Minister Joseph Lewis preached part 3 of our Road to Redemption Series. The title of his message was, “The Unusual Road to Redemption.” The text and sermon notes are below.
Text: Matthew 1:18-25 NLT
18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement[h] quietly.
21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus,[i] for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: 23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel,[j] which means ‘God is with us.’” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.
An Unusual Road to Redemption
not habitually or commonly occurring or done.
remarkable or interesting because different from or better than others.
Unusual Courage - Fear Not
● Joseph is engaged to Mary which in this day was a strong commitment before the consummation of their marriage.
● It was and still is highly unusual to become pregnant before this happens even more unusual and offending to bear someone else's child while engaged.
● Joseph first course of action was to do the common or usual thing which was to divorce her but because he loved her and knew what the common penalty for this action was he elected to do so quietly.
● While contemplating this an angel appears to Joseph in a dream. The first thing he says is “Joseph, Son of David’”..
● Before you can receive impartation, revelation, or instructions sometimes God has to remind you who you are.
● A few weeks ago Pastor Ty shed light on a genealogy that is often overlooked in Matthew. This segment known as the House of David is critical to today's understanding of what was to come next
● Do not be afraid...now with the embracing of who he is and who’s he is, listening to his next critical assignment which is to take Mary as his wife without fear. Fearing what?
Social status, ridicule, rejection, judgment, loss of livelihood, family acceptance, their lives
● This dream is an unusual sign that precedes an unusual path to redemption. Anika spoke last Sunday about having a willingness to receive the new. However, it also requires patience and discipline to not only accept the new but to operate in the new.
Unusual Sign - Gods reveals his plans in unusual ways
● Road trip signs reassure us of our end destination, it confirms where we are and where we are going. In the case of Joseph, it confirmed the situation he was in and what God was about to do through Mary and ultimately through Jesus.
● Signs help us to keep things in perspective and they bolster our faith.
● ( Verse 23 parallel to Isaiah 7 ) King Ahaz faced a great threat and receives an unusual sign but lacked the faith to receive the sign that God gave.
○ “This invasion will never happen;
it will never take place;
8 for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus,
and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin.
As for Israel, within sixty-five years
it will be crushed and completely destroyed.
9 Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria,
and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah.
Unless your faith is firm,
I cannot make you stand firm.”
○ Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz: 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.[e]”
12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the Lord like that.”
13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? 14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin[f] will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
● He most likely rejected this sign because it was not a usual sign of victory. His perspective did not allow him to understand what was happening. He instead makes a deal with the Assyrian government for protection. Little did he know that the usual course of action led to his demise and the capture of his kingdom.
● Instead, God who is all knowing, directs the sign to not only King Ahaz and Judah, but to the entire the House of David.
● God can still bless you in spite of your past decisions, disobedience, stubbornness, and pride. He will fulfill his promise (Davidic Covenant) through your children or descendants and cause your name to be counted among great men..even Jesus
● If you receive a sign from God ask him what it means or let God reveal to you who you can trust with your sign….don't just resort to human knowledge or proven methods.
Unusual Relationship - God With Us
● It was not uncommon to have other gods during the times of the prophets. In fact, it was widely accepted to build multiple altars to multiple gods “as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to the shameful thing” (Jeremiah 11:13)
● What was uncommon was to have a God (Yahweh) who wanted to commune with us, to walk with us, talk with us, tell us that we are his own. To protect us, heal us provide for us. The interaction between Moses and Yahweh was the template to what God wanted to fully accomplish through Jesus
● Jesus number one priority which is stated in verse 21 is that he came to save us from our sin. This fact is further validated in the first of Jesus’s last words “Father forgive them….”
● This name that Joseph was to name this unborn child conceived by the Holy Spirit was to be called Jesus but Isaiah mentions that they will call him Emmanuel which means “ “God with us”
● So now not only do we have a God who wants to commune with us in spirit but now also in the flesh. This personal relationship which is a combination of a spiritual indwelling and physical embodiment is the totality of the phrase “God with us”
● This unconventional path to redemption was and still is the will of God to accomplish in our lives
● God wants to do something Unusual in your life. It will take Unusual courage, an awareness of unusual signs, and an unusual relationship that brings you into God's perfect will of redemption.
What are some unusual signs that the Lord has given you on your road to redemption? Have you demonstrated unusual courage and followed those signs or have you operated in fear?