Reflecting on Matthew 1 18-25

We are studying Matthew 1:18-25 for Sunday, December 13. This is the story of Joseph’s visit by an angel, in a dream, bringing instructions for Joseph’s future with Mary and with Jesus. Some notes on the text are here. Here are some questions we might want to explore in our study of the text:
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Can we relate to the human situation described in verse 18? What thoughts and feelings does it bring up for us?

[More personal, possibly] What would be our reaction to a similar situation – whether it involved us, or involved people we know? What makes us think that?

How might we be similar to the early readers of this story, do we think? How might we be different? How do we suppose these similarities and differences might affect the meaning of this story for us? Why do we think that?
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How do we usually think of Joseph? In particular, do we have images or impressions that come to mind when we think of him? Do we know where these images or impressions come from? Where?

How well do our images or impressions of Joseph match the brief description of Joseph given in verse 19? What makes us say that?
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The angel addresses Joseph as “Son of David”? What would that have meant to Joseph, do we think? What does it mean to us? Why do we think the angel addresses Joseph this way? What does this greeting tell us about Joseph?
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Is the character of Joseph a model or example for us in any way? Or, for some of us? For which of us? In what way – that is, what does Joseph teach or demonstrate? Why do we say this?
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two women in antique dress reading

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Image: “Reading,” Aleksandr Moravov, Belarusian National Arts Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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