Sermon: Joseph - The Promise
In the first sermon (Matthew 1:18-25), the angel Gabriel revealed to Joseph that Mary would give birth to the Son of God. The Gospel of Matthew begins with a long genealogy, showing God’s faithfulness to keep his promise to provide a Savior and King. This promised Messiah, or Christ, would be born in a miraculously unexpected way—to a young virgin girl who was engaged to a humble man who had to believe the unbelievable.
In this week’s devotional, you’ll read Luke’s account of Mary receiving the news of her miraculous pregnancy and forthcoming birth of the promised Messiah.
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be.
Then the angel told her: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son,and you will call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,and His kingdom will have no end.
Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?
The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.
And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
“I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.
Luke 1:26-38 (CSB)
All Scripture references are taken from the Christian Standard Bible. http://read.csbible.com/
Imagine being Mary or Joseph. The Bible doesn’t tell us that they were seeking to change the world. They didn’t audition or sign up to play the part of Mom and Dad to the Son of God. These were two ordinary people, engaged to be married, receiving life-changing and history-changing news. The world was about to be turned upside down (or rightside up) and it would start in their own lives.
Both Mary and Joseph faced a radical decision. The decision was not whether or not God would do what he planned on doing. The choice wasn’t even whether or not they’d be part of God’s plan. The choice they faced was whether or not they’d trust and obey.
This is the same choice we face every day.
It might be easy to think, “I’d believe and do anything if an angel appeared to me.” But we have the Word of God in our Bibles to read any time we want. What a gift! There’s no second-guessing what God has said or meant. We have the same Holy Spirit that conceived baby Jesus, actively working in the hearts and minds of men, women, and children. The Good News of Jesus Christ is just as shocking and true for us as it was for them.
God chose to work in and through Mary and Joseph 2000 years ago. God has chosen to work in and through us today. We don’t get to decide whether or not we’re part of the story. We’re in it. We’ve been given the Good News. The mission of God is being accomplished.
We have to decide what to do with the Good News about Jesus. Will we trust God? Will we obey God’s Word? Even when the promises of God seem too good to be true—impossible by human understanding—will we believe?
Life may feel turned upside down right now. But the Gospel of Jesus turns everything right side up again. God is good. He is in control. He can be trusted. Jesus is proof of God’s love.
This Christmas season, let’s decide to trust the heavenly Father: “May it be done to me according to your word.” Let’s believe the promise: “Nothing will be impossible with God.”
Pray that God would give you hearts of faith and obedience. Thank God for his faithfulness to make and keep promises—especially the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.