Today’s Scripture: Matthew 1:18-2:12
By: Nanette Johnson
What is the first thing that comes to mind when the birth of Jesus is mentioned? Is it angels, the Star, a stable full of hay, gifts from the Magi, or Mary’s obedience? When Joseph first learned of the Messiah’s birth, he was struck with fear. The angel said, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid.” This child isn’t of this earth where fear often rules our thoughts, emotions, and decisions. This child’s origin is from the Holy Spirit. Fear never resides with the Holy Spirit.
Did you notice what the angel said before he tells Joseph to not fear? He reminds Joseph who he is! “Joseph, you are the son of David.” With this one statement, the angel communicates the plan of Almighty God, for all of time. God has orchestrated this path, these descendants, this purpose for Joseph. Basically, the angel says: “No reason to fret over this, Joseph. God knows you and what you were created for and He is with you.”
But that wasn’t all the angel had to say. This was a very informative dream for Joseph! The angel also reveals to Joseph the gender of the baby, the baby’s name, and the ultimate purpose designed for this special child. (As a side note: In our culture today, this Gender Reveal wins first prize!) The Scripture says, Joseph obeyed all that was told to him. It seems these valuable pieces of information replaced the fear in Joseph with the confidence of the Holy Spirit. Joseph was charged with naming this Holy Child, Jesus. This name holds the power of the Holy Spirit, the love of God Almighty, and the forgiveness of the Savior. There is none other but Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. Jesus takes away our fears and fills us with joy.