Advent and the People of GodDecember 13th, 2011 by Oleg Kostyuk
Matthew writes about the nativity story from Joseph’s perspective. Did you notice it? In the Gospel we do not read about the Angel appearing to Mary. That story is found in Luke. Matthew writes about the nativity story through Joseph’s eyes.
It is important to note that he writes about how God speaks to Joseph through angels four times in just one, well, almost one chapter.
Firstly, He speaks to Joseph in a dream and tells him to take Mary as his wife. (Matthew 1:20)
Secondly, Matthew 2:13 tells us that “an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying “Arise, take the young child and His mother flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
Thirdly, when Herod died in v. 19 we read that “an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream in Egypt, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.”
Fourthly and lastly, in v 22 we read that being “warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.
Just imagine the feelings Joseph had when he heard that His fiancé was found pregnant. Being a just man he wanted to put her away secretly. But then, the angel of the Lord appeared to Him in a dream and He listened to God.
Ok… He did it once. And it was inconvenient for him.
But God did not stop on that, He sent his angel again and the message was, Go to Egypt… But Lord, can’t we just stay here? No, if you listen to God’s voice, follow His commands, no matter what your desires are. The task is very important, to guard Messiah’s life.
Then another dream! Go back from Egypt. Is it a joke? Why is He sending us back and forth? Ok, let’s go and settle somewhere close to Jerusalem… Oh no, you need to go to Galilee …
It is fascinating to see the obedience of regular people. But it is even more amazing to know that God has entrusted people with such a great task! Joseph was entrusted to be a guardian of the Messiah – God incarnate. We are entrusted with a special task today, to guard and share Jesus’ Name.
Matthew starts his Gospel demonstrating that regular people along with God are involved in the work of the Kingdom of Heaven.