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joseph did you know

Joseph, did you know?

Contributed by Joe Kwiatkowski.

An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21

I have three children. Multiple times a week I think about who my three little girls will become as they grow into adulthood. I pray that they will pursue Jesus with all they have and the Gospel will drive their decision making. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every “phase” each of my children have gone through in their young lives. Yes, it’s crazy at times and I have “bad” days as a parent. Yet, I embrace each season as it comes. Each season leads to and upon the next season, leading me to look forward even more, to seeing the unknown take fruition in their lives.

I’ve sat back in awe as I listened to my oldest daughter read for the first time. I stood in amazement as, on her own, she stated she wanted her training wheels off of her bike. I took them off and sure enough, she rode by herself without the training wheels and with no help from her Daddy. All I could do was stand there, hands on my hips, and smile. My middle child started school in August and I have been blown away by the amount of learning that has taken place since she has started. From barely being able to even trace letters to writing her complete name, out of nowhere. Recently I had the luxury of watching my baby eat pureed food for the first time. She was fed by her older two sisters. (Who’s cutting onions in here?)

While taking a shower the other day and listening to Little Drummer Boy, I told you the shower was my place of enlightenment, I began to think about Joseph. Joseph is barely mentioned after the nativity story in the Gospels so we don’t know much about him after Jesus is born. Scripture tells us repeatedly that Mary stored up, and treasured and “pondered” moments with Jesus while he grew, but Scripture doesn’t tell us much about Joseph. Listening to the words of the song, I pictured Joseph standing in the manger while the wise men brought Jesus precious metals, jewels and fragrances. I picture Joseph perplexed but in awe as the lowly shepherds show up, coming out from the hills to bow down before their King.  I picture Joseph, up with Mary in the middle night while she was feeding Jesus, staring at the amazingly beautiful star that had stopped directly over the stable, himself pondering, treasuring and storing up in his heart the very things God had promised him and his people many years before via the prophets of old.

  • Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; one will come from you to be ruler over Israel for me. -Micah 5:2
  • “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” -Jeremiah 23:5
  • For unto us a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. -Isaiah 9:6
  • So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Christ would be born. “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they told him, “because this is what was written by the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah:Because out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.” -Matthew 2:4-6
  • But the LORD will still give you proof. A virgin is pregnant; she will have a son and will name him Immanuel. -Isaiah 7:14

The Christmas season is a magical time of year. It is a time filled with wonder, beauty and expectation. The decorations, music, lights, and–for my northern family and friends–the snow just add to the beauty and majesty. This is a time where we as Christians are presented with multiple months to be more intentional in focusing on the same hope that was given to Joseph that starry night over two-thousand years ago. This is a time where we get to celebrate the coming of the One who created all, who is above all, and who holds everything together (Colossians 1:15-20). This is the time where we bask in the wonder of the humility of his coming, the ordinariness and extravagance of his life, and the simplicity of the purpose of his coming which he has given us in his Gospel.

I would imagine it would have been a crazy time for Joseph leading up to Christ’s birth. They have been traveling for an extended period of time. Joseph, because of the man he was, probably didn’t have much time off of his feet as I’m sure he made sure Mary was the one traveling on the back of the mule when permitted during their travel. He was lugging around most of his belongings. He most likely was in “husband-dad protection mode” as they traveled through dangerous valleys and attempted to sleep during the night. Did I mention Mary was also nine months pregnant? So, at some point Mary tells Joseph that “the baby is coming!” and Joseph had to scramble to find a place for his wife before she goes into full blown labor. As we read in Scripture they were denied a place to stay in the inns because the rooms were full from everyone else traveling. Can you imagine the emotions running through his body? He’s probably exhausted, hungry and sleep deprived and now he can’t find a room!  Finally, one of the innkeepers tells him if they really need a place they can use the stable–by the way, it was most likely a cave where the animals would eat and sleep at night. As they get there, I would imagine Mary saying something along the lines of  “this will do just fine,” and soon after she gives birth to the Promised One.

