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Christmas, a story of obedience, too

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(BY: ATTY. BATAS MAURICIO) LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: `The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’…” (Matthew 1:22-23, the Holy Bible).

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CHRISTMAS STORY: THE DIVORCE OF MARY & JOSEPH: Today, we will explore another Christmas story from the Bible, and that is the story of Joseph, the man who was engaged to be married to Mary. Joseph was a descendant of King David, a righteous person. When he found out that Mary was already pregnant even if they did not have any sexual relations yet, he planned on quietly leaving her.

Yet, as he was thinking about this divorce, an angel of God appeared to him in a dream. The Bible did not mention the name of this angel, but I believe that it was the same angel, Gabriel, that visited Mary earlier, announcing to her that she was the virgin who had been prophesied to conceive and give birth to the Son who will be called “Almighty God, Everlasting Father”.

Unlike the encounters of Mary and, earlier, of Zechariah, the father of John The Baptist, with the angel Gabriel where the angel appeared while both Mary and Zechariah were wide awake, it is interesting to note that Joseph was not given this privilege, for the angel that appeared to him came to him while he was sleeping.

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ANGEL VISITED JOSEPH IN A DREAM: Indeed, this should give some reason for thinking among Christian believers. For while Zechariah met Gabriel face to face, at the moment that the birth of John The Baptist was announced, why was Joseph visited merely in a dream? Wasn’t the message to Joseph equally significant, if not more serious, than the message to Zechariah?

Be that as it may, the angel who visited Joseph said this to him: “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Joseph must have been totally shocked. As an Israelite, I am sure he was aware of the prophecy made by Isaiah some 1,000 years earlier about a virgin conceiving and giving birth to a son who will be called by many names—Emmanuel (which means “God is in us”) and, as we stated earlier, “Almighty God, Everlasting Father”, thereby confirming that the son to be born is God Himself.

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CHRISTMAS, A STORY OF OBEDIENCE, TOO: And Joseph must have realized by then that Mary was the “chosen virgin”, as it were. He must have wondered, the prophecy was playing out right before him, and that he must have profusely thanked God that he was made a part of God’s plan for the salvation of mankind.

The command of the angel to him that he should name the son to be born “Jesus” confirmed that this son was God coming down from heaven and assuming human form, for “Jesus” meant “the Savior of His people”. In fact, the Bible was clear about this when it said “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son…”

Joseph then decided to agree to what God had been doing and obey everything that was told him, so when he woke up from his dream, he took Mary home as his wife, although he did not consummate his marriage with her until after she gave birth to Jesus. Beautiful story, isn’t it? Indeed, Christmas is a story of salvation prefaced with absolute obedience to the will of God.

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PLEASE LISTEN: “Tambalang Batas at Somintac”, jointly aired at DZEC, 1062 kHz in Manila, 1080 kHz in Dagupan City, 711 kHz in Naga City, 1260 kHz in Lucena City, 1224 kHz in Davao City, and at www.eaglebroadcasting.net, Mondays to Fridays, at 6 a.m.; “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas”, at 103.7 mHz in Don Carlos, Bukidnon, Mondays to Fridays, at 7 a.m.; “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas” at 801 kHz on the AM band (Panay Island), Mondays to Fridays, at 10 a.m.; and “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas” at 107.5 Win FM, Roxas, Isabela (Saturday, 5:30 a.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m.).   -30-




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