Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/19/2022: Matthew 1:18-25

Today please be in prayer for

Bartley: Kemper Memorial UMC
Cambridge Trinity UMC
Indianola UMC
Gateway District
Cozad United UMC
Gateway District
Bertrand First UMC
Elwood, NE First UMC
Gateway District
Eustis UMC
Farnam UMC
Gateway District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to divorce her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

“Look, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a son,
    and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife but had no marital relations with her until she had given birth to a son, and he named him Jesus.

Today's Devotional

Questions after reading Matthew 1:18-25:\
  • What does Joseph’s attempt to quietly dismiss Mary reveal about Joseph? [Though he was righteous (v. 19), he did not do the lawful or “righteous” action, which would have been to publicly shame her, so that Mary and her family would receive the shame instead of Joseph and his family. It probably also revealed Joseph’s inability to trust what Mary told him.]
  • What does Joseph’s response to the angel’s message reveal about Joseph? [He trusted God (through God’s messenger of the angel) and was willing to take on shame (marrying a woman carrying another man’s baby). He was willing to be obedient, even at the cost of his reputation.]
  • What might Joseph’s actions reveal about the role of trust in the journey of discipleship? [Discipleship is rooted not in certainty, but in a trust-filled relationship with God. There will be times of uncertainty, impracticality, and even the seemingly foolish action.]
-- Discipleship Ministries


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