God chose Joseph too

December 17, 2011 — Leave a comment

This is Part 5 of the Saturday Sermons series.

Main Point: Joseph taught Jesus how to be a man. He is never in the highlights, but plays an integral role in God’s eternal plan. In this message I place the spotlight on the hidden ministries of the church. Those that aren’t center stage, but make it possible for us to even have a stage. Their sacrifice sets up somebody else’s success. I as usual don’t add in any application, as my context is different from yours, I’m sure.

God chose Joseph too.

Text: Matthew 1:18-24

Scripture Setting:

A. Mary Betrothed to Joseph.

  1. Luke 1:27 – before Mary is mentioned, the Bible points out that she was espoused to Joseph.
  2. Mary was chosen because she was a virgin, chaste, etc. But there were others that were also. Luke 1:28 – blessed art thou among women.
  3. Among women. There were others that God could have chosen. Aren’t you thankful that out of all the masses God had overshadowed you with the Holy Ghost?
  4. Mary was chosen not just because of her but the man she was espoused to turned the favor in her direction.

B. The man God chose.

  1. You don’t see him as the focus of plays, songs, or sermons. He is hidden amongst the sparkle of Christmas.
  2. He found out after Mary had already started to show. But before the angel explains the circumstances, you don’t see Joseph try to publicize the supposed sin. Rather he wanted to keep it quiet. This wasn’t for his sake, but for hers.
  3. While Mary had a choice, God doesn’t consult with Joseph about the boy being born: He just commands Joseph’s obedience.
  4. He surely doesn’t totally understand but is obedient to the Angel.
  5. He is not afraid to be a part of something bigger than himself.
  6. Joseph isn’t given accolades like Mary received. Not pats on the back for Joseph.
  7. He is willing to be a sideline player for the next 33 years.
  8. Joseph will never get the attention of Mary or even the Wisemen.
  9. Joseph, if he had aspirations for a superstar, would have never accepted this role.
  10. Challenged to raise something he didn’t produce.
  11. He put his reputation and self-glory on the line for the eternal purpose of God.
  12. The scripture says he knew her not. He put his natural desire on hold for the kingdoms sake.
  13. Joseph didn’t even have a chance to name the baby. Joseph was the one that called Him Jesus.
  14. Some of the meekness in Jesus had to have been imparted by Joseph.

C. Joseph’s Legacy.

  1. He raises James the half brother of Jesus, who Galatians 1:19 tells us Paul was close to.
  2. He also raised Jude, who wrote the book that bears his name.
  3. Joseph was faithful to religious customs – Luke 2:39-42
  4. The older Jesus gets, the more Joseph fades into the background.
  5. Beyond 12 years old, we don’t even hear about Joseph.
  6. We don’t know when or where he died.
  7. It’s the seeming insignificant ones that God chooses to raise His Kingdom and build His church.
  8. Mary births Him, but if Joseph isn’t around: Herod would have killed Him 2 years later.

Scripture Support:

A. Bezaleel ‘In the shadows of God’

  1. This man is mentioned in Exodus 31. His name means ‘in the shadows of God’
  2. Moses is mentioned 846x in the bible. Aaron is mentioned 318x. Bezaleel is mentioned 8x.
  3. In the shadows, not in the limelight.
  4. But just like Joseph: God is going to build His church or tabernacle through people like this. He is pleased to employ the hidden ones.
  5. This chapter records the first time that God is said to have filled somebody with His Spirit (Exodus 31:3). The purpose? To build the Church.
  6. He never preached or was the focused on but the church was built by this amazing man. He is not afraid to be in the shadows.
  7. Moreover, he taught others and imparted his knowledge to others (Exodus 31:6). That’s how the church was built.
  8. 2 Chronicles 1:5 – the brazen altar that Bezaleel had made.
  9. He was last remembered for his altar, sacrifice, and worship. His work lasted.

B. Pins

  1. A portable tabernacle was built with no foundation. Yet it endured the howling winds of the wilderness. What kept this church up?
  2. The tabernacle framework consisted of 48 boards overlaid with gold. These boards stood in 96 sockets of silver and were braced by 5 bars on each of its 3 closed sides.
  3. Outer court had 60 pillars of brass sockets holding up a 5 cubit high white linen fence.
  4. Covering for the Holy Place was fine linen, goat hair, ram skins dyed red, and badger skins.
  5. What held this entire elaborate framework up were pins with ropes attached to them. These pins were pounded into the ground.
  6. These pins were covered, and hidden under the surface. These hidden ministers were hidden but holding.
  7. Made of brass they were resistant to rust and corruption.
  8. They could be positioned and hold their place.
  9. Isaiah 54:2 – Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.
  10. The hidden, not so notorious ministries must be strengthened to have enlargement and growth.
 

C. John 12:24

  1. John 12:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
  2. You’re not buried – you’re planted.
  3. The break through that brings new life takes place under the surface.
  4. The hidden ministries in the church produce the break through in revival.

D. Psalms 83:3

  1. Psalms 83:3 – they have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
  2. Enemies of Israel aim their attack at the hidden ones.
  3. They know that’s what holds the church together.

E. Abraham’s unnamed servant: Genesis 24

  1. We never know the name of the servant that was sent in Genesis 24 to find a bride for Isaac.
  2. II Corinthians 6:9 – Unknown, yet well known.
  3. It’s all about His purpose – not my position.
  4. I’m known in heaven. Doesn’t really matter if I’m known down here.
  5. John 2:9 – When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was (but the servants which drew the water knew)
  6. All most people see is the final product, the joy, celebration, and the best wine: set up stage, great sound, stocked welcome table, etc.
  7. The servants knew what it took to make it.
  8. The servants were no namers. We don’t know their names, but we do preach about their legacy.
  9. Abraham’s servant can be trusted to not take this woman for himself. His motives are right. This isn’t about me, it’s about preparing somebody else’s bride (obviously this can be preached as Jesus and His bride).
  10. He brings the bride and Isaac together and totally disappears.
  11. When Jesus rides into Jerusalem, you don’t notice the colt carrying Him – it’s all about Jesus. That’s our purpose on earth. To make Jesus famous: we bring Him to our city and let Him get the glory.

Conclusion

  1. Joseph was a carpenter. He builds things for others. Things he will never get the chance to use himself.
  2. Joseph’s in the church – keep on building.
  3. We don’t have a church without you.
  4. Take another look at your ministry today. It’s invaluable.
  5. Those that pray and nobody hears about it. Your prayers keep the church moving.