Friday, December 31, 2010

Matthew 2:12-23, Joseph's Obedience

After Herod had died it was safe for Joseph to bring his family back to Israel,
Later, when Herod died, God's angel appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt: "Up, take the child and his mother and return to Israel. All those out to murder the child are dead."

Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother, and reentered Israel. Matthew 2:19-21
It’s not clear how long Joseph and Mary spent in Egypt, but not long enough for their family to grow any larger, in any case.

As Joseph was obeying God and following His guidance, he became concerned about the situation in Judea,
When he heard, though, that Archelaus had succeeded his father, Herod, as king in Judea, he was afraid to go there. Matthew 2:22
This is an excellent example of how living by faith really works. Common sense told Joseph and Mary to be careful, and faith told them to wait on God’s word. God gives you enough to obey with, and as you obey, and pray, and experience His presence, and stay in His word, God gives you continued insight. In what ways has God interacted with you this week as you thought through His word, prayed, and looked to obey Him?

This final move for Joseph and his family is the fourth fulfilled prophecy in this chapter,
But then Joseph was directed in a dream to go to the hills of Galilee. On arrival, he settled in the village of Nazareth. This move was a fulfillment of the prophetic words, "He shall be called a Nazarene." Matthew 2:23
There isn’t a specific prophecy about the Messiah being called a Nazarene, but Matthew may have been thinking about the town’s name of “Nazareth,” which was taken from the word for “shoot” in Hebrew. The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Zechariah all referred to Messiah as the “shoot of Jesse.”

There is another aspect of Jesus being called a Nazarene. Jesus did not come to occupy a royal palace. He wasn’t born into the families of the religious aristocracy, the chief priests, he didn’t attend seminary so he could be among the religious ivory tower intelligencia. Jesus wasn’t rich, He wasn’t handsome, he didn’t even have a good zip code. Jesus was the people’s savior, he was part of the lowly working class from a despised town.

Today he would ride the bus from the poor part of town to his day laborer’s job. He would live in a small apartment shared with his overflowing family. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” You and I should take some pause at that question. That’s where Jesus came from, because that’s who Jesus came for – people who know they need him, people who don’t have it all.

If you want God to show you more, believe and act on what He has shown you already

The surest way to receive God’s guidance is to follow it. If you want to hear God’s voice next time, then follow it this time.

If God had His Son spend most of His life working a menial job in a despised town, if that was God’s perfect and pleasing will the Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, then never mind if your home and your work seem awfully humble and low. God has given it to you as your calling. It is good, perfect and pleasing to Him.

What you are doing is important to God, it is every bit as much important as Jesus’ work was for Him. Your obedience to God’s call matters.

If this post got you to thinking, please leave a comment and join the conversation

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