By Nathan Welsh

CLEVELAND, GA., (TMNews) – Truett-McConnell Vice President of Academic Services, Dr. Brad Reynolds, presented the weekly chapel message donned in a long flowing robe representing himself as Joseph, son of Jacob, of Nazareth, during World Missions Day on February 18.

The first missionary

“I was a carpenter,” said Joseph. “I worked for my father.” One day as Joseph walked through the market, he encountered a beautiful young woman named Mary. His father and her father met and arranged their marriage.

Jewish wedding ceremonies lasted up to three years. The two would have a wedding ceremony and then Joseph would go back to his family and build a house for the two of them. “After I built our house, I would return to Mary and receive her,” explained Joseph. “Then, where I was, she could be also.”

Life was wonderful for Joseph until one day Mary came to him and revealed she was pregnant. Although the two were considered married, the marriage had not been consummated yet as Joseph had not finished building the house. He knew the baby was not his. Mary blamed her pregnancy on God.

Joseph was devastated. He had four options. According to Joseph, the first option, “was out of the question, and that would be to keep her.” He could instead choose to have Mary stoned.

“I could also divorce her publicly,” said Joseph, “And bring shame on her just as she brought shame on me.” Joseph finally settled on the fourth option, which was to divorce her quietly.

Fulfillment of the promised Messiah

Before he could follow through with his decision, he was visited in a dream by an angel who told him to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife, because the baby she was bearing was of the Holy Spirit.

“That’s when I knew it was of God,” exclaimed Joseph. “This must be the promised Messiah.” Joseph then took Mary as his wife.

At that time, a census was required, so Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem. When they arrived, there was no room available in the inn where they wanted to stay, but the innkeeper allowed Mary and Joseph to stay in the stable. It was there that Mary gave birth to Jesus, the Son of God.

Many years later, Jesus had grown up into a young man. “Remember how I introduced myself,” Joseph reminded the students. “I am Joseph, son of Jacob, of Nazareth. Jesus didn’t introduce Himself like that. He introduced Himself as God-man: fully God, fully man.”

Joseph then recounted how Jesus was arrested and crucified. God the Father turned His back on His Son as Jesus became everything evil in the world, as a sacrifice for the sins of man.

Following the commands of Jesus

“Jesus was the first missionary,” concluded Joseph. “He left His home to come to ours.” Joseph then offered up two words of exhortation.

The first was, “Come all you who are burdened with sin.” He explained that Jesus can forgive sin if believers surrender their lives to Him.

Secondly, Joseph urged the students to, “Go and tell them.” Just as Jesus was a missionary and proclaimed the Gospel, Christians must follow Him in this command as well.

Watch chapel video here: CLICK to VIEW 


Nathan Welsh is a senior Christian Studies major and a freelance writer for the college.

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