Give your Bibles with you today invite you to turn to Matthew Chapter 2 and we're reading verses 19 to 23. So if you'll head there, we will get to our text in just a minute. Today. We continue in our new sermon series based on the life of Jesus and the impact his life and his teaching has on us and we're calling this series The Life and Times of Jesus our savior. This series will try some of the very important events in the Life early life of Jesus and the significance of those events as well as taking us all the way to Ascension. As we've learned to live our lives as Believers in Jesus Christ as a result of his actions and his teaching. So if you have the scripture this morning, I invite you to stand if you are able and honour of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we read Matthew Chapter 2 verses 19 through 23.
I'll be reading today from the New Living Translation hear now the word of the Lord.
When Herod died behold an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt sang rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel for those who sought the child's life are dead and he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that our kalea's was raining over Judah and place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee and he went and lived in a city called Nazareth. So that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled that he would be called a Nazarene.
The word of God for the people of God.
Amen, you may be seated.
Let us pray father open our hearts and Minds by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit today that having heard your word. Our lives may be changed as we are anointed by your spirit to live for you in Jesus precious name. Amen.
Let's become the Living Word of God today. We find Joseph and Mary and the young Jesus in Egypt awaiting word from the Lord for their return to Israel. Matthew tells us nothing about the time that the Holy Family spent in Egypt. He does not say where they stayed or how they live their life during that time there. It would be likely that their living expenses would have been paid by the gifts of the wise men make their lives a little easier than it could have been otherwise. Still Egypt was not home and like most of us and I'm sure they long to be in their home country and among their own family again.
But as we said last week Joseph was a faithful and obedient follower of the one true God he had heeded the warning of the angel in a dream to flee to Egypt and the command of God to stay there until God told him to return to Israel. So in our text today Joseph once again received a message from the Lord a message, he will obey and the message was clear. The danger was now over the angel said rise and take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel for those who sought the child's life are dead.
God was calling them home to the land that God had given his people and he will bring with him the promise savior that the people of Israel have been waiting for for so long. The evil King was dead at the age of 69 from what Josephus describe.
As a loathsome feverish illness will know exactly what that was, but they had history tells us that he could get no relief and that the sickness came not long after he ordered the murder of innocent little boys in Bethlehem.
It seems that is sin-sick heart broke out into bodily illness of which you could not get any relief and would end in his death. His evil was not finished yet. However, knowing that no one in Israel would mourn him on his death. He ordered his sister solome and her husband Alexis to assemble prominent leaders of Israel in Jericho there. They were imprisoned in an arena and further. He ordered that as soon as he died. She was to have all of those leaders killed so that there would be morning and Israel, even if not his own.
This is an evil king. The country would be thrust into such morning by the deaths. But Solome may not being as crazy as her brother was afraid of what the people would do. And so she freed the prisoners just before announcing the death of the king in his own name. She freed the prisoners and so there was a parade given in his honor as his funeral possession because instead of the death of all those they were free as his last official act. That's pretty Sly I think.
Are for the death of this horrible King it brought relief to the people of Israel instead of morning. And Herod's Kingdom was divided between R.Kelly as Herod Antipas and Herod Philip. Anarkali has was only 19 at the time. He was in throned in Judea and like his father his cruelty mark his Reign including the murder of 3000 Passover pilgrims leading to his removal from the throne by Rome.
Now, you know why Joseph was a little bit worried about going back to Bethlehem. Surely, in the time they spent there about two years. He would have been able to get a business going a bit. He would have made friends there and perhaps stayed with family members. They could have gone back to the city of David But as God would have it they headed back to Nazareth.
The home that he had before because it was outside of the Reign and Rule of Arcoleas. God was not surprised. It planned this all along so that the Messiah Jesus would fulfill the prophecy that he would be called the Nazarene but it's also served another purpose. Instead of growing up in Bethlehem or Judea where in Jerusalem where he would be noticed he grew up in Nazareth as a young child and we know very little about his life as a child then growing up there and Nazareth. Does he could just cut her grow up instead of people always going. Is that the key?
The Savior has come into the world with very little Fanfare Or Glory Born Into Obscurity and Bethlehem fleeing to Egypt for his survival. And now in Nazareth ready to grow up and be the savior.
