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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Faith in Action (Matthew 1-2)

When we think of Jesus' birth, we naturally think of the faith Mary had to have to endure the ridicule and accusations as an unwed mother. But Matthew is actually telling us the story of Joseph's amazing faith as he chose to believe Mary and take her as his wife.

Mary was betrothed to Joseph when she found out she was with child. In other words, Joseph and Mary were engaged but had not yet started living together or consummated the marriage. They were in the time of preparation before the marriage ceremony had taken place. But according to Jewish law, to call off the engagement at this point, Joseph would need to divorce Mary. And that's what he planned to do:

Matthew 1:19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

But then the angel appeared and told Joseph that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill prophecy and to take her as his wife:

Matthew 1:22-23 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: [23] “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.”

Can you imagine how Joseph must have felt to realize he and his wife had been chosen to take care of Immanuel, God in human flesh!?!

Joseph immediately demonstrates his faith by taking Mary as his wife but keeping her a virgin until Jesus was born to fulfill the prophecy, "the virgin shall bear a son."

Matthew 1:24-25 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

Joseph was not a wealthy man at all. He was a tradesman, a carpenter, literally a stone mason. God chose Joseph to be the earthly father for Jesus because of his faith, not because of his position. And then later, we see that Joseph and Mary were blessed with other children: James, Joseph, Simon, Judas, and sisters (Matthew 13:55-56). Incidentally, James and Judas (Jude), Jesus' half brothers authored the New Testament books: James and Jude.

But the story of Joseph's faithfulness doesn't end there. When he was warned in a dream to take Jesus and His mother to Egypt for safety, Joseph immediately obeyed:

Matthew 2:14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt.

When God tells us to move, do we respond with immediate obedience like Joseph did or do we hesitate because we don't really want to do the thing God is putting on our heart to do?

Dear Lord, Thank you for the example of Joseph's faith and the reminder of his immediate obedience, even when what you were asking of him was hard and life changing. Lord, please give me the faith of Joseph. When the thing you are calling me to do is hard, Lord, let me respond in faith like Joseph did and trust you immediately and without hesitation and do what you are calling me to do. In Jesus' name, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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