We’re starting something new for ‘Praise Thursday’ on the AD.  Each week, Jayme and I will be diving a bit deeper into a book of the Bible, and each month, we’ll select a different book.  For October, our book is Matthew. 

Why are we doing this?  First, one of our biggest praises should always be that we have a holy book to guide us through the ups and downs of life.  Second, the Barna Group’s summary of its research in 2009 found that of the four main themes of the year, #3 was that “Biblical Literacy is neither a current reality nor a goal in the U.S.” (see link here)  So, what we hope to do, honestly, is our part in driving you towards the Word.

In Matthew, we begin to hear the story of Jesus told in a way that fulfills many of the prophecies concerning the Messiah in the  Old Testament.  We also discover the role of the “other Joseph” in the Bible.  Most of us remember or at least are familiar with the Joseph in Genesis 37, who had the coat of many colors, was sold by his brothers into slavery, then found favor with Pharoah.  But what about Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus?

His role in the story of Jesus was critical because of his willingness to OBEY.  Remember, he could easily have been justified in leaving Mary when he discovered she was pregnant.  But in Matthew 1:20, we’re told how an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and he was told not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife.  So what did Joseph do?  Matthew 1:22- “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.”

It happens again in Chapter 2.  King Herod wants to find the baby Jesus and kill him.  An angel appears again, tells Joseph to “get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.”  So what did he do?  2:13- “…he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod.”

Joseph obeyed despite the potential of embarassment and public scorn in Chapter 1, and despite imminent danger and hardship in Chapter 2.  There was no questioning, no debate, simply faithful obedience.

I think this passage reminds us that Godly character is fueled by obedience.  Joseph had it.  Can we think about the areas of our life where we need to consider immediate and complete obedience?

Thanks for listening!