listen….

Matthew 1-4

In the still moments, deafening silence, sitting, waiting…. I feel the need to chatter. i crave  silence, then its torture. I’ve forgotten that when I’m silent others speak.

I’m learning to listen.

He asks us to listen, He certainly listens….

an angel of the Lord appeared to him saying, Joseph take Mary as your wife, that which is in her is of the Holy Spirit, she will bear a son, you will name him Jesus. 

He did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, he took Mary for his wife, and they called the son, Jesus. 1:20-25

the angel of the Lord appeared to him again saying, Joseph take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt and remain there until the death of Herod. 2:13-15

He had every reason for fear, they were martyrs, outcast, people looked at them like trash, and Joseph knew it would be this way. He was kind, but he was human and he cared deeply for Mary, but his life was no longer his own, and he couldn’t even be certain. And then again his life is uprooted and he is told to flee his roots, his family, his home, to outrun a government, to outlive a Kings vendetta…things had just settled down.

Joseph listened….

the wisemen fell down and worshiped Him with gifts, then after being warned in a dream not to return to the King,they departed to their country by another way. 2:12

Denying the orders of government officials, men of loyalty to the cloth, men on a mission from the royal guard. A ruler they never had reason to doubt, they betrayed to honor a new kingdom.

The Wisemen listened…

When Herod died and angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph ….again…. rise and take the child and his mother to the land of Israel, those who seek him are dead. and he went, but upon finding that Archelaus– son of Herod– was reigning in his place, he was scared. and after being warned in yet another dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee in the city of Nazareth. This fulfilled the profits, Jesus would be called a Nazarene. 2:19-23

Another move, into the territory of the one whose family vehemently sought to kill his only son, whose wrath murdered every baby boy in Bethlehem in hopes that one would be the son of man.

Joseph admitted fear, but showed valiant faith.

Joseph listened…

and the prophets were fulfilled.

In those days John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness of Judea — his message; prepare the way of the Lord. 3:1-3

John in an actual jungle, in a underdeveloped country, full of unknowing people, One Voice, crying out into a void, following the direction of the prophets, preparing a city that would soon hold the market on biblical landmarks.

This guy ate locust and honey, walked into their world of ignorance and proclaimed that they were wrong, that they were full of hate, deceit, greed… that they needed a savior…. these people weren’t even sure what other people did much less were aware that all of the above were wrong… this was their lifestyle untouched, naturally adapted. Naturally fallen children of God reacting to a man who came in and made proclamations while he snacked on bugs.

Jerusalem and all of Judea listened…

Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, he fasted for forty days and then his tempter came to him. 

if you are Son of God turn these stones into loaves of bread

if you are Son of God, throw yourself down, for your Father will bear you up

worship me above all else and all this earth I will give to you 4:1-11

In the wilderness, someplace foreign to himself, a forty day fast and temptation stronger and more directed than any other man to walk the earth will or has ever received. He responded in faith,  with incredible humility.

Jesus did not listen to temptation, He listened to God.

The two voices so distinguishable even in great trial that parodies over this encounter have spanned the centuries.

the devil left him, and behold the angels came and ministered to him…. 4:11

You are not alone in temptation.

You are not alone in the trials you are called to.

His ministry speaks.