An Early Christmas Present
Just began to look again at the Gospel of Matthew in my devotions this morning - I just love the family tree of Christ, but I looked at that in last year's post.
This time I want us to pause to consider the remarkable doctrine of Joseph, and his faith in the doctrine of Jesus, which is probably often overlooked (at least by me).
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus - Matthew 1:18-25 ESV
I've spotted 15 things about the doctrine of Christ that Mary's husband believed - I trust you find them enjoyable and edifying to your heart.
- Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit by supernatural divine power.
- Jesus was sinless, implicitly, or He had to be to save us.
- Jesus was God manifest in the flesh - Immanuel.
- Jesus would be a male child.
- Jesus was also a (The) Son of David - He therefore had legal entitlement to be heir of the covenant throne of Judah.
- Jesus was the Savior of Israel.
- Jesus would be the God-Man Mediator of all the chosen ones of God.
- Jesus had come to specifically save God's people from their sins.
- Jesus was the Messiah that had been long-promised to Israel.
- Jesus was born of a virgin mother who remained unknown by Joseph until after His Bethlehem birth.
- Jesus was the Holy One of Israel.
- Jesus fulfilled all the Covenant promises of the Old Testament Scriptures.
- Jesus was the King of the Jews - Wonderful-Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace and Everlasting Father to His people.
- Jesus would be named in various languages spoken in Palestine Yehoshua, Yeshua, Iesous or Jesus - or, in other words, Savior.
- Jesus was the root of Jesse and therefore also Isaiah's Messiah!
We would be naive, I believe, to dismiss His legal guardian Joseph as some theological novice: this righteous man, who had determined to do the wise thing, was steered in a better course by special revelation (both angelic and biblical) and became a theological heavyweight.
Joseph, also, is surely a rebuke and challenge - we might pride ourselves in Berkhof (I love him to bits), but is our personal, practical, Christology as robustly lively and devotional as Joseph's? Marvel at the course of His costly obedience!
It does make me wonder why we do December-lite: surely, while our culture is still plugged in to a tree, we must use the occasion to preach Immanuel's Crown Rights.
So, if you are kind of person who, in early October, starts to snuggle up on a rug and turn on a Christmas movie channel, spare a thought for Joseph and switch on your heart to His Jesus.
Early Seasonal Greetings - In Christ!