THE CHRISTMAS STORY: Luke 2:35-40
The Prophecy of Anna
36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, and was very old. She was a widow, for her husband had died when they had been married only seven years. 37 She was now eighty-four years old. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about Jesus to everyone who had been waiting for the promised King to come and deliver Jerusalem.
39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom beyond his years, and God placed his special favor upon him. NLT
This concludes the Christmas story in Luke, next I’ll go to the gospel of Matthew which tells a few different details.
THE CHRISTMAS STORY FROM MATTHEW: Matt 1:17-21
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
18 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. 19 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.
20 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. 21 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.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”-which means, “God with us.”
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. NIV
COMMENTS: In Israel, there was a betrothal period of about 1 year. During that betrothal period, they were actually considered married and would actually have to divorce if they parted ways, but had not yet consummated their marriage nor did they live together. This is was is described in the book of Mark. To have been “found with child” would have meant that she was unfaithful to Joseph since he had been a righteous man and knew he had not touched her. What an amazing man, that he believed what the angel told him and trusted in his betrothed.
For the rest of their life there would be rumors and snickers behind their backs — but Joseph fulfilled the role God had prepared for him and became the adoptive father to Jesus. Are you willing to do and be what ever God calls you to be, no matter how the rest of the world sees you? Are you willing to obey God first and worry about man’s opinions a lot less?
PRAYER: Lord, Joseph was such a godly man that he stood by Mary when the rest of the world was turning their backs on her. He obeyed you even when it hurt his reputation to do so. Help me to seek your favor and be more concerned with what you think than what the world thinks about me. Help me to be as faithful to you as Mary and Joseph were. Help me be willing to be used by your spirit wherever and however you think best. AMEN