“Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife” Matthew 1:24 (KJV)
Question: What is it that makes a man a hero? Is it his strength, size, or smarts? Is it his savvy to seize an opportunity presented to him as opposed to surrendering it to someone else? As we look to Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, we can see that Joe is a hero on a number of fronts. He demonstrated sensitivity, sincere spirituality, a splendid display of selflessness and surrender to God. It is these characteristics that make him a spiritual hero.
As a brief review, Joseph and Mary were engaged to be married when Mary rocked Joseph’s world by reporting to him that she was pregnant. Imagine his astonishment and apprehension when she began to share with him that the Father of the child was God. Process that one fellas! According to the scriptures, they had never had sexual intercourse and Mary herself had been faithful. Yet due to God’s intervention, they found themselves in a totally unique situation unknown in all of history before or since that time. Consider Joseph’s response to Mary’s revelation. How in the world did he manage to silence his broken and bleeding heart? How did he master the torrent of thoughts that terribly trounced his mind? His response as described in the Scripture demonstrates a spiritual strength that was birthed out of a sincere and supernatural love from heaven in his heart. That this love was from heaven is obvious from his actions because as the scriptures remind us, selfless love is not natural but supernatural.
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (KJV)
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1John 3:18 (KJV)
By exercising a sensitivity to Mary and demonstrating a divine display of selflessness Joseph chose not to create a public scandal by exposing her condition to the judges at the city gate. Such a report would have certainly resulted in Mary’s death by stoning according to the law (Deut. 22:23–24). As a result, Joe our hero, decided to divorce her quietly.
God graciously gave Joseph some clarity about his wife's condition. In a dream, an angel told Joseph that Mary’s condition was not caused by a man, but through the Holy Spirit. The angel also told Joseph that this was consistent with God’s eternal plan, for the Prophet Isaiah had declared 700 years before that the virgin will be with Child (Matt. 1:23; Isa. 7:14). After this divine disclosure, Joe our hero, rose to the occasion and operated no longer in fear but faith and obedience!
When God calls you to rise to the occasion to obey what will you say? Let’s pray we will follow Joe the Hero’s example.
- Be sensitive to the Spirit
- Be strong and sound in the Spirit
- Be selfless and consistently surrendered to His will for our lives
Not a Sermon But a Thought,