God Speaks To Joseph – Matthew 1

May 17, 2008

Matthew 1:18-25

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and 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 be with child and will 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 had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (NIV)

This passage has some interesting implications… at least, I get a lot out of it!

  1. When Mary got pregnant, was she married to Joseph?
  2. What does this suggest about the significance and importance of engagement, before marriage, if Joseph considered divorcing Mary (even though they weren’t yet married)?
  3. Joseph is described as a “righteous man.” What did he plan to do? How was this righteous? (Considering that an adulterous woman could well be stoned to death in those days.)
  4. How did God communicate to Joseph? Do you consider this a valid means of God communicating with humans? How did Joseph respond to God’s instructions?
  5. Did Joseph and Mary ever consumate their marriage? Was Mary a perpetual virgin?

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