1. When he found out his betrothed Mary was pregnant, Joseph cared enough that he didn’t want to “publicly disgrace her.” He knew he had to break off the marriage but he wanted to be kind. Have you ever faced a similar dilemma where you felt like you should “take a stand” on principle but cared about the affected person and their reputation, future, etc.? What did you do and why?
2. Like Mary, Joseph had an angel visit him (this time in three dreams: v. 1:20; 2:13,19). How do you think Joseph dealt with these dreams? Did he just accept them or did he wrestle with them, even having second thoughts? Has God ever whispered something to you that was risky, seemed crazy, or worse? If so, what was that like? What happened?
3. Joseph gets little attention in the Bible (see examples Luke 1:19; 2:34) and died when Jesus was young. But his faithfulness to Mary and his “yes” to God throughout gives us insight into his character. Luke says that Jesus “grew and became strong…filled with wisdom” (Luke 2:40). Seeing how he was with Mary, what kind of father do you think Joseph was with Jesus? What characteristics come to mind in raising Jesus as a boy and young man?
4. Sometimes saying “yes” means staying in the background and receiving little credit. Yet, this kind of answer can have a major impact on a family, job, neighborhood, even the world. Where is God asking you to say yes to his calling right now, specifically? What would it mean for you to say yes, even if nobody seemed to notice?