by Robert Dawson

Joseph's Surprise
Robert Dawson
Matthew 1:18-25

How many of you like surprises? Not all of you? Some of you genuinely do not like surprises. Others of you are just more cautious, you want more information because you know there are two different kinds of surprises - good and bad. There are surprises that make your heart race and then there are surprises that can make your heart stop.

Some surprises, whether good or bad, will change your life forever.

I remember when Kristal told me she was pregnant with John Mark, our first born. We had talked about kids and planning on having them. It was our desire to wait until I had graduated seminary and I had but it was still a surprise to me - more like a shock to my system. It was not a surprise that left me filled with awe and wonder. It left me with a feeling of shock and fear. One, I was not sure I was ready for children or that I would make a good daddy - still not sure of either one. Second, I knew it would forever change my life. It was a surprise that shocked me and filled my heart with fear and turned into one of great joy.

In our Scripture today we find Joseph presented with an unwelcome surprise, one filled with shock, fear and anger. It was a surprise that would forever change his life but it was also one that would turn into great joy and wonder.

Joseph was a young man from a ''nobody'' kind of place called Nazareth. He was a carpenter by trade. He was young and in love. The love of his life was a young Jewish girl named Mary. He thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world. They were engaged to be married. In their day it was called a betrothal and it was a little different from what we think of as an engagement today.
- It was legally binding. In many ways they were already considered husband and wife. They were publically recognized in that way even though they were not living together or physically intimate with one another.
- The betrothal period was a time for their relatio ...

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