The Lord's Guidance and Divine Fulfillment
Matthew 2:19-23: "But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, '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 Archelaus was reigning over Judea in 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."
Joseph was entrusted with an amazing responsibility to be the earthly father to Jesus and husband to Mary. To prepare Joseph for this divine responsibility, he was visited by an angel in a dream, told to take Mary as his wife, and that her Son would be the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy of the virgin conceiving and bearing a Son (Isaiah 9:7). Not only did Joseph receive divine guidance through a dream that night, but then he received another when they were to flee to Egypt. In our passage today, the angel directed Joseph to leave Egypt and to settle in Nazareth. This also was a divine fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.
With each direction provided, Joseph listened and obeyed. Through his obedience, the Lord fulfilled the prophetic words of the Messiah to come to his people. Like Mary, Joseph is to be commended, admired, and emulated for his faithfulness to the Lord.
Many of us think that Joseph was radically different than us and that God related to him in ways that we could never expect in our simple lives. We must remember that Joseph and Mary were simple people, poor people, uneducated people, the last among those whom the religious leaders of their day would choose to bear and raise the promised Messiah. They were also chosen people just like you and me.
God has chosen us to be his dwelling place. He doesn't just dwell with us, but he dwells within us through his Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, the Lord would guide us just as he did Joseph and Mary that we, too, may fulfill his high and holy calling on our lives.Reflection:
Do you recognize the call that God has upon your life, and do you realize that God's Spirit is within you to empower you to walk out that calling?