Here is another sample from the adoption devotional I’m working on. This devotional is set up to include six months of weekly devotionals, where each week is centered around a specific theme. The first week is written about adoption in general, to set the stage, if you will, for the rest of the readings.
What follows is from Day 3 from that week, where I discuss Jesus and His adoption. I love how the story of the birth of Christ—our Savior!—depicts adoption. Maybe you haven’t thought of it this way before? This Christmas season, I wonder if you might consider how Christ’s earthly adoption, and our heavenly one, encourage us to support adopting families if we can’t adopt a child into our own home.
The first two days of this week, we looked at adoption stories from the Old Testament. Today, I want to switch over to the New Testament, to look at yet another Biblical example of adoption.
Scripture tells us in the first chapter of Matthew that Jesus was conceived within a virgin. While Mary was engaged to Joseph at the time, Jesus was not the biological product of that union.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. (v. 18)
Step outside of the Biblical story here for a moment, to consider what that scenario might look like in your own life. You are planning a wedding to one man, but suddenly become pregnant with someone else’s child.
This is where my teenage daughter would say… uh, awkward!
And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. (v. 19)
But God had other plans. He sent an angel to talk Joseph out of leaving… to convince him to “adopt” Jesus and raise him as his own.
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. (v. 25)
I know this nativity story well. But up until recently, I hadn’t really stopped to consider Joseph’s earthly adoption of Jesus. It strikes me that God could have done this whole thing way differently. He could have placed Jesus in Mary’s womb before she was engaged, to remove any chance of shame on Joseph. But then, Mary would have been left alone and the child would likely have grown up without an earthly father. Or, Jesus could have been conceived immediately after the wedding, so Joseph wouldn’t have any chance of abandoning the child. The problem with that scenario is that many would doubt the truth of the virgin birth.
Clearly God purposed this conception to happen at just the right moment, so His plan could be gloriously revealed. And how amazing that this plan included the adoption of the Christ child by an earthly parent.
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us yet another example of Biblical adoption… of your own Son, of all people! Strengthen us as we resolve to follow your commands and live out your will for our lives.
* To read more from Dr. Russell Moore on this topic, check out his commentary.