Thursday, April 15, 2010

Joseph, Husband of Mary (part II)

By Odon Bulamba (6 December 2002)

Luke 2:1-7 1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Jewish culture condemned any women conceiving before marriage and was to be stoned or cast out. If Mary had been cast out of her parent’s house she would have had to stay at Joseph’s place, so Joseph had to accept everyone’s mockery and during this time Joseph didn’t have the right to touch Mary.

As we know with census everybody fills out forms for something the government has organized. In the time of Augustus everybody had to be registered and during this period a lot of people traveled. A lot of people today forget their origin and where they are from. The Bible says clearly that we are not from this earth; we have a country of origin that is not the earth. Now God is ordering a census to count those who are His own, so do you know your country of origin? Do you remember where you came from? Did your parents talk to you about your origin?

All the black people in America try to find out where they are from, one day they think they are from Zimbabwe and the next day Nigeria, so why is this? When their ancestors left Africa they only knew the name of their country and village at that time, and when colonization happened the names of their areas changed. What their ancestors knew before had now become obsolete and because of this it has put a lot of people in a state of confusion. Today democracy and technology destroy the church, biblical verses are changed and what was written yesterday is not written today.

The demonic colonization is destroying the church of God today, if you were to ask a Christian if he or she is a Christian they won’t know. If you ask Christians today whether they are saved or not, they are not sure. People today don’t feel like going to church or reading the Bible, if nobody pushes them they won’t move, they think it’s better to play soccer or tennis. They do this instead of trying to find their place of origin. Blessed was Joseph because he knew that he came from David’s lineage.

One day I was asked what was the name of my grandfather?; I didn’t know that my own name was that of my grandfather. It was because of negligence that I didn’t know and as for us Christians today we neglect the Word of God. We know that Jesus was born and we think this is enough, but why was Jesus born? Why was it that a virgin gave birth to Jesus? Why was Jesus born in a stable? Why was Jesus poor? Why was Jesus chosen as a descendant of David because David wasn’t His father? Why is Jesus called the Messiah? Why are we calling Him Lord when He is not a king? Or where is this kingdom because we cannot see it on earth? Today these little questions are not even thought about when Christians read the Word, they only think of the Bible as a book that has stories in it. Instead of asking questions they keep silent.

Will God recognize that you are from His descendants? Or will He be confused? Do you want God to start questioning you? God gives us time to know Him and to understand the kingdom of heaven. He gives us time to worship Him by reading the Bible and getting to know His Son, so it’s up to us to know our responsibilities. We as Christians must always remember that God is our father and our origin. Joseph knew where he was from, so he took Mary to the census while she was 9 months pregnant.

Do you know the distance between Nazarene and Bethlehem? It is far, and because Joseph wasn’t rich he couldn’t hire a horse but a donkey, and you know the stubbornness of a donkey. A donkey doesn’t respect his master especially when they are tired. Although Joseph knew how donkeys are he still accepted to put up with it. So he put Mary on it. Joseph was patient and tolerant with the donkey. He knew that Mary was going to be heavy for the donkey so he understood what the donkey was going through. Joseph also knew that his donkey was proud but he found a way to walk with it. However, the three of them walked together.

As for us Christians we have to live this way. When others are going through a tough time and have burdens as Mary did (pregnant), we must help them and take them where there is a census of God. We must take them to God and tell Him that this person belongs to You Lord. This happens through our prayers and putting the Word of God into practice. Joseph remembered the Word of God. He could have let Mary walk but he knew that Mary was carrying the savior of the world; even though he was tired he didn’t let the savior of the world suffer for his own comfort. Joseph accepted to suffer. When the donkey was thirsty it was up to Joseph to get it a drink.

We must know how to walk with others. For us Christians we have a problem. If someone is a sinner we don’t want to become his or her friend, when someone doesn’t have the same spiritual level, we despise that person. Joseph was always there to help Mary; even though some pregnant women can be fussy Joseph was very patient for he knew the value that was in Mary. Do you know that the Lord is in the womb of others? When you see someone do you really feel that God is in that person? If God is in that person you must look after him or her, that’s why God says you must love your neighbor. Although that person may be weak and have limits, you must take him or her to a place where it will please God.

The donkey is the body we bear as we go on a trip around earth. Who can say that their body is not proud? Who can say that their body is not precious? Who can say that when you want to do something the body always accepts? Sometimes we have to understand the will of our body but we don’t have to respect it. Joseph and Mary would talk together but they wouldn’t talk to the donkey. We don’t have to tell our bodies to have a rest and be free, no! You must speak to the spirit within yourself. “Spirit of God help me that I may overcome this body, that I may go up to the place of census”.

If your body needs clothing give it clothing, if your body needs water then give it water, but your body will never be satisfied, it is there only for a limited time. Joseph didn’t use the donkey for the rest of his life; he just used it for the trip. For us Christians we only use the body for the trip on earth because at the end of our trip the body will stay behind and we will arrive at our destination. If you give too much importance to your body, you will risk to not be counted by God in the census. In the census they didn’t count donkeys or camels, only people. The man is not the physical body but the real man is inside; the soul. Our bodies only help us to do God’s will and that’s it, and once God’s will is done the body’s mission is finished.

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