Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Annunciation to JosephActs 3:19-26
Acts 3:22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord our God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people, you must listen to everything he tells you.’
Joseph, an ordinary Jewish carpenter, lived in the ending period of the Old Testament. He was chosen by God for an epoch-making mission. He had to brace himself for the monumental task of bringing up and caring for the ‘Messiah’ who was promised to the Jewish people from their very inception as a race. The promise that God made to Abraham contains the latent prophecy of the future Messiah (Genesis 12:3). Joseph obeyed God wholeheartedly and followed God’s directions regarding the birth of Jesus and life thereafter with his wife, Mary.
The Jewish people who lived in that period generally held the belief that God will intervene in their life marred by Roman oppression. They thought that God will send them a Messiah to save and comfort them as was promised through various prophecies. Due to such widely held belief, they could not recognize the real Messiah (Christ) when He was born exactly as predicted by the prophet Micah. According to the Scriptures, the Messiah had to come in the fullness of time born of a woman, endure the cross and bring salvation to the hopelessly lost world. Jesus, after the accomplishment of this glorious earthly mission, ascended into heaven. He gave succinct instructions to His disciples on their mission in this world before He was taken up from them.
Peter, during his initial phase of work as a disciple of Christ, visited the temple gate called ‘Beautiful’. A miracle took place when Peter invoked the name of Jesus to heal a man crippled from birth. The crippled man jumped up to his feet and started walking, praising God. Peter explains to the Jewish onlookers that the miracle took place because of Jesus’ power. Since the Jewish people firmly believed in Moses as God’s prophet, Peter quoted from Moses first and then other prophets as well. Reciting the Scriptures, Peter made it clear that the Messiah they had been waiting for, had already come and suffered a heinous death on the cross, was raised from death, and ascended to His Father in heaven.
Joseph with the Holy Spirit working in him readily believes the oracle from God. However, the Jews were not convinced by the exhortation from Peter. If we continue to read the Bible portion, we find that Peter was taken before the Sanhedrin for trial. Nonetheless, Peter continues in the path of the clarion call of His Master and concludes his magnificent testimony as a martyr for Christ Jesus.
Heavenly Father, amid conflicting and clamoring ideologies of life, enables us to tune our ears attentively to the call of our Master for the sacrificial service of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Thought for the Day
It is to the cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master; no path of redemption can make a detour around it.” – Hans Urs Von Balthasar
Abraham Mammen, Epiphany Mar Thoma Church