Protected by Parents

Protected by Parents

Perry Duggar |

God chose Mary and Joseph to parent His Son.

Jesus at the Center of Christmas
Protected by Parents • Message 2
Perry Duggar
December 10, 2023

Introduction: Continuing series, Jesus at the Center of Christmas.

A. Today’s message is entitled Protected by Parents and will focus on Mary and Joseph.

  1. Theme verse: Ephesians 6:4 (CEV)Parents, don’t be hard on your children. Raise them properly. Teach them and instruct them about the Lord.
  2. Jesus was fully human, like every other child, but He was also unique, singular among all human babies because He was God, conceived in an unusual way.
  3. His parents were informed of His identity and future role as Savior, Messiah, King, but He would still have to be taught, trained, raised as a typical child, but what a challenge!
  4. APP.: Do you think this young couple knew how to raise this special child? Would you?
  5. I think they were confused, overwhelmed at times, which is evident in these passages:
  • Luke 2:19 (NLT)but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. [after hearing shepherd’s story]
  • Luke 2:33 (NLT)Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about Him. [by Simeon]
  • Luke 2:48 (NLT)His parents didn’t know what to think. … [at Temple at 12 talking to teachers]
  • Luke 2:50 (NLT)But they didn’t understand what He meant. [being at His Father’s house]
  1. They must have wondered, “Who is this child? What will He do? What do I do?”

B. Responsibilities of parenting: [Lessons from Mary and Joseph; story?]

A parent’s most important motivation should be to…

Place God’s will first. (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35,38)

  1. Luke 1:26–28 (NLT)—26…God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings [or Rejoice], favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
  2. Mary, a young Hebrew woman (14-17), believed in God and lived obediently to His law, but she was surprised and frightened by the angel’s appearance and his words!
  3. Luke 1:29–35 (NLT)29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. [Favored? She wasn’t educated or affluent, not prominent or important.] 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor [been graced] with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus. [Greek equivalent of Hebrew Joshua] 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. 33 And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!” 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” [Honest question that may have been stated a bit defensively since her culture frowned on immorality.] 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God.” [This answer was not very comforting. What does this mean?]
  1. This information would be very intimidating to a teenager! What a weighty responsibility!
  2. She would have been immediately aware of what people would think about her, yet…
  3. Luke 1:38 (NLT)Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
  4. Mary saw herself as God’s servant, so she willingly submitted to His plan for her life.
  5. She would have instantly grasped that Joseph, her betrothed, would know the child wasn’t his, there had been no premarital intimacy between them, but she didn’t ask about him.
  6. She would face the shame and mistreatment of being unmarried and pregnant; stoning for infidelity was possible but unlikely at the time this occurred. (Deuteronomy 22:13-21; Leviticus 20:10)
  7. Joseph (18-21 years old) would be shocked, disappointed, perhaps outraged when he learned of Mary’s pregnancy; here’s how he reacted:
  8. Matthew 1:19 (NLT)Joseph, her fiancé [betrothed], was a good [Greek righteous] man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
  9. Joseph would assume his betrothed wife had been unfaithful; being a righteous (law-keeping, holy) man, he would not marry an immoral woman because doing so would make people think he also had also been immoral by fathering a child before marriage.
  10. He was a kind man, so he planned to divorce Mary privately by executing a simple document with two witnesses without involving a judge.
  11. Matthew 1:20–23 (NLT)20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” [Transliterated from Hebrew as Yeshua, means “Yahweh saves”] [fulfilled Isaiah 7:14; 8:8,10]
  12. The angel assured Joseph that Mary had not been unfaithful to him or to God; in fact, this child was conceived in holiness, not sin, and He would save His people from their sins.
  13. Matthew 1:24 (NLT)When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.
  14. God chose this couple to parent His Son, but they had to agree; they willingly sacrificed personal plans and dreams and chose, instead, to surrender their lives to God’s purpose.
  15. He knew their faith, natures, character, even their personalities when He chose them.
  16. God sends children to particular parents because of what the child will teach them but also, and possibly more important, what they will teach and provide the specific child.
  17. ILLUS.: Graham, Andrew and Evan
  18. APP.: Have you accepted God’s will for your life and the lives of your children, even at the risk of becoming outcasts?

