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Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Baptist Church

The Inconvenient Christ

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 View Comments Comments (0)

"When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord's angel had commanded him.  He married her but did not know her intimately until she gave birth to a son.  And he named Him Jesus."  Matthew 1:24-25

I know this title is enough to raise some eyebrows, after all what Christian would ever think or say such a thing?  However, after reading our text I would imagine that Joseph wrestled with these kind of thoughts.  We know that he and Mary were betrothed and for all practical purposes were considered as married as someone in our own modern day culture (should be).  For Mary to become pregnant before their marriage, and not by Joseph, would be considered adultery and punishable by stoning.  

Previously Matthew 1:19 tells us that, "Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly."   Already Joseph's plans were being changed and he wanted to do something that would spare Mary's life.  He was formulating his plans when vv.20-21 tell us that, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins."  Basically Joseph is told to scrap his plan "B" and proceed with the wedding and together with Mary raise the Savior of the world. 

I know that Joseph probably dreamed of that day when he would go to his brides home and carry her back to their new home to start their life together.  I'm sure Joseph never pictured the place he would carry Mary to would be a smelly Bethlehem stable.  I wonder if Joseph struggled with the fact that their first born son would not be his biological child and the hopes and dreams of passing the family trade on to their first born son would have to fall to another?  Talk about an inconvenient change of plans.

However, our text tells us that whatever reasoning and wrestling with the change that God's plan brought to his life, Joseph decided to respond obediently.  I love how we all have our own plans for celebrating Christmas, but God's purpose in sending Christ to be the Savior of the world was to change everything about our life.  Sometimes I feel like people look at opportunities to worship and celebrate what Christmas was all about is more an interruption to get out of the way in order to proceed with their own plans with family and friends.

In Luke 9:57-58 Jesus had a conversation with someone about discipleship and we read, "As they were going along the road, someone said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.'  And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.'"  Jesus never calls us to blind obedience, He always wants us to count the cost of following Him.  

Discipleship means we give up any thought that there will be bits and pieces of our lives that can remain unaffected by our relationship with Jesus. We can’t say “yes” to Jesus and expect to hold on to a portion of our independence. He demands it all.  We no longer have the choice to serve only when and where it is convenient for us.  Yes, He is indeed the inconvenient Christ, because His grace obligates us to obey, regardless of the circumstances or consequences.  

How much of your Christmas plans are really His plan for your life?  How much of your service to Jesus is based upon what is convenient for you, and how much of it is based upon you doing what Jesus has told you to do? Jesus loves you and His plan is what's best for you, that is what Christmas is all about.

david ><{('>


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