“When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. ‘Get up!’ the angel said. ‘Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.’


So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and his mother. But when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herod’s son Archelaus, he was afraid to go there. Then, after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee. So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what the prophets had said: ‘He will be called a Nazarene’.” Matthew 2:19-23 (NLT)



Joseph’s life was turned upside down by the welcoming of a child named Jesus. He had taken Mary to be his wife under what others would have perceived as questionable circumstances at best.  Mary was given a child by God who would be the Savior of the world in confirmation to a visit from an angel. All of this would have been difficult to understand if an angel hadn’t visited Joseph as well.  How does a man explain this to his family? However, the birth of Jesus was only the beginning of a series of events where Joseph had to walk by faith and transplant his family to follow God.  Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt for safety; then the word came to Joseph to return to the land of Israel. An angel again appeared to Joseph to direct him back home. Interestingly, Joseph was afraid to go to Judea, which was confirmed by a dream. God kept speaking; God kept directing Joseph. Joseph probably kept having questions. Yet, Joseph kept moving forward. Jesus coming to earth was just the beginning of the story. Joseph had a front row seat to watch the mystery of God coming to earth unfold.


This Christmas, your life may feel chaotic by the events that are going on around you. Joseph’s story attests to the fact that there are things outside of our control that impact our decisions. Even so, the beauty in the Christmas story isn’t just the baby in the manger on one night. It’s that God kept seeing, providing, protecting, and His plan was prevailing in the midst of it all. You may feel like you are walking in Joseph’s shoes this Christmas with more questions than answers, needing a sign, word, or dream. The good news is that Jesus came in spite of His surroundings, and God wanted to use Joseph as a part of this great story, despite his questions. If you have questions about where you are going or what’s next, know you are in good company.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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About Hona Amer

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