I’m sure Joseph at times, no matter how noble and righteous he was, felt overwhelmed, inadequate, stressed, and felt like he lacked the ability to be responsible for what he was going through and what was before him, no matter how joyous it would be after those menial trials were over. In the midst of the magical wonder of our Christmas season, we as Christians are susceptible to the commercial mentality of the season and are also susceptible to compromise the joyous reason to why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. Often, we give useless gifts at Christmas, because it’s expected of us, and we feel guilty if we don’t. And the closer we get to Christmas, the pressure to give these  gifts builds and we feel depressed and unworthy if we can’t give to the level we feel, or the culture makes us feel, is necessary. In reality, these things are not necessary. The pressure is unnecessary. The stress is unnecessary. What is necessary during this time, is to not let the distraction and pressures of our culture’s “Christmas” take precedence in our lives and to not neglect to be ever conscious that the root word in “Christmas” is Christ.

For, over two thousand years ago, “in the city of David a Savior was born for YOU, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:8-11). A child was born with the power over death and the power to raise the dead to eternal glory. A child was born to live among his people and provide a way for his people to live in communion with him as it was intended to be. A child was born to reconcile his entire creation back to himself. Soak in this season. Marvel at the wonder. Bask in the beauty.  Rejoice in the majesty. Revel in the excitement that this same Jesus who came as a humble and meek child two thousand years ago, will come again to his people in the manner by which the prophets of old spoke, as a “ruler and a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.”

Husband. Father. School Counselor. Pastor/Church Planter. My passion is to see men committed to their wives, engaged with their families and intentional being accountable with other men–all because of their devotion to Jesus. This is where I get to share pieces of my life with the hope that you are encouraged and inspired. My life isn’t anything extraordinary. It’s actually quite ordinary. So common and ordinary that I’m sure it’ll resonate with you somehow. Joe Kwiatkowski

Originally printed at http://www.mengineer.net/joseph-did-you-know/.

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the annunciation by tanner

8 Fulfilled Prophesies Foretelling the Birth of Jesus Christ

PROPHESY: Descendant of Abraham

“And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 22:18)

Prophesied: Around 1500-1300 BC
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38

The genealogy of Jesus laid out in the book of Matthew and Luke details Jesus lineage through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

PROPHESY: Descendant of Jacob

“A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.” (Numbers: 24:17)

Prophesied: Between 1446-1260 BC
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38

The genealogy of Jesus laid out in the book of Matthew and Luke details Jesus lineage through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

PROPHESY: Virgin Birth, Immanuel

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

Prophesied: 740 BC
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:20-25, Luke 1:26-35

“But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

PROPHESY: A Child Will Be Born

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Prophesied: 740 BC
Fulfilled: Luke 1:32-33; 3:23-38, Matthew 1:1, 6-7

“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

PROPHESY: The Time of Messiah’s Arrival

“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”

“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” (Daniel 9:25-26)

Prophesied: 605 BC
Fulfilled: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

“(1) This passage tells us when Messiah will appear on the scene. (2) It tells us that after His appearance, Messiah will be rejected by His people, and (3) that Messiah will be cut off temporarily, an obvious reference to the cross.”

“The seven weeks with the sixty-two weeks combine to make 69 weeks of years (483 years) until the coming of Messiah. The starting point for the 483 years was the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This is a reference to the decree given in the time of Nehemiah in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes in 445 B.C. (Neh. 2:1-8). After this, Messiah would appear on the scene.”

“The words ‘until Messiah the Prince’ refer to a time when Messiah would be manifested as the prince of Israel. This would be around A.D. 30-33, so the time of His birth as the Immanuel of God would have to be around A.D. 0-4.” (Keathley.)

PROPHESY: Born in Bethlehem

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)

Prophesied: 742 BC
Fulfilled: Luke 2:1-7; Matthew 2:1-6, John 7:42

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) […] And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

PROPHESY: Destruction of the Children

“A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” (Jeremiah 31:15)

Prophesied: 597 BC
Fulfilled: Mathew 2:16-18

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”

PROPHESY: Return from Egypt

“Out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Hosea 11:1)

Prophesied: 755 BC
Fulfilled: Matthew 2:13-15

“And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

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Lorenz, J. November 2, 2014. Prophecies About Jesus: 6 Birth Prophecies Fulfilled by Christ. Newsmax. Retrieved from https://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/prophecies-about-jesus-birth/2014/11/02/id/604203/

Keathley, III, J. Prophecies of the Birth of Christ. Bible.org. Retrieved from https://bible.org/article/prophecies-birth-christ

Chaffey, T. December 24, 2012. Fulfilled Prophecies at the Birth of Christ. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved from https://answersingenesis.org/jesus-christ/birth/fulfilled-prophecies-at-the-birth-of-christ/

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