Greeting: May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers; may He never leave us nor forsake us. May He turn our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways. Amen.
Text: 13) When the Magi had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the Child and His mother and escape to
Introduction: Matthew’s account of the Flight into
1. Be Attuned To Your Lord And His Will
Matthew is the inspired biblical writer who makes a prominent mention of Joseph in the early chapters of his Gospel. In the first chapter of the Gospel, Matthew introduces us to Joseph, as the righteous believing man who is engaged to Mary. When Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant and knew that he was not the father, he was deeply troubled. He loved Mary, but it appeared that she had been unfaithful. He wrestled in his mind and conscience about what he should do. He wanted to do the right thing in obedience to God and His principles and to Mary and her situation. He was contemplating a quiet divorce that would officially end the relationship, but would not bring a lot of public embarrassment to Mary.
Matthew goes on to tell us that God sent an angel messenger in a dream to help Joseph understand the truth of what was happening. The angel told Joseph that Mary’s Child was the Messiah and was being born because of a miracle that God was working in her. She had not been unfaithful or unloving toward Joseph. Joseph had no need to divorce Mary. In fact, God wanted Joseph to be the legal and guardian father for Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Mary, who would be the Savior of the world. Joseph quickly realized the great honor and privilege that God had given to both Mary and to him. He gladly accepted the will His gracious God had given Him. He took Mary to be his wife and would serve as the Christ Child’s guardian father. So Joseph became God’s very special Family Man.
Several weeks or months after Jesus’ birth, the Wise Men or Magi came to
One of God’s angels is sent to give Joseph a message from God in a dream. It is an urgent and important message of warning. Herod is going to try to kill Jesus so Joseph must take Mary and the Christ Child to safety. He must take them to the country of
What are some things we can learn from God’s Family Man about our relationship with God. From Joseph we can learn the great lesson of being attuned or in harmony with our Lord and His will. Like Joseph, we can realize the two great priorities of our lives. The first is God and the second is our family. God is our Savior and Lord. He graciously gives us His Word so we can have spiritual life. To know and to follow His Word and will is the great, proper response we are to give Him. In His wisdom, God has made us a family man, woman or child. He has placed us in a family and given us an important role in it. God has given us the place we have in life and directs the path He wants us to take. From Joseph we can learn to accept that place and walk that path in loving obedience to God and in loving service to our family without anger, resentment, argument or complaint. May God help us be more like His family man, a Christian who is in harmonious agreement with the Lord and His will.
2. Be Attentive To Your Family And Their Needs
As God’s family man, Joseph was also most attentive to the members of his family and their needs. When God’s angel had explained to Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy was God’s work and His way of providing a Savior for the world, Joseph believed. Then he embraced Mary’s need for a husband and the Christ-Child’s need for a guardian father. He realized that others would not understand and that people, assuming he was the natural father, would talk about the scandalous timing of the birth. He was willing to bear any public embarrassment that might come to him in order to care for the family God gave Him. Caring for Jesus was not something that he had planned on when he got engaged to Mary. But this was his family, so he nobly submerged his personal interests and preferences. He was willing to be inconvenienced and make major adjustments to his life. He did all that he could to protect and provide for his family.
We see this dedication in the story of the Flight into
We are not sure just how long the family had to stay in
From this account, we see that Joseph is a devoted family man, who is aware of the needs of his family members and is concerned for their welfare. He is responsive to provide for their needs, cautious in times of danger, decisive when it’s a time for action. He is protective, patient, selfless, courageous and helpful. He puts his family ahead of himself. We can learn these things from Joseph as we think about our family and our responsibilities toward our family members.
In Joseph, we don’t see the selfishness that is all too common in our culture today. We don’t see a man who lives for his own pleasure. He is not caught up in drinking or drugs, gambling or partying, video games or the internet, to the neglect and detriment of his family. We don’t see a man who disregards or underemphasizes the moral and spiritual tone and training for his family. We don’t see a man who is detached and uninterested in his family. We don’t see a man who is overbearing and oppressive in the way he deals with his wife and children. We don’t see someone who spoils his family by overindulging them in material things.
On this Father’s Day when we think about our family life, may God help us be more like His family man, Joseph and be people who are attentive to our family and their needs. Since we know Joseph’s God and know Jesus as our Savior also, we look to God to give us both the grace and the strength to do this. May our gracious God work in our hearts the desire to be God’s family people – attuned to our Lord and attentive to our families for His glory and our families good. Amen.