Teaching Pastor Bobby McGraw // @bobbymcgraw //

Christmas can be full of fear….a lot of fear. We generally sing songs like “Silent Night” but the night of Jesus’ birth was most likely nowhere near silent. Can you imagine the turmoil of a young family in panic with no place to give birth? Can you imagine to roller coaster of emotions for a husband who is about to be the earthly father of a baby that isn’t really his?

This story is a powerful moment when God breaks into human history, bringing his will into the world through people – a man and his very young wife. Their lives were turned upside down.

Anytime God begins to move and bring his will into our lives, it is natural for fear to begin to rise. This season God is going to move in your family, in your marriage and our church and there is going to be fear because what God wants to do is not natural. In fact, its supernatural!

The truth is you will only come as close to God as your fear will let you.

This morning, let’s look at this fear so that we can understand it and work our way through it.

The Fear of Christmas Is….

  1. Understandable vv. 18-25

Matthew 1:18-25

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appears to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

She will bear a son, and you shall all his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

And they shall call his name Immanuel”

(Which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from asleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”

An espoused couple was legally considered husband and wife, although the relationship would not be consummated until the marriage festival.

We often prefer our comfortable routines over something new. For Joseph, this new information certainly altered his routine.

  1. It required the thing that he loved. V.19
  2. It rearranged his plans. V. 18
  3. It caused him to reexamine what he had been taught. V. 19-20

*God will usually require us to give up something that we treasure. 

*Often the things that capture our hearts are the same things that break our hearts.

2. Undesirable

The fear Joseph felt was a really big deal. It is such a big deal that the angel has to address it. Fear, left unchecked, causes us to distort the situation.

He could have charged her with immorality.

He could have embarrassed her.

He could have let her be stoned.

Imagine what must have been going through his mind — she had been unfaithful and he was wounded!

Fear is false expectations appearing to be real. 

For Joseph, it looked like she was pregnant with another man’s child, while in reality God was doing a unique work in and through her.

Things are not always as they appear!

3. Unnecessary

Instead of responding with drama, Joseph responds with character.

Joseph married Mary, but he refrained from having sexual relations with her until after Jesus was born.

When it comes to fear, 90% of what we fear will never come true. The other 10% we cannot control.

  1. Joseph was sensitive to the workings of God. (20-22) The angel made sense of the situation for Joseph. God initiated the situation.
  2. Joseph was serious about the word of God. (22-23) Joseph knew that how God works and his will and his word never contradict.
  3. Joseph was selfless about the ways of God. (24) Joseph put his fear aside and committed himself to what God was up to.

Jesus is His human name. It means Savior and comes from the Hebrew name Joshua – Jehovah is salvation. Jesus begins his work on earth by saving us from our pride, our lust, our oppression of others and our lack of love.

Christ is His official name. It means Anointed. It is the Greek equivalent of Messiah.

Emmanuel is His descriptive name. It means “God with us.” He’s the with-us God. Jesus is God!

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” – C. JoyBell C.