Sunday Reflection: We begin with the genesis of Jesus in this gospel. We read this scene as an Advent text, but Matthew tells us here that it is Jesus’ birth narrative. It ends up working, because Matthew isn’t focused on the birth itself, but rather the identity of the one being born. Matthew’s focus is Christological.
Another unique feature of Matthew’s text is his focus on the role of Joseph. In Luke’s gospel, the focus is on Mary as the active parent and the one in dialogue with the angel of the Lord; in Matthew, we get a glimpse of Joseph’s side of the story. Matthew emphasizes the faithfulness of Joseph in the role of Jesus’ birth and presents him as a righteous man.
Matthew tells of Joseph’s journey as he finds out Mary is pregnant and tries to dismiss her quietly. Matthew records the angel of the Lord visiting Joseph to reveal the divine predicament in which they found themselves. Matthew’s gospel gives us a rare glimpse into the life and faithfulness of Joseph as he, in faith, takes Mary as his wife and serves Jesus as his earthly father and even accepts responsibility for naming him according to God’s command. We don’t see or know much of this man from the gospels. This week, it is worth slowing down and really paying attention to how Matthew portrays Joseph and what we can learn from him about faithfulness and obedience. What do you think it was like for Joseph raising Jesus, knowing that he was not his biological child?
Why do you think Joseph is overlooked in scripture? From what we read in Matthew, what can we learn from him? Amanda Payne, Sermon That Works
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