called him to do.
This year for Christmas, I want to Obey Like Joseph. As I read through Scripture and see how God would have me to live, I want to be obedient. I don’t want question what He knows is the very best for my life. If how I respond to God’s Word shows what I actually believe about God, then I want to be completely obedient to Him. I can spend hours explaining why a certain Scripture is not really for the 21st century, which means I am free to do as I please. However, discounting Scripture is a sure sign of disobedience. If I love God I obey Him, so if I don’t obey Him, do I really love Him? The first thing I want for Christmas this year is to obey like Joseph.