“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” At least that’s how the song goes. This time of year always brings mixed emotions for me. I have wonderful memories as a child waking up on Christmas morning with the whole family and running downstairs to see the gifts Santa Claus had brought. I also remember the early Christmas morning that my dad woke me up to tell me my grandmother had passed away and how Christmas never seemed as bright after that. When my wife and I had our first child there was so much joy surrounding Christmas again and seeing how the magic of Christmas lights up a child’s life, but that light was dimmed for a season when our second child was lost to a miscarriage right before Christmas. I don’t know why Christmas moves people so emotionally but it does. I often wonder how Joseph felt that very first Christmas. What were the thoughts going through his head. The Bible doesn’t give us a lot of insight to his thoughts or even any conversation he had with Mary, but from the pages of Matthew chapter 2 and Luke chapter 2, you can see that Joseph was having an inward emotional struggle that first Christmas season.
Joseph must have been floored as he listened to Mary explain what the angel told her.
“Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.” Luke 1:30-31 NKJV
At this point I’m sure he begins questioning Mary’s mental state, but then again he’s heard that Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, is pregnant and Zacharias has become mute after an encounter with an angel in the temple.
“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:32-33 NKJV
This must have been something he begins to wrestle with. The original Greek uses the word for fierceness and heavy breathing when describing Joseph’s mental struggle. Either his fiancé has lost her mind or he’s about to be the earthly father of the coming Messiah. Why would GOD choose Mary and I? Is she really pregnant from the Holy Spirit? How do you raise the Son of GOD? Does Mary really just want out of our marriage? I’m sure he rationally thought long about the best possible scenario not only for him, but for Mary too. The Bible clearly states that Joseph was a just and righteous man and he probably thought silently calling off their marriage would protect her from any societal and religious persecution. Technically, Mary being pregnant out of wedlock was a crime punishable by death in Jewish culture. Joseph wanted to protect her and the baby. Can you see the anguish and mental wrestling in Joseph? But GOD always has a way to remind us who we are and Who leads us on paths of righteousness.
“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20 NKJV
Did you catch what the angel called Joseph? “Son of David.” Jospeh was not the actual son of the previous King David. His dad’s name was Jacob according to Matthews genealogy, but the angel was reminding Jospeh who he actually was. He was a decadent of the great King David. Even though the Roman government ruled the land, GOD was reminding Joseph that he was in the royal family. If the ancient kingdom was still in place, Joseph could have very well been King or at least lived in the palace as a family member of the King. GOD was telling Joseph, “You are a member of the royal family. Don’t listen to those voices that tell you you’re not good enough or not worthy. You are a Son of David!” GOD is saying the same thing to you today. You are a child of the King. Who you are is not dependent on what others think or the amount of followers you have on Instagram, but who you are was determined by the King 2000 years ago at a manager in Bethlehem. GOD loved you so much that he sent his only son to come to Earth and live a life that would save not only the whole world, but you. We are in the family of GOD. That is where we should rest when the attacks of loneliness, depression, and thoughts of insecurity scream loudly in our mind.
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29 NKJV
Dust off the old scrapbook and go to your family memories. Remember what GOD has done for you in the past and get excited about what He has planned for your future. Just like Joseph, your story does not end at the realization of who you are. Joseph had a GOD given mission. He was to raise the Messiah and GOD was showing him exactly how his mindset needed to be in order to start his destiny. Before the Angles were singing to shepherds, before a babe was wrapped in a manger, and before wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh there was Joseph with a decision to make. A decision that would change the world for eternity. A decision that he fretted and struggled with until he was reminded of one simple truth: “Son of David.” I am reminding you today of the same simple truth: “Child of GOD.”
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus. Matthew 1:21-25 NKJV