Matthew 1:18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
The very first words of this passage say "This is how Jesus the Messiah was born." Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph. Then a big BUT was inserted into time and space and God chose Mary to become pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Son of God. What an honor! What a life-changing experience! What a wonderful thing Mary did in obedience to God! Here is Joseph's part of that...WHAT!! Scripture goes on to say Joseph was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace Mary publicly. His solution was to break the engagement quietly. God's intervention into their marital plans was extraordinary, but also very tough for this man Joseph. I cannot imagine what Joseph might have been thinking about the situation that was forced upon him. Even a righteous man, which Joseph was, would have so many things to consider in these circumstances. Joseph in his own wisdom had made a plan, but God already had a plan for Joseph also. In verses 20-23 20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: 23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
After this holy visitation Joseph saw that it was God's purposes that were the most important and all of that changed his plans to line up with what God was going to do. Joseph had a part in all of this. Oh Joseph didn't have to give birth to the child. That was for Mary. Joseph didn't have to carry the baby for the amount of time for the unborn child to form and be born. So we almost think Joseph wasn't that significant. But He was very significant, as all righteous men are today. Joseph had to be obedient to his part in this plan and here is what happened in verse 24-25. 24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.
Remember, Jesus is going to be Joseph's savior also, so Joseph realized God's plan was for the whole world, including he and Mary. Our world is always trying to write men out of the story. To write men out, whatever their part in the whole story, is a mistake and men taking a step away from their responsibilities in God''s plan will end in tragedy. Some men think like Joseph in his pre-angel revelation. They think "I will just step back and not lead out because I am not that significant in God's plan." So they force women to go on their way alone in fulfilling God's' plan for families. And then a man gets a fresh, new relationship with Jesus and God shows him he must lead out and the woman won't let him because she has become the spiritual leader of the home. When things that God has established "like family" with certain purposes and determinations get out of whack, it not only hurts our families, but hurts the spread of the gospel. In all seriousness, it would be easier to just let women go about leading out in every area of life. Then men could quietly back into their corners and live their lives as they want. God has a better plan for us guys and we don't need an angel to come riding in on a dream for us to realize what we need to do. Paul wrote about this very thing in Ephesians 5:21. it says 21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. So we are to submit to each other with a severance for Christ. And by the way, do what Christ wants in our lives, whether male or female. Paul goes on in verses 25-30 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.30 And we are members of his body.
Well, there it is guys. Time to step up to the plate and at least "swing at it!" No more going quietly into the night, but let the light of Jesus Christ shine in your life. In other words, BE A REAL MAN!! Oooo, you don't like that do you? I didn't at the beginning, but as I grew in my walk with the Lord His Word ate me up with the truth that I was to be the spiritual leader in my house. Thankfully, I am married to a woman who also reads her Bible and has a strong relationship with Jesus and she loved me even more when I took my stand for Jesus in my marriage. The rest is marriage history. Get it. His story!! When I married Andra, this is what happened. 31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. If men would step up and get their spiritual Big Boy pants on and lead their families there would be less divorces and more marriages that honor God.
See. Joseph's part was very important. And so are you men! Joseph made a way for the Son of God to be born and we as men make a way for others to experience Christ through our witness when we are Born Again. Not so different in purpose or in God's plan. One final plea to men. Take this word of encouragement as your realization of the need for you to follow Christ and lead your family in doing the same. The sleep is over. Time to wake up and do the right thing. Joseph did! It begins this Christmas. C'mon guys "You Da Man!"
The Pilgrimage continues....