Daily Devotion for Advent | Friday, December 21, 2018

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a Son. And he called His Name Jesus.

Matthew 1:24-25

Joseph did exactly what he was told to do: when he woke up, he took Mary home as his wife, and when the baby was born, he named Him Jesus. Simple. Or as my son would say with a laugh, “Simple-not-simple.”

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Because obedience usually isn’t that simple, is it? We may know exactly what to do, but actually doing it—ah, that’s another matter. Something comes in between our knowledge and our actions—something that tends to skew the result, so there are times it doesn’t even faintly resemble what God told us to do. We call that “sin.”

I’m glad Joseph managed to get obedience right this time. I, too, get it right sometimes—but not always. And that’s a problem.

But it’s a problem Joseph’s foster-son was coming into the world to deal with—as the angel said, “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). He came to do exactly what His Name promised, for Jesus means “the Lord is salvation.” He is the One “who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name that is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11).

Jesus’ obedience has become our life. Thank God for our wonderful Savior!


Father, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to be our salvation. Amen.

  • Does your name have a meaning you know? If so, what?
  • When do you find obedience easiest? When is it hardest for you, and why?
  • People tend to look down on obedience as a virtue. How is Jesus’ obedience different from the way most people think of obedience?

Brought to you in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministrieslhm.org/advent

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About These Devos

THE COMING KING Advent Devotions 2018

The coming Savior’s birth was foretold by the prophets of old and later experienced by many who were on hand as He came into this world. Mary and Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth, Simeon, shepherds, wise men from the east, a legion of angels, and even King Herod—all play their parts in the Gospel narratives that speak of the Savior’s incarnation. Explore the many ways their lives were touched as God became one of us, for each of us, in The Coming King.

Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church.