Genealogies are not the most stimulating reading, and yet they place events in historical context. As a Jew, Matthew begins with Abraham, the grand patriarch of the Jewish people. From Abraham, he lines out the ancestral tree of the Messiah, Jesus.
God is doing something. And whenever God enters history, He will ask people to step up and do things that require faith and trust in Him.
First up in Matthew’s Gospel is Joseph, an observant Jew who finds himself betrothed to a woman who becomes pregnant before the wedding and he is not the father. Jewish faithfulness calls him to end the relationship. As a man of grace and kindness he resolved to end things quietly. He was not going to make a big scene out of this which would have completely disgraced Mary, his betrothed.
Joseph’s kindness and grace gives God room to work.
The line I just typed hit me. When we humans display God-honoring character traits, we give God room to work in our lives.
Grace is certainly a godly character trait, as is kindness. And they provide just enough room in this complicated human situation for God to intervene.
I thought, had Joseph been harsh with Mary or been very public and self-righteousness, it would have been almost impossible for God to intervene and he would never have been written into the Messiah’s story.
Sometimes I think that living with godly character and the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is merely an act of obedience. But I realized today that they are also door openers to bearing fruit and being used by God to advance His cause in the world.
Wow, this is a new way to think about things for me… a surprise by God in the midst of reading and listening to His Word.
What a glorious way to begin the day…
Lord, thank You for this touch point this morning. Help me to see you at work in my life today. Help me to display Your character and to see open doors to Your work in my corner of the world. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.