Bible Study Lesson:
“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him 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.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
Q. What can you learn about Joseph – father of Jesus from this passage?
- Joseph was righteous man.
- He was considerate and compassionate to Marry, his fiancée. When he heard about Mary, he decided to divorce her privately, in spite of disappointment and heart break.
- He was obedient to the voice of God. He must have very clear, powerful revelation from God.
Q. Visualize the state of mind of Joseph and Mary from this passage.
- Joseph – Doubt, disappointment, heartbreak, shame
- Mary – Fear, shame, public disgrace (In eastern culture, it will be life long shame.)
Q. What was the Joseph’s dream about?
- The contents of his dream were very clear, he was commanded by the Angel of God.
- Not to be afraid
- To take Mary as his wife
- To give son a name, Jesus ( meaning: ‘Lord Saves’)
- His dream changed his perspective.
- His dream was very elaborate. It was about Holy Spirit (v20), saving people from their sins (v21).
- Even before the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary knew that Jesus was not an ordinary person.
- It is not clear if Joseph knew the context of the Old Testament prophecy fulfillment, weather he understood the true identity of this child, weather he fully comprehended the meaning of ‘saving people from their sins, or what it means to be born of virgin and conceived by Holy spirit’. (Not even Jesus’ disciples fully realized who Jesus was, until they found a new help after His death and resurrection, “Holy Spirit”.)
- Joseph on his part, was faithful and obedient to the voice of God, he did what the Lord had commanded him to do.
- Gospels do not talk about Joseph much after the birth of Jesus. But in these few passages, we find Joseph to be a good husband and a father, caregiver, honest, obedient, faithful and wise man.
- We may also not fully understand (rationally or logically) the virgin birth or many mysteries of God, but we need to surrender to the will of God, trust him and be obedient to him. (Check out: Trust in the Lord – Bible Verses)
Key verse of Joseph’s life:
“He did what the Lord had commanded him.” (Mat 1:24)
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