Joseph’s obedience - Bible Studies for Life for December 9, 2018
Bible Studies for Life
December 9, 2018
Matthew 1:18-25 (HCSB)
My pastor says a plan is something you do when you’re not doing something else. I imagine that Joseph had a simple plan for his life with Mary. They would get married, settle down and start a family. Before Joseph and Mary consummated their marriage physically, Mary became pregnant. We know Mary was pregnant by “the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:18). Mary and Joseph did not know this at first. We must put ourselves in their shoes. Mary had never had a physical relationship with a man, but she was pregnant. Joseph had yet to bring Mary home to consummate their marriage, and he found out she was with child. He could think of only one possibility: She had been with another man.
The simple plan was not going to work; Joseph had to do something else. Being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace Mary publicly, he decided to divorce her secretly (Matt. 1:19). After he had pondered his plan, an angel appeared to him in a dream and delivered some shocking news, “What has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:20). He was not to be afraid to take her as his wife, and he was to name the child “Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). It would be nice to know what Joseph was thinking, but we don’t. We do know, from Scripture, that Joseph got up from his sleeping and did as the angel commanded (Matt. 1:24).
Joseph had a simple plan for his life with Mary, but God stepped in and changed that plan. He didn’t resist; he didn’t question, and he didn’t run. Joseph responded with simple obedience.
Often we resist things that attempt to alter or interfere with our plans. This change can be welcomed, especially if it comes from God. Following God’s plan will require change in our lives. The first and primary step is simple obedience.