With the arrival of Jesus, many things changed. A young couple was no longer just ‘him and her.’ Shepherds and some wise men were no longer without some stories to tell. It was also the end of what had plagued humanity for generation after generation.
To Think About:
- Read Matthew 1:18-21. Joseph is described as faithful to God and considerate of Mary. When did you last find yourself struggling to do what was right but in a way that didn’t hurt someone you love? How did you resolve it?
- Joseph hears that his son will be part of God’s plan to deal with sin. What are some of the many things this may have taught Joseph about God? What was it teaching Joseph about an end to sin?
- Read Matthew 1:22-25. Matthew uses Isaiah’s words to show what God was doing. Talk of a baby and willingness to help people endure had been a part of God’s plan during the time of Isaiah. They were once more part of God’s plan. In what ways was Jesus’ birth an even better way of God being with people than what he had done at any point up to then?
- Joseph may have forgotten about an end to sin when he considered the end of his social standing, friendships, or other parts of his life. What other challenges would Joseph have certainly considered as he decided how to respond?
- God spoke to Joseph in a dream. Throughout the Bible, God has used many ways to communicate with people. What are some of the ways you have heard God communicating with you lately? Has it been something or someone you’ve heard? Something you’ve read? Are there other ways?
- Joseph could have dismissed the dream and said it resulted from what he had eaten the night before. Yet he did what he was commanded. When you know God is telling you something, how do you ensure it is really from him?
To Pray About:
- Thank God for coming into the world like you did – a birth.
- Ask God to help you hear what he wants to tell you.
- Share with God how you struggle to respond faithfully to what you know is right.
- Express your gratefulness that the power of sin is no match for what Jesus did. Jesus brought a planned end to sin.
To Live Out:
You have been set free! What should have been the end was not the end. God made a way when it seemed there was no way. God is making a way for you even when it seems there isn’t a clear way forward. What is troubling you will not trouble you forever. God has an endpoint.