Obedient Living

Key Verse: “Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”
—Matthew 1:24, 25

Selected Scriptures:
Matthew 1:18-25;

THE ANGEL OF GOD informed Mary in our last lesson (Luke 1:30,31), that she would bear a son, and that his name would be called Jesus. Although she was a chaste virgin she learned that her pregnancy was the result of the miracle-working power of God. She would receive Divine overruling and blessing in bringing the long-promised Messiah, the anointed Christ, into the world.

We first learn about Joseph, husband of Mary, in Matthew 1:16. He was the son of Jacob, and Heli was his wife’s father (Luke 3:23), therefore his father-in-law. Although he was engaged to marry the virgin girl, she became pregnant before they were united in marriage. He did not understand that Divine power was being manifested in connection with the immaculate conception and subsequent birth of our Lord Jesus. Not wishing to make her a public spectacle, he proceeded to make plans to divorce her with as little attention and disgrace as possible.

Joseph was a righteous man and obedient to the laws of God, “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.”—Matt. 1:20,21, New American Standard Version

“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.” (vss. 22,23, NASV) This was a prophecy, as recorded in Isaiah 7:14.

“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.” (vss. 24,25, NASV) Having received this information from the angel, Joseph readily obeyed the command to take Mary into his home as his legal wife, and refrain from any contact with her until she had brought forth her unborn child. In compliance with the civil laws of registry at that time, Joseph traveled with Mary to Bethlehem of Judea where she gave birth to the infant Jesus. She then laid him in a manger, in a stable adjoining the inn, because accommodations at the inn were not available. Our Lord Jesus was indeed born in unusual circumstances.

When Jesus began his earthly ministry (Luke 3:23), he came to Nazareth to preach in the synagogue. He opened the scroll to Isaiah’s prophecy where it had been written of him, and he read the passages from Isaiah 61:1,2. (Luke 4:18,19) The townspeople who heard Jesus speak on that day in the synagogue “bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22) Joseph was given a great blessing for his obedient faithfulness to God. He had the privilege of nurturing Jesus from infancy and to watching him mature while guided by the Spirit of God.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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