Matthew 1:18-25 The Obedience Of Joseph (1)

by | Oct 18, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. What Joseph Felt 1:18

A. Emotionally

1. Betrayal
2. Anger
3. Fear about keeping her as his wife. Many implications re. her, him, Jesus
4. Confusion- what did all this mean; how would it work out?
5. Concern for Mary- An unwed mother would likely never be chosen for marriage.

a. Her family would be burdened to care for her and the child
b. She would never marry, or have “legitimate” children

6. Offended by her apparent sin. He treated it as sin, and didn’t gloss over it.
7. Surprised- Mary was “found to be with child”. It was discovered and revealed.
8. A “no win” situation. Nothing good could possibly come of this.

B. Justified In His Actions 1:19

1. One of the options was to have her stoned to death. Deuteronomy 22:23, 24
2. Certainly, he was merciful in this “quiet” divorce. He would send her away
3. To divorce her was his right according to God’s word.
4. He was taking the “high” road, according to what he knew.
5. Peter thought he was taking the high road regarding forgiveness
Matthew 18:21, 22 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven..

C. New Information 1:20, 21

1. As Joseph considered human options, God introduced new info. & direction
2. Take Mary as your wife
3. It’s not the way that you think it is
4. You will have a son
5. You will name Him Jesus
6. He will save His people from their sins
7. None of this is what Joseph would have imagined or chosen

II. Joseph’s Obedience 1:22a, 24, 25

A. Obedience Went Against His Feelings

B. Obedience Went Against His Justified Behavior

1. He was willing to not have her stoned
2. He was divorcing her quietly
3. Wasn’t that more than what most people would do?
4. He could have said, “How far do I have to go Lord”?

C. Obedience Was Inconvenient

1. Sometimes we go to sleep so that we don’t have to think about such things.
2. Aroused- to wake up, awaken, arouse (from sleep), of the sea, which begins to be agitated, to rise, to arouse the mind, stir up, render active

a. God’s communication to Joseph took him from a quiet sleep and “stirred him up and agitated him” in a physical sense.
b. God actually interrupted a man’s quiet sleep. The nerve of Him!
c. Joseph didn’t wake up complaining, or demand a cup of coffee before making his decision. Garfield-(“I don’t do mornings”)
d. Sometimes we may think we have the right to set the parameters of our obedience to God, ala Garfield. (Garfield slides)
e. These self-established limits become sacred to us, & we become convinced about our rights to set parameters for what we will & won’t do regarding obedience to God.
f. Instead of automatically obeying, we automatically go into the “Garfield mode.” We laugh about it, and think that it’s O.K.

3. Joseph took Mary & Jesus to Egypt; stayed until told to return 2:13, 21
4. Took Jesus and Mary to Nazareth 2:22, 23
5. Joseph acted upon God’s commands as soon as he could. 2:14

III. What Were The Results? 1:22b, 23

A. The Difficulties Of Obedience

1. Jewish marriages consisted of two phases: a year long betrothal, and the actual 7 day wedding ceremony and feast.

a. Betrothal was as binding as marriage. Divorce was needed to end it. If a man died, the woman was considered a widow. No sexual relations.
b. Relationship normally consummated 1st night of the 7 day wedding feast.
c. Joseph had no such wedding feast. He did not “know” Mary until after Jesus was born.
d. How much was forfeited emotionally, culturally, etc., to take Mary as his wife?
e. Obeying God cost Joseph in many ways. Yet, he was willing.

2. Jesus grew up under the cloud of being an illegitimate child.
3. How did Joseph feel? How did he want to defend himself, Mary, and Jesus?

B. The Blessings Of Obedience

1. Jewish prophecies were fulfilled and were a sign to an entire nation
2. Jesus spared from death by Herod 2:13
3. “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” Identified Jesus to Jews 2:15
4. The name of “Jesus” was given by Joseph
5. Jesus was known as Immanuel
6. “He shall be called a Nazarene” 2:23
7. Obedience proves wisdom of obeying God, encourages continued obedience

IV. Obedience

A. For The Christian

Luke 6:46 “But why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?

B. For The Non-Christian

John 6:28, 29 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”