Very interesting section of the country later Nathaniel would say can anything good come from Nazareth? Apparently the savior of the world. Jesus was to be the Savior for the common folks that's reaching the least the last and the lost.
In Philippians 2:6-8 the Apostle Paul proclaims this truth with these words know Jesus was God. He did not think of equality with God has something to clean to instead he gave up his Divine privileges. He took the humble position of a servant. I was born as a human being when he appeared in human form me humbled himself and obedience to God and died a criminal's death on the cross.
Jesus came into the world to save us was that salvation would come at a cost. We see this in the threats on his life as his Earthly life was just beginning and throughout his Earthly Ministry.
Always leading Jesus to the cross the place he had to go out of his great love for us so that we might have our Salvation. The Bible says that the heavenly father loves us so much that he sent his son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
God's plan would not be thwarted no plan of men could stop the cause of redemption and it's still can't no matter what people try to do in our world today. Many in our world today who claimed the name of Jesus are persecuted in countries all over the world.
But that has not stopped the message. God has always protected the message of the Gospel through Jesus Christ until the day of Christ atoning. Sacrifice God the father would protect his son and the Earthly family. He had given him.
That our Earthly family was headed by Joseph the adopted father of Jesus the son of God and savior of the world. Now I know I talked a bit about Joseph last week and we learned a few life lessons from him that if we heated them will make for a better more peaceful life things like Integrity before God and people Mercy to all even though she would seemingly wrong to him and obedience to God no matter the circumstance. If we only learn those life lessons, it would go a long way in our journey of being conformed to the image of Christ.
As the holy spirit Works in us making us more and more like him we grow in these areas of life still when we look at the gospel of Matthew. We see a unique picture of the man who was trusted by God enough to raise his own son. That being said, let's let's take a little bit deeper. Look at Joseph for a few minutes here and see his role as adoptive father of Jesus our savior. How it impacts are living out our faith having started out in Nazareth when the angel appeared to him with the announcement of the miraculous conception the baby who would become king Joseph appears for the last time in Matthew's gospel as he leads the family back to Nazareth.
The amazing events that transpired over those three or so years must have made the Young Fathers headspin. He was silenced but strong a figure who steadfastly guided and protected his little family.
What tremendous love for his wife and son must have sustained him in the midst of all of that and chapter one. We see his love for his wife displayed as he first desire to protect her from disgrace. And then as he obeys the direction of the Angel and takes his betrothed to be his wife in spite of the overwhelming human evidence of unfaithfulness.
In Chapter 2. We see his love for his wife and adopted son displayed as he goes against the forces of the political and religious establishment to obey God and protect his family, you know, as parents. It is our responsibility to protect our children from harm, even if it means going against the most powerful around us.
Even if it means going against the governor's decree to teach false thing your kids at school, even if it means going against the major TV Outlets that just keep polluting our children's Minds. Even if it means going against everybody in our society to try to lead our children in the way. God would have them go. You know having raised two children now looking forward to being a part of our granddaughter's life. I'm absolutely humbled when I look at the care and protection offered by Joseph is he steadfastly offered his life and obedience to God. His obedience should call each of us to Greater obedience to God as we seek to raise up children and grandchildren who love and serve the Lord.
In order to understand the depths of Joseph's love that he had for Jesus. It's also important to remember that this is not Joseph's biological son. He did not have to be a dad.
He didn't have to but he chose to follow the Lord's leading. We might comprehend more readily the sacrifice the Joseph made if this was a child of his blood, but in cases of this is honoring this obedience, we recognize that he committed himself when he didn't even have to out of obedience to God, you know, when we birth a child into this world. We have an obligation to care for them provide for them protect them and raise them up in the love and grace of God 1st. Timothy 5:8 says if anyone fails to provide for his own and especially for those of his own family, he has denied the Faith by disregarding its precepts and is worse than an unbeliever who fulfills his obligation in these matters.
See that? If we don't do what we're called to do is parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles in training.
