Advent Study Day 8

Scripture:

  • Matthew 1:18 – 25

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 has 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.

  • Luke: 2: 1-7

In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Observation

  • Joseph wasn’t so excited about being betrothed to a pregnant woman. And who would believe that she was a pregnant virgin? But the angel interceded and told him to trust that this was meant to be.
  • The angel of the Lord was an integral part of fulfilling the promise.
  • Even though Jesus wasn’t Joseph’s natural son, Joseph took on the responsibility of the head of the household. He obeyed by not consummating the marriage until after Jesus was born. And he took Mary and the baby up to the census, and endured the not-so-fancy accommodations during the birth.
  • Jesus was born in the most modest of circumstances. No grand entrance.

Application

  • The plans we have for our lives may not be the plans the Lord has. We need to pay attention to the angels that align with God’s purpose.
  • We also need to trust the Lord’s direction. His plans are always bigger than ours, and they are also bigger than us.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, it’s always amazing to read the story of Jesus’ birth and be reminded of how he came into this world. You planned it all, and it happened at precisely the right time. Your timing is perfect, and your plans are always for the best of us as individuals and your collective people. Help me to not make plans for myself, but to be guided by you. You are trustworthy and faithful. You sent your Son to earth to save us. You will protect me and put me on the right path, if I will just trust and obey. Thank you for the unfailing love, patience and goodness you provide. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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