Key Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
Mary was engaged to a man named Joseph when the angel Gabriel told her she would have a baby. The Bible says Joseph was a righteous man. This means he worshipped the one, true God and did his very best to faithfully keep God’s law. Like Mary, Joseph believed God would keep the promises he had made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. Joseph was from King David’s big family, and he knew the promised Messiah would come from his line. Could he have expected, or dared to hope, that the Messiah would be his own son?
When Joseph found out Mary was going to have a baby, he must have been surprised and sad. Joseph knew this baby had not come from him. He naturally assumed Mary had been unfaithful to him, and the baby had come from another man. Joseph decided he would not take Mary as his wife after all. He planned to end their relationship quietly because he loved Mary. Joseph did not want her to experience the shame and punishment that would come from breaking God’s law with unfaithfulness.
But one night as Joseph slept, an angel from God appeared to him in a dream. The angel told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because the baby inside her was not from another man. Mary’s baby was from the Holy Spirit of God! The angel told Joseph the baby’s name would be Jesus (which means “God saves”) because he would save God’s people from their sins. This baby was the one they had been waiting for–the promised Shepherd King who would become the Lamb and suffer to rescue God’s people.
Joseph believed the word of God through the angel, and he obeyed. He took Mary as his wife, and after Jesus was born, Joseph legally adopted him as his own son. It could not have been easy for Joseph. Many people probably did not believe the truth that this baby had come from the Holy Spirit. But Joseph cared more about obeying God than what other people thought about him. He believed God’s word to him through the angel even when he couldn’t see what the future would hold. Through Joseph’s faith and obedience to God’s Word, Jesus the Messiah was born into the family of David as a forever son.
Main Point: An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because the baby inside her was from the Holy Spirit. Joseph believed God’s Word to him and obeyed. He became Jesus’s earthly father.
Christ Connection: Jesus Christ is a son of David through His earthly father Joseph (Matthew 1:15-17).