One would think the birth of the Prince of Peace must have been peaceful, but as we look at the book of Matthew, we see it was anything but that!
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
We know very little about Joseph. He is a carpenter. He’s not an academic, not a business man, and not a priest. He’s an “honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage” kind of guy.
When his fiancé gets pregnant, his response is exemplary. Despite what was most likely deep hurt, he decides to deal with the situation quietly. He wants to guard her from the shame he knows could come. Joseph is temperate, and he repays what he presumes to be evil with good.
At this point in the story, he is most definitely not at peace.
But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.
Joseph is “considering these things” well into the night. Even his dreams are dominated by the situation. He’s mid-stress-dream when an angel shows up, in his dream, with a job.
Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call His name, Immanuel.
Joseph is to proceed with the marriage. She and her Son are very important. Mary is the one of whom the prophet testified. Jesus will save people from their sins. Those are gigantic destinies.
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
God commands Joseph to do something, and he intends to do it. Through discomfort, trial, anxiety, challenge and shame (read: non-peace), he will raise the Prince of Peace.
We try so hard to manage our own impact, our own legacies, our own peace. So much anxiety, so much stress, so little peace comes from trying to conjure something eternally meaningful from fleshly strength. Trust and obedience are how we let God make good on His promise. In so doing, as Joseph did, we find peace.
Philippians 3:13-14; 4:7
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, this Christmas, I resolve to entrust my destiny to you God, and like Joseph, bind up my legacy with the Prince of Peace. In Jesus name, amen.