Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Risking Everything for the Sake of Christmas

The birth of Jesus ben Joseph haunted those who knew his true identity. The third in a series of six meditations.

 

Have you ever been credited—or blamed—for something you didn’t do? Have you ever wished you could change your reputation?

Only after Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection did people come to think of Jesus Christ as “the son of the virgin Mary.” For more than thirty years Jesus was commonly referred to as “Jesus, the son of Joseph” (Luke 3:23, John 1:45). The assumption was obvious and the social stigma great.

In all probability, for many years only Mary’s elderly relatives Elizabeth and Zechariah, and Mary and Joseph themselves, knew (beyond question) that Joseph wasn’t Jesus’ real father. After all, no one else had received a divine revelation announcing this spectacular miracle. Not surprisingly, many chose to believe the rumors whispered about Joseph, Mary, and Jesus (John 8:41).

To his credit, Joseph believed what the Lord revealed to him in a series of dreams —no matter how incredible those revelations were. Each time, Joseph quickly translated his belief into action—at great personal cost.

Consider what Joseph lost:

          * his reputation as a godly individual

          * his extended family relationships

          * his home and country

          * his security

Not once, however, does Scripture record that Joseph hesitated to instantly follow God’s leading. He took to heart the reality that “just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so  my [the Lord’s] ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

Like Joseph, you and I have a choice to make. Each day, will we choose God’s will and ways no matter what the cost? Or today will we decide to go our own way?

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