Christmas: The King Has Come

Devotional

Joseph: Courage

Read today's verse.

Joseph isn’t mentioned much in the Gospels. In fact, he’s never mentioned during Jesus’ adult life. This led scholars to believe he died before then. What we do know is scattered in the opening chapters of Matthew and Luke.

Here’s what we know: he was a carpenter (Matthew 13:53–55), descendant of King David (Matthew 1:6, Luke 3:31), of the tribe of Judah (Matthew 1:3, Luke 3:33), and a good man (Matthew 1:19). That last thing is interesting. There aren’t many figures in the Bible described as “a good man.” This puts Joseph in good company among men like Noah, Daniel, and Job.

As you read the accounts of the birth of Jesus, you also find that Joseph was a man of great courage. Consider his situation: Joseph was engaged to Mary, and then suddenly Mary is pregnant . . . but Joseph is not the biological father. She claims she conceived by the Holy Spirit, but that must have been a hard pill for Joseph to swallow. While he could have had Mary stoned to death, he instead, being a good man, decided to break off the engagement privately and quietly.

But then, an angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Mary as his wife, because the child in her womb is the Savior. When he woke up, he did everything the angel commanded. He could have easily written the encounter off as nothing more than a dream, but he didn’t. He married her; Joseph did everything God asked.

Joseph was faced with a difficult situation. He was asked to marry a woman who was pregnant before their wedding and endure the dirty looks, criticism, gossip, and shame that surely followed. You don’t read of a big celebratory wedding for Mary and Joseph. It’s very likely that they married against the wishes of both families. But Joseph courageously endured this and showed his faithfulness to the Lord by raising Jesus as his own. He loved and protected his adopted Son, who would become the greatest King the earth has ever known. There can be no doubt that Jesus loved Joseph a great deal and learned much from him . . . and so can we!

In our lives, we may face difficult situations every day. We may be subject to ridicule, persecution, and hostility because of the gospel. And like Noah, Daniel, Job, Joseph, and Jesus, let’s commit to courageously follow God's will despite what others may think or say.

For The Kids: Be Courageous.

Joseph was a man of great courage. He was about to get married to Mary, and then all of a sudden Mary was pregnant. Joseph was worried when he found out that Mary was expecting a baby before they got married. He wondered if he should put off the wedding altogether. Then an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him not to be afraid. The angel told Joseph that Mary’s baby would be named Jesus, which means “savior,” because He would save people. When Joseph woke up, he courageously did what the angel told him to do and took Mary as his wife despite those that might disagree or judge him . . . He trusted God!

In our lives, we may face difficult situations. People might be mean to you because you believe in Jesus. Commit to courageously follow God no matter what others may think or say.

Today's Challenge

Invite five people to your church's Christmas Eve or Christmas Day service.