Suggested Date: December 7th
Today we read Jesus’ birth as recorded in Matthew. Seven hundred years had passed since God told
His people through Isaiah that the impossible would happen: a virgin would give birth to a son. And a little more than half of that time was absolutely silent; no prophet came to God’s people with a message. Then, out of nowhere, an unmarried young woman named Mary was found to be with child.
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married
to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public
disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph
son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from
the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home
as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
1. What did the angel say to Joseph?
2. How did Joseph respond to the angel?
3. Imagine how Joseph might have felt. What did God say to him?
4. What is the name the Angel tells Joseph to call this special child? What did it mean?
5. Who would this baby be?
6.How did Joseph and Mary’s reactions to this situation differ? How were they the same?
Mary and Joseph had a very difficult path in front of them, and there were very legitimate concerns and
fears. From Joseph’s perspective, what if Mary was not telling the truth? What would their families say, or the people in their town? How could he know if he should move forward or not? God knew Joseph, knew what he was worried and afraid about, and met him in that place. Instead of telling Joseph to just stop worrying or just trust Mary (though the latter was important!), God was ultimately inviting Joseph to trust Him and his purposes in this very unique situation.
respond in worship
“Away in a manger
No crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus
Lay down His sweet head
The stars in the sky
Look down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay...”
respond in prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you for speaking to Joseph, and thank you that you for speaking to us directly
in so many ways. Help us to hear Your voice as You speak to us in this Advent season. We want to hear
You and we want to know Your heart better and better each day. Amen.