Joseph: An Honor or Curse?

Read Matthew 1:18-25

father's hands forming heart on pregnant wife's belly

Unbelievable! What must Joseph have been thinking? The news Mary shared with him must have seemed incredible. Women don’t just get pregnant when they’re still virgins. Now what? This changes everything! How could he have been so blind? Mary seemed like a nice girl, didn’t she?

Enter the angel. It was time for God to intervene in Joseph’s life to ease his mind. What has happened was not meant to be a curse, but rather an honor. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” We know God chose Mary to be honored among women, but her husband needed to be a devout man of God as well. Jesus’ earthly parents would be scrutinized as well as heralded as holy.

Even the fact that we hear Joseph didn’t want to disgrace Mary shows he’s a great guy. That was such a thoughtful gesture. There are probably many more men that would have run the other way, made a fuss, and totally ruined a young girl’s life. God had chosen wisely when he chose Mary and Joseph for the task of raising his son.

Joseph was going to see prophecy being fulfilled. He was going to hold the son of God in his arms as if it were his own child. Can you imagine how thrilled Mary was to know that Joseph was supporting her? It was scary enough to be a young mother, and this birth was totally unplanned. Together, Mary and Joseph were going to be obedient to God.

Isn’t this such a good reminder for us, too? Think back to when you were younger. We often think our lives are going in a certain direction only to realize that God has other plans for us. It can be frustrating yet exhilarating all at the same time.

Our Mexican nativity

If you had asked me 10 years ago would I be living in Mexico, I’d have laughed out loud! This really hit home for me when I was unwrapping my nativity set this year. We had bought it ten years ago when we were in Mexico on vacation. Each piece was hand painted and we fell in love with the bright colors. The newspaper it was wrapped in was from 2010, all in Spanish. For each year thereafter I had unwrapped this treasure, never imagining that we’d eventually be living in Mexico, now spending our 5th Christmas here! God had plans we had no idea about!

Are you like Joseph? Wanting the best for others but wanting above all to be honoring to God? Take some time today to focus in on God’s plan for you. God is waiting for us to connect with him.

Let’s pray … Lord, I come to you in awe of how you orchestrated your arrival on earth. You set your divinity aside, while not ceasing to be God. At the same time you took on our fragile and flawed humanity. Yet you remained holy and free from sin. Thank you for rescuing us by sending Jesus. Help me to truly focus on you this season. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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