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Sunday Bible Study: Matthew 1:18-25

We ended our journey through Advent by reflecting on the faithful life and actions of Joseph; a man filled with trust in God as the angel of the LORD tells him to take Mary as his wife and fulfill God's plan for the Holy Family. Joseph's dream not only tells him to trust God and take Mary as his wife, but to raise the child of God, naming him Jesus (God is salvation). Our discussion was centered on the righteousness of God, and trusting Jesus to be someone who saves us, and if we follow Him, Jesus will lead us to a holy life.

We read our Scripture passage (Matthew 1:18-25) and discussed Joseph's difficult decision (prior to the visit of the angel of the LORD), struggling to determine what to do in his difficult circumstance - loving Mary, and yet following Jewish law. Joseph had already determined to "dismiss her quietly" which is not in accordance with the law, and a very compassionate decision, given Joseph's options of his time. Joseph's trusting willingness to follow the commands of the angel of the LORD shows his trust in God. Many biblical scholars have noted that Joseph's compassion and willingness to love others, to his own detriment, is a courageous and loving model that Jesus will follow during his years of public ministry.

For continuing study on your own, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below): Give some thought to Joseph's feelings as he reflected about his situation with his pregnant, betrothed wife, Mary; How was Jesus' mission and ministry captured by his names in this passage - Jesus (God is salvation) and Immanuel (God with us); How might we be open to what God is asking from us, serving in our community, church, or world?

Below you will find the study guide for your own review and reflection:

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