Children in the Lord and protecting them and caring for them and providing for them. The Apostle. Paul says you've denied the faith. That's how crucial our relationship to the children in our life really is. We're called to be there to teach them to provide for them to keep them safe in a world that often is not safe. But Joseph care for Jesus went beyond that biological imperative to raise up another one a child not even his own. We love our children because they are part of us when someone takes on the care of a child that is not theirs by biology that love for that family reflects the love that God has for us and his character for through Jesus Christ. We are adopted as Sons and Daughters of God. We are part of his very own family.
And we come into his family by the merits of Jesus shed blood.
That's the kind of example that God has for us here through Joseph the bond between Joseph and Jesus was derived from a deep bond of obedience to the true father and his son this way Joseph continues to be a powerful example to all of us as parents because our children may be ours.
In one sense, but in another sense.
They're not ours that all. Psalm 127:3-5 proclaims children are God's best gift the fruit of the womb his generous Legacy the children. We have the privilege of raising do not belong to us regardless of parentage. They are a gift to us from God their true father get even though they are a gift to us. God retains ownership. That I believe is one of the most powerful lessons that I've learned from infant baptism in our dedication services that I've been involved in over the years.
Over the years and especially lately. Thankfully. I've had the privilege of baptizing many babies when a young family stands before the congregation and takes the valves of baptism and Christian parenting they are accepting the privilege of being parents of a little one that God has entrusted to them.
And they are acknowledging that they are stewards of that child who they are committing to God our one true and Eternal Father. Raising children can be a difficult task answers. I mean, it really can but it is also the greatest and most important job we will ever have in this life.
In our modern world raising children has become even more difficult for many families the ideal Godly plan of two parents staying together for life and raising children and grandchildren out of that bond is Far From Reality.
Still adults regardless of relationship status have a god-given responsibility to see for the well-being of the children. He is gifted to them.
I'm thankful for those who step in a step parents and adoptive parents.
They do a great job of offering Christ to children.
And how about those members of the church who although they don't have children step up to the plate and teach our children in Sunday school and become an example.
The powerful lesson from God about our responsibility to care for the children around us and do is instruct them in the way of the Lord loving our children a right means to raise them for their Heavenly Father.
Whose image they were created grandparents and uncles and aunts have a relationship with the children and as they grow they have the shared purpose of helping to raise them up in a relationship with the Lord.
So even if you don't have small children in your home right now you as a Christian relative have a responsibility to make a Godly impact on the little ones around you. My grandpa Smother's made the greatest impact on my life in a time when both of my parents had left the church when they were not living their lives for God my grandpa stood as one who would share the gospel with me? And the love of God no matter what trouble I got into.
Every Christian has a responsibility to be a Godly example and teacher to the children that they encounter. Author and biblical commentator water Walter wagaman, Jr. Speaks to the beauty of the parent-child relationship and is article a stranger and Joseph's house.
He writes in all our children's faces is the image of their creator. When any parents by the by loving God love their children, right and win by following God, they lead their children out of the house and do adulthood and the purpose for which they were born. Then in that fullness. They too will find the face of God the Father who had lent them the children in the first place.
Isn't that good.
Our responsibility as parents is to guide our children to Godly adulthood.
And if you've been parents of adult children for very long, you know that your job doesn't end just because they move out of your house. Your relationship has to change and the way that you offer parental advice has to change.
But your job is never finished until you draw your last breath and I'm not even sure it's done then because the lessons that you taught them will be the things that will sustain them as they are raising their children and then as they are impacting their grandchildren.
What an awesome job. So just as Joseph accepted Jesus as his own and raised him to the best of his ability God calls each of us to continue to teach children in our lives about the Lord. Bringing them to their own personal relationship with a savior. Can I can I just talk some grandparents for a moment?
Grandparents have a very special place in children's lives because even when they're mad at their parents, they'll go to their grandparents. And when they're teenagers, although they seem to adore you. They're not really they're still listening. They're still trying to see what it means to live life in a way that brings joy into their lives and they are looking to you as examples of godliness. I hope I'm half as good as a grandpa is my grandpa's Smothers was if I'm even half that good then Elizabeth will do well.
Because God is called us to such a special place. Joseph was a carpenter. He would have easily been a leader in his community, but he gave it all up for the care of a child that God lent him.