Lesson 1

Did you pray the “Save Me, Jesus, Prayer” yesterday? I hope you responded liked the shepherds did to the angel’s message.

Luke 2:17, “They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger. Seeing was believing.” The Message

Your life is forever changed! You’ll see. Faith is believing before you see it. Seeing makes your faith grow but you have to believe first and then do something.

Now what? Follow Jesus. He shows us how to live.

Luke 2:46, “The next day they found Him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions.” The Message

Find a Bible-believing church. Be found there every time the doors are open. Listen and ask questions.

What about the rest of the time? Live obediently with your parents and those in authority. If you’re married do everything in your power to live peacefully with your spouse.

Luke 2:51, “So He went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. …” The Message

“But you don’t know my family!” 

Well, let’s look at Jesus’ family:

  1. Matthew 1:3, “Judah had Perez and Zerah (the mother was Tamar), …” Tamar was his daughter-in-law, see Genesis 38:1-30.
  2. Matthew 1:5, “Salmon had Boaz (his mother was Rahab), …” Rahab was the prostitute who hid the spies in Jericho, see Joshua 2:1-21; 6:17, 22-25.
  3. Matthew 1:5, “…Boaz had Obed (Ruth was the mother) …” We read about Ruth 2 days ago. She was a foreigner of another race, see Ruth 1-4.
  4. Matthew 1:6, “…David had Solomon (Uriah’s wife was the mother).” David had an affair with Bathsheba and arranged for Uriah’s death in battle. Their first child died, see 2 Samuel 11:1-12:24.
  5. Matthew 1:7, “Solomon had Rehoboam,…” Rehoboam lost 11 of the 12 tribes of Israel in the first year that he was king, see 1 Kings 11:1-20.
  6. Matthew 1:8, “Asa had Jehoshaphat,…” Jehoshaphat won a battle without fighting, see 2 Chronicles 20:1-29.
  7. Matthew 1:9, “…Ahaz had Hezekiah.” Hezekiah also won a battle without fighting, see 2 Chronicles 32:1-22. He got sick and was dying. He asked God to extend his life. Then he asked God to make the sun go backward to prove He would! He lived another 15 years, see 2 Kings 20:1-11.
  8. Matthew 1:10, “Hezekiah had Manasseh, …” Manasseh was evil, vile, and murderous, see 2 Kings 21:1-18.
  9. Matthew 1:10, “…Amon had Josiah.” Josiah found the Book of the Law. He commanded it taught to everyone. He cleaned out the Temple and restored it, see 2 Kings 22:1-23:28.
  10. Matthew 1:11, “Josiah had Jehoiachin and his brothers…” His sons did not serve God. Everything went from bad to worse until the Babylonians destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem. The people were either killed or taken into exile, see 2 Kings 23:31-25:21.

In every family, there are relatives who make you proud. In every family, there are relatives whose decisions cause shame. Joseph is our example of responding to our family.

Matthew 1:19, “Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“The commitment of a betrothal was so legally binding that a divorce was required to break it off (1:19). Joseph had little choice. If a man’s betrothed wife became pregnant, people would assume that she had regarded him as an inadequate man and this would publicly humiliate him. Worse yet, should he not divorce her most people would assume that he was the one who had gotten her pregnant, and he would bear great shame in a culture that was obsessed with shame and honor.

Jewish law required a man to divorce a wife who had been unfaithful. Joseph could have divorced Mary publicly in a court. The court would not only establish his innocence, but also profit him financially: he would get to keep all of Mary’s dowry (the money her father gave her for her marriage). By planning to divorce her privately (writing out a certificate of divorce for her in front of two witnesses), Joseph elected to forfeit profit rather than shame her any further.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

We can pour on more shame or act with honor – knowing it will cost us. We don’t act alone. We ask Jesus to love through us. He can when we can’t. We won’t feel like it. It will be hard – possible excruciating. But only Jesus can heal a family.

As for the shame? Jesus carried all shame to the cross. He took it with him to Hell and left it there.

Hebrews 12:2, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” New Living Translation

We do not have to live with shame.

Psalms 25:2, “O, my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me.” New American Standard Bible

Will you be getting together with family this week?

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

#bible