Last week we began turning our attention towards Christmas – and we started, not by looking at the events surrounding Jesus birth, but rather by looking at Jesus Himself. We wanted to answer the question: Who exactly is Jesus?
And so to find that answer, we looked at the first few verses of the Gospel of John which remind us that before Jesus was even born, He existed as “The Word” – the eternal, all-powerful, second-person of the Godhead who is directly responsible for creating everything in the universe!
That in itself is a pretty astounding thought, but then we read John 1:14 which completely blew our minds! It says…
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. John 1:14a
That is simply amazing! The infinite God of the heavens permanently fused his deity with our humanity and became human. We call Him Emmanuel because He is God-with-us. He became human like one of us. Even today in his resurrected state, Jesus is both fully God and fully human. And why did he do that? He came to be with us so that we could with Him forever.
I kinda like how the message Bible puts that verse. It says…
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. John 1:14a MSG
What an incredible thought! That God would love us (his created beings) so much that He chose to move into the neighbourhood to be with us!
But yet sadly, most people, both then and now, choose to reject him… As John stated in verse 10,
10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:10-12
And that’s really what Christmas is all about! Christmas is about God coming into the world so that those who believe him and accept him might become children of God. John 3:16 puts it quite simply….
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17 NIV
And so to answer our original question of “Who is Jesus?”…
Jesus is the Word – the eternally existing second person of the Godhead – our Creator. He is also Emmanuel – God with us – born on earth as a human being so that we might become children of God and be with Him forever.
So that’s what we looked at last week. This week, I want to continue looking at the characters of the Christmas story and this time, I want to ask the question: who is Joseph?
For being such a central figure in the Christmas story, Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, is a little bit of an enigma. We don’t really read a lot about his life story and in fact, as the Gospels go on to record Jesus’ adult life, we actually don’t hear anything further about Joseph – even though we often hear about Jesus’ mother, Mary.
But despite having very little information about him, from the information we do have, we can see that Joseph was a pretty exemplary husband, father, and follower of God. He was a man that we would do well to model our lives after! So this morning, I want to look at the brief snapshot that the Bible gives us of Joseph and see if we can pull some things outta there that we can learn and apply from his life.