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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Today we are continuing our new series titled “The Church and the Modern Family”

Today is part 3 The Forgotten Father.

Text

Matthew 1:24 (ESV)

24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,

Scripture Reading

Matthew 1:19-25 (ESV)

19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 

20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “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. 

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 

24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 

25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Prayer

Father, we thank you that we may be called your children, heirs of God and joint heirs of Jesus Christ.

We thank you for our fathers who have given good gifts to us, even as we know they aren’t perfect.

Even more we are thankful that our heavenly Father who gives the Holy Spirit to His children.

Accept all we have to offer today as a token of our love for you.

And grant, Father, that your Spirit may fully bless and guide our lives.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

When Christmas rolls around, the spotlight settles on Jesus, His mother, Mary, the shepherds, the angels, and the Magi.

Have you ever heard a sermon about Joseph, Mary’s husband, who functioned as Jesus’ human father?

I haven’t, until now.

The Roman Catholic Church has canonised Joseph, calling him Saint Joseph.

But us protestants have virtually ignored him.

He must have been a remarkable man of God to be chosen from all the men on the earth to serve as Jesus’ earthly father.

Let’s give him some honour today by learning about him, and even learning from him as I believe one of the biggest issues facing both the church and the world are fatherless children.

Matthew recorded the most information about Joseph.

He was a descendant of David, so royal blood ran through his veins.

He maintained a dignity and kindness that reflected his family heritage.

He witnessed Jesus’ birth, saw the shepherd’s adoration, and led Mary and the Baby to Egypt to escape Herod’s slaughter of infants.

Joseph took Jesus to the temple at least twice, once in His infancy and again when He was twelve years old.

Jesus called Joseph “father” and was subject to his authority.

Joseph feared God and worked hard to support his family in a rustic town that was disliked for its obscurity and provincialism.

Joseph disappeared from the historical accounts of the Gospels.

It is likely that he died when Jesus was a young man, and Jesus as the eldest son, assumed the responsibility of Joseph’s carpentry shop and the support of His family.

He didn’t stop working as the village carpenter until His younger brothers were old enough to take over.

Then He entered His public ministry.

Think about that for a second if you believe God will heal everyone with a sickness, Jesus didn’t heal or raise from the dead His earthly father.

Although little is written about Joseph, we find plenty of facts to know he was a great man.

  1. Joseph was a just man.

Matthew 1:19 (ESV)

19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

The Bible tells us with frankness of Jesus conception by the Holy Spirit.

  1. Joseph was sensitive to society’s moral standards.

He could not ignore what people would think and say.

All his life he had been abiding by this high standard.

Apparently Joseph had no dynamic, overwhelming personality.

He was a good man with ordinary abilities, but he put those abilities in God’s hands, and God used him.

God wants to use you in the same way.

B. Joseph was sensitive to his own reputation.

When people say, “I don’t care what people think as long as I think i’m right”, they are only trying to fool themselves.

Being right is most important, but what others think of you is also important.

You truly may be right, but if people think you are wrong, you may have lost your opportunity to help them.

A godly person’s reputation is very important.

C. Joseph was sensitive to Mary’s plight.

Matthew 1:20 (ESV)

20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “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.

He delayed any rash judgements and did not want to believe the worst.

He kindly considered Mary’s dilemma and was unwilling to put her to shame, so to protect her from the cruel gaze of their hostile neighbours.

His emotional balance in this crisis is amazing. 

2. Joseph was sensitive to a heavenly vision.

Like Paul, Joseph was not disobedient to his vision from heaven.

A supernatural birth required supernatural proof.

After his dream, he had no further doubts and without question accepted Mary as his wife.

They had perfect faith in each other.

3. Joseph was a faithful father.

He provided Jesus with a human example for His teachings about God as our heavenly Father.

If we have had a bad earthly father, we cannot think of God in the same way, because that would be uncomplimentary to God.

Jesus seemed to warmly remember Joseph’s generosity to his children.

Matthew 7:11 (ESV)

11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Conclusion.

Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son is revealing.

Luke 15:11-32 (ESV)

11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 

12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 

13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 

14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 

15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 

16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 

18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 

19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 

20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 

21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 

22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 

23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 

26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 

27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 

28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 

29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 

30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 

31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 

32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

This story could also be called the parable of the loving father.

The best part of the story is the boys return from a far away country.

We know that the father never ceased watching for him. 

Verse 20 says But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

The father ran, this shows his eagerness for reconciliation.

He joyfully welcomed his son back home with a robe, ring, shoes, and a feast. 

He was truly lost but now found.

Jesus said that God is like that.

Though you may have wandered away from Him, He is a loving Father who longs for your return.

He will forgive you and restore your places His son or daughter if you will turn from your old life and look to Him. 

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

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