Another primary duty of parents is to…

Prioritize [their] child’s safety. (Matthew 2:13-23; Luke 2:4-5)

1. Caesar (title of emperor) Augustus (honored, esteemed) decreed a census for taxation.

2. Luke 2:4-5 (NLT)And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée [betrothed], who was now obviously pregnant.

3. After birth, Jesus’ life was endangered by Herod, who had been appointed king by Rome.

4. Matthew 2:13–14,16 (NLT)13 …an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and His mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill Him.” 14 That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, His mother, [traveled 175 miles into Egypt to protect Jesus, fulfilled prophecy, called out of Egypt; Hosea 11:1] 16 Herod was furious… He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under… [fulfilled prophecy at Jeremiah 31:15]

5. Joseph responded immediately to protect the life of his child without resistance or hesitation, though it was not likely what he preferred to do. (He doesn’t speak.)

6. Joseph was referred to as a carpenter or woodworker (Matthew 13:55, Greek can be translated mason, may have been both); he was a craftsman who worked with his hands.

7. He likely wanted to return to his home in Nazareth, 70 miles north, where he had established a business and could support his family, but he offered no objection.

8. APP.: Do you comply with God’s instructions about your business practices? Partners?

9. Matthew 2:19-23 (NLT)19 When Herod died [2-3yrs.], an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. 20 “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and His mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.”21 So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and His mother. 22 But when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herod’s son Archelaus, he was afraid to go there. [executed 3000 Jews after revolt] Then, after being warned in a dream (4th time), he left for the region of Galilee. 23 So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth. [which fulfilled prophecy that Messiah would be a Nazarene]

10. Joseph and Mary set their wishes aside to do whatever was necessary to protect their son.

11. This couple focused on preserving Jesus’ life; they obeyed every instruction from God.

12. APP.: Are you focused on keeping Jesus alive in your family? Do you obey God’s instructions to avoid danger to your and their spiritual lives? Do you protect your children from dangerous influences in our culture from media, friends, even schools? (cuss box)

A principal assignment for parents is to…

3. Pursue faith for family. (Luke 2:21-24,33-35,39-52. C/R: Psalm 78:5-7; Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 3:14-15)

1. Jesus’ parents believed they were raising the Messiah, the Savior, the future king of Israel.

2. Did they know what to do? They knew to pursue God by obeying His instructions.

3. They obeyed every part of God’s law regarding newborn children.

4. Luke 2:21 (NLT)Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised [Leviticus 12:1-3], He was named Jesus, the name given Him by the angel even before He was conceived. [at home]

5. Circumcision was the sign of inclusion in the Abrahamic covenant, identification as a member of the nation of Israel and a physical symbol of the spiritual cleansing of the heart that takes place at salvation. (Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6)

6. Why, since Jesus was sinless, did He have to be circumcised? Because He had to fulfill all of the law, every command, all expectations, perfectly for His righteousness to be credited to us who are all sinners. (Galatians 4:4-5: born of a woman, subject to the law)

7. Luke 2:22–24 (NLT)22 Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child [33 days after circumcision]; so His parents took Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. 23 The Law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the LORD.” 24 So they offered the sacrifice required in the Law of the Lord—“either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” [offering for the poor instead of a lamb; Exodus 13:2,12; Leviticus 12:4-8]

8. Obedience to God’s law was also evident as Jesus grew up.

9. Luke 2:41-42 (NLT)41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. 42 When Jesus was twelve years old [adult under the law, still under authority of parents], they attended the festival as usual. [!] [verse 43-51: Jesus disappeared, found Him three days later listening and talking with the religious teachers at the Temple.]

10. To sum up their attitude toward faith training: Luke 2:39–40 (NLT)39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the Law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom [aided by parents' instruction], and God’s favor was on Him.

11. Like Mary and Joseph, parents are called by God to lead their children to faith.

12. How? Living faith according to God’s Word, church, children’s and student ministries.

13. 2 Timothy 3:15 (NLT)—You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. [Deuteronomy 6:6-9, also memory verse, Ephesians 6:4]

14. APP.: Parents, are you doing your part in this difficult, very important task?


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