But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. ~Matthew 1:20-21
Back in the day, major public announcements were made with a town crier or another public official who cried out, “Hear ye! Hear ye!” Everyone would stop and give their full attention to the announcement that was to be made. In Matt. 1:20-21, we see an announcement given to Joseph. This announcement changed the course of the remainder of his earthly life, and would pave the way for the greatest act of love ever demonstrated.
We see the discouraging MISERY.
Prior to the announcement, Joseph was a man in a miserable state. His beloved bride-to-be, Mary, told him that she had received a visit from the angel Gabriel to tell her that she was with child by the Holy Ghost, and that the baby would be the awaited Messiah, Jesus. Joseph was heartbroken to hear that Mary was pregnant. He had a difficult time believing what she told him. His thoughts were centered on putting her away by way of divorce. We must be careful not to allow our emotions and feelings to determine the outcome of major decisions we are faced with. At our darkest hour is when the light of the Lord will appear.
We see a dogmatic MANDATE.
Joseph receives a visit from an angel of the Lord. This angel gave him a message of hope and faith. The angel affirmed that what Mary told Joseph is true! She was with child, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. He had Joseph’s rapt attention and told him, “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” The command to Joseph was that he was not to be afraid of the criticism and gossip he and Mary would hear. Instead, he was to obey the Lord and take Mary to wife. In spite of his fears and setbacks, he was to stay in his marriage to Mary. Always look for God’s command and message for us whenever we are discouraged and out of focus.
We see a dynamic MIRACLE.
Joseph was given affirmation of the miracle of the virgin birth. He started to understand that the virgin birth was essential and non-negotiable with God. This was the only means by which Jesus could enter into this world as a sinless man and be the Savior of the world. Mary was with child by the Holy Ghost! Joseph was now receiving his personal announcement.
We see a determined MINISTER.
Joseph was filled with a renewed resolve and determination to do the will of God. “Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.” Here we see a discouraged man, revived and determined to obey God. Joseph was forever changed by the angel’s message. He would be a servant to the Lord and to Mary.
We see a doctrinal MESSAGE.
This announcement was saturated with the doctrine of salvation. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. He would give His life a ransom for many. He would taste death for every man. Joseph listened carefully to the message of Christ’s soon arrival.
Are you listening to the sounds of Christmas? Christ has come, died for our sins, rose again from the dead, and is seated in Heaven at God’s right hand. Listen to His message for you this morning!
Have an obedient God Morning!