Sunday, December 24, 2017

Jesus Was Adopted

Jesus Was Adopted
December 25, 2017
Matthew 1:21 "She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus . . ."

When the virgin Mary was found to be with child, Joseph decided he would respectfully and quietly divorce her. He had the option of publicly divorcing her, but that would have subjected Mary to a potential stoning, especially if the court of public opinion thought she had committed adultery on Joseph's testimony. But an angel of the Lord told him to reconsider, to take Mary as his wife because the child was born of the Holy Spirit, the Heavenly Father's child.  The angel gave Joseph a further instruction, Joseph was to name the child. Names were extremely important back then, and while the focus of the angel's message was the meaning of the name Jesus, there was something else the angel was telling Joseph. The angel was telling Joseph, himself, to name the child.

Naming a child was a father's right, and when he did, it was an informal method of declaring the child as his appointed earthly heir. They did not fully use last names back then, so Joseph named  him Jesus son of Joseph. The angel told Joseph the child wasn't his but instructed him to name the child anyway, to claim him as his own on the earth. The angle never told Joseph it was his son, but that he was to take the child and name him after himself, adopting him as his son.  Evidence of this is found later in Scripture when non-believers referred to Jesus as the son of Joseph the carpenter. Joseph did what the angel instructed, giving the "first born" child of his household his name and the rights to the family's namesake and any and all wealth that might transfer with it should Joseph die. The angel instructed Joseph to adopt Jesus as his son even though he wasn't the father. Jesus was adopted, adopted into Joseph's family, with all the rights therein. The angel declared that the child was the Lord's, it was in Mary as a result of non-human blood. When you look at the genealogical records, however, Jesus is listed as Joseph's son. Jesus had no actual blood line from Joseph, or the tribe of Judah, but was listed in records with the full rights of blood.

The importance is not relevant to the story of salvation so much as it pertains to getting into Heaven, but Jesus' adoption in Joseph's family was and is significant to our lives while on earth. Joseph, adopted a son, a child, and became a father. It was and is the first representation we have of the Heavenly Father adopting us as His children, with all the rights therein as a full heir. It demonstrates to us how a true father can be, despite the earthly example you have today. I challenge you to look through Scripture and find another example of someone adopting a son. It happened back then but rare; it was not a story line the Lord wished to bring about until the perfect adoption of Jesus. It was foreshadowed and illustrated through the prophets Isaiah and Hosea, but not concrete until Jesus. Moses was adopted but was never listed as being in Pharaoh's household.

As you celebrate Christmas this year, celebrate the miracle of our Savior's birth, but also celebrate the miracle of adoption. If Jesus had not been adopted by Joseph, you and I would not be able to be adopted by the Heavenly Father. Merry Christmas and merry adoption story. 

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Hosea 1-2, Matthew 1, Romans 8:15 & 23, Romans 9:24 

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