Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 1:20-21’

Joseph: Real hero in the birth of Jesus, the Savior

December 18, 2017

 

Recently a student expressed his disappointment after viewing the highly anticipated movie Justice League. Built around an organization comprised of some of the world’s most powerful super-heroes dedicated to fighting crime and injustice, the film features a line-up of  Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Superman, Wonder Woman, and more. The student was not at all impressed with the film.

After thinking about his comments, the question comes to mind, “What is a hero?” Indeed, what is a real hero? Beyond the definition of writer Ernest Hemingway’s “code hero,” who must always demonstrate “grace under pressure,” what makes an individual a hero. Rising above a “super-hero,” such as Superman who is “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. . .” a real hero is simply an ordinary person who rises to the occasion to accomplish extraordinary things.

In thinking of the account of the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world, a real hero comes on the scene in Joseph. His response to the changing circumstances confronting him prior to his marriage to Mary is recorded in Matthew 1:20-21 (AMP):

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus (The Lord is salvation), for He will save His people from their sins.”

Joseph, being a just man, one who kept the Law, learns Mary is pregnant before they came together as husband and wife. While trying to process this staggering revelation, he decides to do what the Law demands, but he chooses to divorce his beloved discreetly, in private, in a way that is least offensive. While he is considering what to do, Gabriel, the angel of the Lord, appears to him, addressing him as “Joseph, son of David,” reminding him of his lineage going back to the throne of David, from whom the Messiah would descend.

The angel goes on to assure Joseph that the child Mary is carrying is from God, “for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”  Gabriel also makes prophetic declarations expressed in the future tense:

  • Mary shall bring forth a son.
  • Joseph, as the legal father, shall call his name Jesus, no other name given under heaven whereby men must be saved (Acts 4:12)
  • Jesus shall save his people from their sins, just as his name makes known (Jesus—“the salvation of Yahweh”)

Altogether, this passage reveals the pivotal role that Joseph plays in the unfolding drama of the birth of Jesus Christ. In my mind he is a “real hero” a term used in the following piece:

Real Heroes

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength                         

to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

Christopher Reeve

 

. . . but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

Daniel 11:32b

 

Like a herald, history sounds the names,

The roll call sung from the chronicler’s page,

The champions of life’s heroic games,

Whose fame still flames for years beyond their age.

Are they real heroes as history claims

Or mere cowards lauded as saint or sage?

Life’s truest heroes we always ignore,

To mold giants of legend and folklore.

 

Real heroes never swell the ranks among

Annals of recorded time.  History

Omits the common folk; yet their unsung

Legacies speak to those with eyes to see.

Heroic lives inspire old and young

To become all our hearts have yearned to be.

We search for gold in those whom we live with

And seek real heroes, not image nor myth.

 

Life’s real heroes still dwell with us today,

To pioneer a new and living way.

We close our discussion with a powerful, contemporary Christmas song inspired by the passage from Matthew “Call His Name Jesus” by Philips, Craig and Dean:

Call his name Jesus

December 17, 2015

Matthew 1_20-21

Revised and re-posted from a year ago, this blog entry in keeping with the message of the season, looks at the Verse of the Day for December 17, 2015:

Matthew 1:20-21 (AMP):

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus (The Lord is salvation), for He will save His people from their sins.”

This passage brings to mind three songs that focus on the name given to “the little biddy baby, born, born, born in Bethlehem.” Lara Landon offers a version of one of the popular Christmas songs, as she asks, “What You Gonna Name that Pretty Little Baby?”:

Another song of worship calls to our attention “Jesus, Name above All Names”:

After Joseph learns that Mary is pregnant before they came together as husband and wife, he is considering divorcing her privately. The angel of the Lord, Gabriel, appears to him in a dream and makes prophetic declarations expressed in the future tense: Mary shall bring forth a son.

Joseph shall call his name Jesus, no other name given under heaven whereby men must be saved (Acts 4:12)

Jesus shall save his people from their sins, just as his name makes known (Jesus—“the salvation of Yahweh”)

This passage from Matthew is the inspiration for the contemporary Christmas song “Call His Name Jesus” by Philips, Craig and Dean:

You shall call his name Jesus

December 17, 2013

Matthew 1_20-21

In keeping with the message of the season, the Verse of the Day for December 17, 2013 is taken from Matthew 1:20-21:

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

After Joseph learns that Mary is pregnant before they came together as husband and wife, he is considering divorcing her privately. The angel of the Lord, Gabriel, appears to him in a dream and makes prophetic declarations expressed in the future tense:

Mary shall bring forth a son.

Joseph shall call his name Jesus, no other name given under heaven whereby men must be saved (Acts 4:12)

Jesus shall save his people from their sins, just as his name makes known (Jesus—“the salvation of Yahweh”)

This passage from Matthew is the inspiration for the contemporary Christmas song “Call His Name Jesus” by Philips, Craig and Dean: