Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Annunciation to Joseph
V4-6 “Say to those with fearful hearts, be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution, he will come to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”
Annunciation is the act of
announcing or proclaiming. Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the angel Gabriel
was the announcement that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the son of
God. The meaning of the name Joseph is, “God will give the increase.” Just as
the Old Testament Joseph was a dreamer, the New Testament Joseph, the earthly
father of Jesus, was given instructions in his dreams on three separate
occasions. When Joseph discovered that Mary, the girl who was betrothed to him
was pregnant before they came together, he was deeply distressed, but as he was
a noble and righteous man, to avoid bringing any public disgrace to Mary, he
contemplated divorcing Mary quietly, even though the Law in those days
permitted stoning an adulterous woman.
In Mathew 1: 20-22, we read that an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Addressing Joseph as the son of David, affirmed the royal heritage of Jesus and also fulfilled the promise God gave David in 2 Samuel 7:16 that, “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” To Joseph’s credit, rather than ignoring it as a bad dream, he trusted and obeyed and thus became the “adopted” father of Jesus.
In Mathew 2:13, we see the second time, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. He was instructed to flee to Egypt, to save baby Jesus from King Herod. Thus the Prophesy, “out of Egypt, I called my son,” was fulfilled. In Mathew 2:19, we see that after Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph the third time and instructed Joseph to return to Israel with Mary and baby Jesus. Joseph faithfully complied with the instructions he was given in his dream without questioning. Jesus learned carpentory from Joseph and it helped to sustain the family. Now, let us see some of the character traits of Joseph.
1. By strictly following the instructions he was given in his dreams, Joseph truly became ‘a man for others’ and always did the ‘right thing’.
2. He was a man of faith. He was humble but courageously undertook his role in God’s redemption plan by adhering to the instructions he got. Rather than looking for an easy way out, he obeyed God, even when he knew that perception of the public in him marrying Mary would be different. He did not succumb to the social pressure.
3. He chose to forgive rather than trying to take revenge.
4. Though he was an adoptive father, he discharged his fatherly duties with integrity and acted courageously in protecting baby Jesus from King Herod.
5. We all should emulate Joseph’s kindness and patience. It was unusual to marry a pregnant woman whose child was not his own. Joseph accepted and treated Jesus as his own son.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Dreaming is essential to be successful in our lives. In the words of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, “Dream is not what you see in sleep, dream is something which doesn’t let you sleep.”
Lord, help us to prayerfully pursue our dreams with dedication and determination to make it a reality. May our dreams be according to Your will and be guided by the Word. Amen.
Alex Thomas, Jackson, TN
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church