Joseph is a central figure in the Christmas story, but who was he really? What made him a good candidate to be the father of Jesus. The first time we see him in Matthew 1, he sets himself apart and shows us what it means to be a child of God.
Focus passage: Matthew 1:18-25
The strength of what we believe is measured by how much we are willing to suffer for those beliefs. Joseph was a man with strong beliefs. He was prepared to do what was right, despite the pain he knew it would cause. But Joseph had another trait—he not only tried to do what was right, he also tried to do it in the right way.Joseph knew Jesus was someone special from the moment he heard the angel's words. His strong belief in that fact, and his willingness to follow God's leading empowered him to be Jesus' chosen earthly father.
1. How do people typically react when facing embarrassing situations?
2. What happened to Mary while she and Joseph were engaged? (1:18) What do you think Joseph initially thought upon hearing this news about his bride-to-be? (1:18-19)
3. What positive character qualities did Joseph possess? (1:19) How does Joseph show those qualities in the way he plans to handle this delicate situation? (1:19)
4. How did Joseph respond to the angelic message? (1:24)
5. What would have been your reaction had you been in Joseph's situation? How do you imagine the "grapevine" treated the Mary-Joseph situation?
6. How does our desire for approval or acceptance keep us from doing the right thing?
7. Why do you think Joseph remained faithful even though it was such a tough thing to do?
8. What difficult, hard-to-swallow command of God do you need to obey today?