DECEMBER 13, 2020
"CALLED BEFORE BIRTH" - MATTHEW 1:18-25
The word "called", can be defined as commissioned, assigned to, to be named, entitled, tagged, labeled, known as, dubbed, chosen, favored, designated, handpicked, selected, authorized, delegated, or declared, I think you get what I mean. In our lesson, we have entered the Christmas advent season, that is the announcement of the miracle conception. This announcement is a fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah, "you shall be given a sign, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel which in the Greek Hebrew means, "God with us".
1 DIVINE CONCEPTION (Matthew 1:18-19)
The writer Matthew introduces what seems to be a Jewish problem. Joseph and Mary have yet to marry and consummate the marriage,nonetheless, Mary is found to be with child. The child was conceived by the Holy Ghost. Matthew in this narrative sets a tone and stage of proclaiming the unborn child is none other than God himself in the flesh. He would suggest that the unborn child is spirit as well as human. At this time in Jewish custom and culture, Mary would be stoned to death. Joseph now contemplates what to do with Mary. He considers quietly dissolving the courtship to prevent embarrassment, scandal and protecting Mary.
2 DIVINE CORRECTION (vv. 20-23)
It is here in the text that God sends an angel. The angel reassures Joseph concerning Mary's faithfullness. Joseph is told that this unusal thing is of God. Joseph is privy to the gender of the unborn child, he is told of the child's name. His name will be the Jewish Greek Hebrew, Joshua, meaning, He shall save his people from their sins".
3 FROM DIVINE CLARITY TO HUMAN OBEDIENCE (vv. 24-25)
At this point in the account, Joseph realizes that his opinion is of little importance., this is the business of God. Joseph is simply to follow divine instructions. It is only the word of God and the obedience to his word that truly matters. Joseph trust God's intervention in his life, he trust what God is doing, Joseph now plans to marry Mary rather than his first inclination of ending the courtship.
More times than not, it's difficult to come to grips with what God is doing in our lives. There is one thing for sure, God don't make mistakes, if he does, who can do anything about it. God chooses whom he will to do his will, for his purpose. As we embark upon another Christmas season, trust God in all we do and keep Christ in Christmas.
Rev. Johnny H Eskridge, St. Paul Shively Heights