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Mary and Joseph

I. Introduction: 

 This year our theme for advent is ďwitnesses to the birth of Jesus our Lord.Ē  Each week we will spend time considering those who were there when Jesus was born.  Isnít that thought amazing?!  The Lord of all Creation became a man two thousand years ago and people were there to witness it.  They saw the Christ-child.  They were there.  As we look at the passages each week and the particular witnesses, we want to see what lessons we can learn from them about who this child really was and is and how we should respond to Him.  Tonight, we will begin with Mary and Joseph, Christís earthly parents.  Letís look at them in turn.

II.  Mary and Joseph:

 A.  Joseph: Matthew describes what happened to Joseph prior to Christís birth in 1:18-25, which we read a moment ago.  It is hard for us to appreciate the difficult situation that Joseph faced.  His betrothed, his future bride, was pregnant and he knew that the baby was not his.  What could he do?  Matthew tells us of Josephís character in not wanting to put Mary to shame by divorcing her quietly.  Yet, an angel of the Lord interrupted these plans and gave Joseph commands about what to do in a dream.  Instead of divorcing Mary he was to go ahead and marry her since the baby that she carried was from the Holy Spirit.  Likewise, once the baby was born, Joseph was to name it Jesus for he will save his people from their sins.  How did Joseph respond to this?  Matthew tells us: When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.  He took Mary as his wife and named the child Jesus.  Even though the commands were difficult and no doubt led to shame and confusion on the part of Joseph and others, he was faithful to obey.

 B.  Mary: The call of Mary is no less surprising.  Luke tells us the details in 1:26-36.  The angel Gabriel came to her from the Lord with a strange introduction: Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you.  She is told that she will conceive even though she is a virgin and give birth to a son.  Just like Joseph the angel tells her to name the child Jesus.  Then he states: He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.  Wow, what a description!  What a plan!  What a promise!  After the angel explains more of how this will take place, Mary responds: Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.  Like Joseph, she was faithful to obey.

III. Conclusion:

 How could they respond with such faithful obedience?  The answer seems simple: they believed.  They believed that God had an extraordinary plan to save His people by sending them His own Son in the form of a baby.  They believed and they obeyed, even in the face of difficult circumstances.  May we do the same.  May we believe that the child born to Joseph and Mary is really the Son of the Most High, sent to save His people from their sins.  May we believe and obey.  Amen. 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 November 2010 )

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