Day 25

An Angel Visits Joseph

Matthew 1:18-25, Isaiah 11:1-9

BY Erin Davis

Section 3: The Light Dawns

As I consider Joseph’s role in the Christmas story, I’m inspired by how quickly he responded to the Lord. Sure, he got an angelic visitation, but the angel’s words were fairly clinical. As Joseph hit his REM cycle, the angel told him to marry Mary because the baby in her belly was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Then he left before the Q&A, passing over some pretty major details. 

“She will give birth to a son,” the angel said. “Name him Jesus.” But wait! Aren’t there other questions to answer? “What does a Holy Spirit conceived child look like?” “When will He be born?” “Why me, Lord?” 

The angel dropped the most perplexing statement of all, “You are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). This is the gospel. The Savior of the world was well on His way. But Joseph couldn’t have fully understood what the angel meant. He couldn’t have fathomed what would be required for Jesus to save us from the sin that sentences us each to death. Still, Scripture tells us “when Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him” (v.24).  All he had was a handful of facts. There must have been dozens of details he couldn’t figure out. Yet God said it, and he would do it. 

I don’t reckon his faith was forged in a single night. That kind of trust doesn’t typically develop in an instant. Scripture doesn’t tell us, but I suspect Joseph had learned to respond to faith in the humdrum of everyday life. When the angel of the Lord appeared with a few unbelievable details, Joseph was already prepared to obey. 

The Christmas story is filled with the stories of those who trusted and obeyed. From a young virgin, to a field of shepherds, to a caravan of wise men, to a young man engaged to the Savior’s momma. I’m confident they all had more questions than answers. They also responded in faith rather than being controlled by fear. 

We won’t be called to marry Jesus’s mother. Our assignment is not to name and raise the Savior of the world. But we all have to mind the gap—the gap between the facts we have been given and responding in faith. As we open our eyes each morning, may the matter be settled in our hearts: we will choose to trust the Lord. 

Post Comments (70)

70 thoughts on "An Angel Visits Joseph"

  1. K D says:

    So grateful for the faithfulness of Joseph.

  2. Amanda Tucker says:

    “I suspect Joseph learned to respond to faith in the humdrum of everyday life.” That is really so profound. Often we say respond “in,” but to respond “to” faith is evidence of a mature faith. Faith that has been exercised and assurance given, so that when Jospeh was called, he was led by his own matured faith, one he developed by using it. May we all exercise and build upon our faith so that as God calls us to action we are responding to our faith as Jospeh did.

  3. Corey Zimmerman says:

    Jesus thank you for this reminder to trust you even in uncertainty!

  4. Kenzie Revell says:


  5. Gretchen Odonnell says:

    I ordered a “Mind the Gap” sign from British Railways because I cannot forget this day’s words. Thank you.

  6. Shaena Elizabeth says:

    Mary and Joseph are both such great examples of faith and obedience. Thank you SRT for helping point me to these often overlooked details of the Christmas account! Praise God for every small detail in his word and for helping me read the Christmas account with new eyes this season ❤️

  7. Allie McCandless says:

    Trusting the Lord can be so hard. Praying that over circumstances in my life right now. ❤️

  8. Tash says:

    Jesus, when I have more questions than answers help me to respond in faith rather than being controlled by fear. Help me to mind the gap—the gap between the facts I have been given and responding in faith. As I open my eyes each morning, may the matter be settled in my heart: I will choose to trust in you, Lord.

    Sisters in Christ, I am praying for you. I’m struggling with questions, concerns, and trusting God in the gap I find myself in. Thank you for this amazing community and for all the prayers!

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