The Other Side of Christmas: December 21

A Son Given, a Savior Sent   

December 21, 2019
by Todd Collins               

Matthew 1:18-24 (NIV) 
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
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. 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.” 
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

In Luke’s gospel we learn of Mary’s obedience to bear our Savior, but here in these verses of Matthew, we learn of Joseph’s obedience to a situation beyond his understanding. Joseph is described as “righteous” (he lives by God’s law), not self-righteous, a quality that would cause him to demand harsh justice. We see Joseph model Christ-like compassion for Mary, whom he thinks has sinned. Now God steps in, the angel of the Lord appears in a dream to Joseph. Joseph is called to action and he obeys. In this dream, Joseph is given the honor to name our Savior. A name above every other, He will be called Jesus (which means “God saves”). We ask, “Saves from what?” From our sins. Jesus was sent not to overtake Rome, but to be our righteousness, our refuge, and our light in this fallen world. His birth was prophesized throughout the Old Testament and recounted here in Matthew. Matthew mentions prophesies about the Messiah eleven times throughout his gospel, indicating that Jesus is the Messiah, the chosen one. Lastly, Joseph awakes from his dream, without pause of question, he puts God’s plan into action.
What does this say about God? God has a plan for us all. Here we learn of His plans for His only begotten Son to come in the world using Mary and Joseph. 
We can relate to Joseph here. Like Joseph we look at situations in our lives and ask, “How is God in this”? “Or how does this make any sense?” We always need to understand that we are called to be obedient to God’s calling, sometimes even without understanding. 
During this Christmas season, I pray for us all, that we will seek God’s plan in our lives and all that we do, and to be thankful for His plan to send us our Savior, Jesus. Merry Christmas.

About the author:
Todd Collins
Todd Collins is married to Cheryl Collins. They have a 23-year-old daughter Alexa. Todd and Cheryl have been members of Stafford Crossing since 2015. He serves in Kids Crossing and enjoys sharing his faith and the love of God with the children.