ADVENT #3: Joseph, Mary & JESUS


In the two previous ADVENT articles, we looked at the donkey, the star, the inn, the innkeeper, the stable, the shepherds, the angel and the multitude of angels. Now we move to the center attraction of the whole ADVENT story: Joseph, Mary and JESUS.

#1- Joseph. Like the shepherds, Joseph received a message from heaven via an angel, but his was in a dream. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Heaven’s memos never beat around the bush; In 46 English words, 38 in Greek, Joseph was reassured about Mary’s purity, told what the child’s name was to be and that He was the divine Messiah. Matthew’s account then makes sure that no one misses that this was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy about the virgin birth.

Joseph then proved his genuineness as a believer: “When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him” No delay, immediate obedience. What a man of God, what an earthly father. Then when they arrived in Bethlehem and Jesus was born, Joseph did not forget what God had commanded; he named him JESUS!

#2- Mary. Also like the shepherds and Joseph, Mary received an angelic visitation (Gabriel) with a message from God. And what we learn about Mary is challenging. Mary was a young, pure Israelite woman, but her message said that she would become pregnant without bring married. Nothing was said about the possibility of stoning, the shame she would bear or the likely loss of her future husband. And without any reassurances concerning these matters, Mary said: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.

Just like Joseph – INSTANT OBEDIENCE. What an example, what a WOMAN OF GOD.

#3- JESUS. My pen/keyboard halts. What can be said that hasn’t been said thousands upon thousands of times already? Nothing. So let me just draw your focus for a moment on the tiny newborn struggling in the hay-filled feeding trough. Look at those ten tiny fingers on those two tiny hands and remember those belong to the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. John said it the clearest: “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” But for you and me and everyone throughout all the ages, JESUS was willing to become incarnate, box Himself into an earthly vessel; God in a body. For His benefit? Surely you jest. No, for humanity.

That is ADVENT. The donkey, the innkeeper, the star, the shepherds, the angel, the multitude of angels, Joseph, Mary and the baby JESUS. As a Christian, this must be our focus as Christmas day draws near. Not the tree, not the decorations, not the food, not the gifts. Rather the tiny baby squirming in the pile of straw, the one who ADVENT is really all about.

The word comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” He was with the Father and the Spirit before the beginning and volunteered to confine His all-present self into a human shell, so that He could come and go through what humans go through and then allow Himself to be killed as the needed sacrifice for sin. That is who that soft, helpless, crying baby is. He is ADVENT, He is the coming one, who came, died, arose, ascended and one day will surely come again to retrieve and receive all of His faithful followers of all the ages. Praise God for ADVENT!


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