Mary accepted the angelic message that she would give birth to a son conceived by the Holy Spirit. She did not choose this pregnancy but she accepted it. Her husband Joseph does not believe her story (do you blame him?). He wants to be faithful to the law and show compassion to his wife by divorcing her privately. He may have chosen Mary to be his wife but he did not choose this pregnancy. Yet, like Mary, Joseph accepted Jesus as his son despite this unexpected event.
What events have occurred in your life that may be unexpected and make it difficult for you to receive the message God has for you concerning Jesus?
Both Mary and Joseph demonstrate great faith in accepting Jesus as their son. For Mary, she carried Jesus for nine months, their flesh and blood had a bond. Joseph had to accept that he was not related to Jesus by blood. I wonder if Jesus even resembled Joseph in appearance?
I’m not trying to say that it was a tougher truth to accept for Joseph than Mary. Both of them had to overcome huge obstacles in order to accept the angel’s message. There were social pressures, religious pressures, and relational pressures between each other. I wonder how often, if ever, he was reminded that Jesus was not his biological son due to the peculiar nature of his birth?
What pressures do you have in your acceptance of Jesus? Is there something that is on-going that makes it difficult for you to believe?
In order for us to have accepted Jesus as God’s son we may have had to overcome the pressures of a different faith. We may have had to oppose faith leaders in our community. Accepting Jesus may bring criticism from family, friends, children, or your spouse.
All of those pressures may make you think that the timing is not right to adopt new beliefs in your life. You may tell yourself, “It’s not the right time to believe in the Son of God.” Yet, this season of the year reminds us of his entrance into this world as Immanuel, God with us.
Like Joseph and Mary, the coming of Christ may not have been an event that we have chosen but we have to choose how we will experience him. Joseph chose not to disengage from Jesus by remaining engaged to Mary.
We must choose how we will engage with Jesus.
We may not choose the way that Jesus enters into our lives, but we do have to decide whether or not we will accept him.
Jesus was unexpected, yet for you he just might become your unexpected belief. He came to save the lives of his people. Will you let him save yours?
How can you choose to engage Jesus this Christmas season?
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