Matthew 1:18-25 – Jesus Conceived

Read Matthew 1:18-25

We can only begin to imagine the conversations that went on between Joseph and Mary. It’s easy for us to put our own present-day slant on the situation as well. To remember the culture of the day is also helpful. What if you had been Joseph? To find out that your bride-to-be was “knocked up” may have been enough to just walk away, be heartbroken, be furious, be confused, etc. But what was Joseph? Righteous.

Joseph wanted to be right with God. In that day, you’d even have to “divorce” before marriage. The engagement period was a much bigger deal than it is today. Joseph wanted to avoid a scandal and do this discreetly. He must have loved Mary very much to spare her that embarrassment.

As he was “considering” this God intervened. An angel appeared to Joseph to give him the whole story. Now, I can just imagine how Mary would have tried to tell him how she got pregnant. But think how fanciful it sounds. She was probably still grappling with the whole idea herself. Knowing the baby inside her was conceived by the Holy Spirit must have just been mind-boggling. I can’t even imagine. How about the agony of having to tell Joseph?

As always, God’s plan was perfect. The angel’s message comforted and empowered Joseph into the appropriate action. Jesus’ earthly father had heard the message. Being righteous, he was ready for the assignment. Joseph was a good guy. God knew that. So much focus is always placed on Mary, the mother God chose for his Son, but there would have to be a good dad in the picture, too, right?

Mary and Joseph were the perfect parental package. Their lives would be forever changed. God is using us for his perfect plan, too. Have you had an angel encounter to help get you back on track? What is God putting on your heart to accomplish? Is he being glorified? When God can get the glory for what we’re doing, you know it’s bound for success. I love 2 Corinthians 12:9, it says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

We don’t need to fear being weak and unprepared. That’s when God’s grace can be seen at work. Those are the best of times. It’s getting past our fear that can be difficult. Seek righteousness. Seek the face of God. Joseph did, and he became the Messiah’s earthly father!

Let’s pray. Lord, forgive me for thinking too small. You are mighty and the giver of grace. Pour out your blessings on my ministry and our business. Your grace is sufficient. I’m feeling a bit weak today, Lord, so give me the strength and courage I need to lead others to you. Fill me with a new sense of your presence. You are in control. I submit to you and your leading. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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