The following is a summary of a message Kerry shared at our final M@KS [Men At Kingston Street] meal.
God decided to send His son to earth, to be born a baby, and so he needed a suitable home. He choose Joseph & Mary. Let's look more closely at Joseph, a man of faith and compassion.
God desires us to be men, fathers who are faithful and compassionate so that we can reveal Jesus.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name emmanuel” (which means, God fwith us).
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
How was Joseph a faithful man?
What a tough situation to be in. Joseph is engaged to be married, hasn’t touched his wife and yet she’s pregnant.
Now we know that this is because of a miracle. God had placed that baby in her.
All Joseph knew at this point is that it’s not his baby. He wasn’t part of putting it there. Therefore she had obviously been unfaithful. Joseph was faithful to God’s Word and knew that God’s moral law required him to break the engagement. He sort to remain pure as God required.
Joseph was faithful to God’s Word.
He was faithful in obedience…
“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” Matthew 1:24
After the angel had appear to Joseph and explained to him the reason for the unique situation, he went ahead and took Mary as his wife. Now this was a huge step. Mary’s pregnancy would have bought great shame upon Joseph. But Joseph feared God more than public opinion.
Joseph was faithful in obedience to God.
God desires us to be men, fathers who are faithful to His Word and in obedience so that we can reveal Jesus.
God also desires us to be men, fathers who are compassionate.
How was Joseph compassionate?
He was considerate of the effect of his decisions on others…
“…yet did not want to expose her [Mary} to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” Matthew 1”19
In this situation, Joseph had two options according to custom. He could put in place a public lawsuit against Mary for her unfaithfulness, or he could give her a bill of divorce and dissolve their engagement privately.
Joseph initially choose to act privately. He didn’t want to disgrace Mary. He was compassionate.
He was compassionate as he considered the effect of his decisions on others.
God desires us to be men, fathers who are compassionate and considerate of the effects of our decisions on others so that we can reveal Jesus.
God was bringing about the next stage in his eternal plans and purposes. He was entering the Word in the person of Jesus Christ, born a baby to Joseph and Mary. Born miraculously, not by human conception but a divine act.
He chose to use Joseph and Mary. God chose to use Joseph, a man of faith and compassion.
God choose to use a man who was faithful to His Word and faithful in obedience. A man who was compassionate and considered the effect of his decisions on others in order to reveal Jesus.
Joseph was not rich or successful in his business. He was not well-known; if he hadn’t become the earthly father of Jesus, we never would have heard of him. But, he walked with God. He was faithful and compassionate.
God desires use to be men, fathers who are faithful to His Word and faithful in obedience. To be men, fathers who are compassionate and considered the effect of our decisions on others so that we can reveal Jesus.
Who knows what amazing, miraculous things he desires to do in and through us part of his eternal plans and purposes if we are faithful and compassionate in revealing Christ.