Joseph’s Lifeline to Jesus

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Gathering

What stories have you heard about your birth? Who told you about it?

 

Backstory

Luke and Matthew differ in their accounts of Jesus’ birth. Luke’s Gospel connects Jesus with his mother Mary; Matthew links Jesus to Joseph, as another “son of David.” To understand how Jesus came from this “union,” legally, it helps to know that first-century Jewish marriages took place in three stages: (1) engagement, often arranged by marriage brokers when the couple are still children; (2) betrothal, a one-year period when “husband” and “wife” are virtually “married,” but with no sexual relations, so any break-up was a “divorce”; (3) the marriage itself, consummated by the husband taking his wife from her father’s home (during betrothal) to his own home (post-wedding).

 

God’s Story

Read Matthew 1:18-25.

 

Finding My Story in God’s Story

As a reporter for the Nazareth News, what title would you give this story for your Gossip Column?

 

As Joseph’s best friend, what counsel would you have given him if the angel hadn’t shown up?

  1. Once she’s stoned, you can get a real wife.
  2. Hang in there man; you know she wouldn’t betray you.
  3. Why don’t you listen to her?
  4. I have no idea what I’d say.
  5. Other ___________ 

 

As you consider the scandalous part of the story of baby Jesus born out of wedlock, what questions come to mind?

 

Luke tells us that Mary had an “angel explanation” for what was happening to her. Not so for Joseph. If you had been Joseph, what would have been your first response to the news of Mary’s pregnancy?

  1. How could she destroy our family like this?
  2. I just knew there was something going on—on the side.
  3. There has to be more to this story.
  4. She’s never seen me really angry yet!
  5. Other __________________ 

 

What do you learn about Joseph in this story? How would you like to emulate him?

 

Knowing that Jesus’ birth was a divine event, thus he had a whole divine side, how does that affect your desire to follow him?

  1. I’m not sure it makes a difference.
  2. I could never live up to a standard set by a divine person.
  3. I guess I could count on his help when I need it.
  4. Other _________________ 

 

When, if ever, did Jesus become more than just a word to you?

  1. I think, once when I was a kid.
  2. He never has been more than a word to me.
  3. Daily, as I try to follow his way.
  4. I struggle with him, but I’m trying.
  5. Other __________________ 

 

Our Story

What big “take-away” from this story challenges you to take a NEXT STEP toward following Jesus where you live, work, or play—this week? How will you apply (live out) the NEXT STEP?

 

How do you need this group to help you take that NEXT STEP?

  1. Call or text me.
  2. Drop by my house.
  3. Pray for me.
  4. Other _________________ 

 

Who outside this group needs you to serve them this week, before the group meets again? What will you do with or for this person? 

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