Topics: Joseph, obedience, courage
I. Joseph's discovery revealed mercy
* Joseph demonstrated loving mercy toward his betrothed!
- Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly (Matthew 1:18, 19).
- But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been.
conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:20, 21)
II. Joseph's dreams revealed obedience
* Joseph chose to obey God's message as a man of faith!
- Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us" (Matthew 1:22, 23).
- And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus (Matthew 1:24, 25).
III. Joseph's decision revealed courage
* Joseph protected his family from the evils of this fallen world!
- Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him." So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called My Son" (Matthew 2:13-15).
- But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, "Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child's life are dead." So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel (Matthew 2:19-21).
Sermon by Pastor Rod Akins, December 11th, 2022
Life group flow and discussion questions
Lessons from a regular Joe
An important Guideline of Life Groups: Joseph is a wonderful example of how God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. Seek to encourage everyone in your Life Group that God wants to use them to make an eternal impact in others.
- Advent of JOY challenges us to ponder, "Where do you find true joy" (Psalm 16:11)?
- What kind of ridicule and gossip do you think that Joseph and Mary endured because of her pregnancy? Have you ever been slandered for your obedience to the Lord?
- What do you think Joseph was feeling and thinking when he found out that Mary was pregnant? How did he display loving mercy toward Mary (Matthew 1:18, 19)?
- Do you believe that God can work out marital messes today? What is required for that to take place?
- Have you ever avoided doing what is right because of fear of what people might think?
- How does Joseph's prompt obedience to God's angelic messenger inspire you to do what's right (Matthew 1:24, 25; 2:14, 21)?
- Even though there are no recorded words from Joseph, what can we learn from observing his responses to God's word to him?
- How many angelic visitations did Joseph experience (Matthew 1:20; 2:13, 19, 20)?
- Who did God use to fulfill the prophecy of Micah 5:2-5a in getting Joseph and Mary to move from Nazareth to Bethlehem for Jesus' birth (Luke 2:1-7)?
- Which prophet predicted "Out of Egypt I called My Son" (Matthew 2:15)?
- What are some ways that modern fathers can protect their families from evil?
Now What? Application:
- How will you respond to God's Word to be His witness in a culture that is less accepting of the Christian faith (Isaiah 43:10-13; Romans 1:16)?
- Learning from Joseph, how can you protect your family in this fallen world?