The Men in Christ's Life: Joseph, Stepfather of Jesus
- Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Henry, "my dad," reminds me of another great man of God. His name is Joseph. Jesus' dad or rather step-dad. Yes, you read right, step-dad. I don't' think people really ever think of Joseph in this way. Joseph knew all along that Jesus was not his real son. Yet, he loved him and raised him as if he was. Joseph was betrothed to Mary, mother of Jesus. We all know the story. He found out that she was pregnant. Now we all know he could have divorced her, in fact he had intended to, but quietly. In those times Mary could have even been sued, stoned or put in prison and Joseph would have been in the right. However, an angel of the Lord visited Joseph in a dream and told him not to leave Mary. For she was not unfaithful to him but was in fact, pregnant by the Holy Spirit with God's child. Well, this changed everything. Joseph went ahead with his marriage to Mary and raise Jesus as his own son. In fact, no one knew the difference because Joseph didn't treat Jesus any differently. Joseph loved Jesus as his own son. Just like Henry loved my brothers and me as his own children.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
— Matthew 1:18-25
What I Have Learned About Joseph, Step-dad of Jesus:
1. Joseph has taught me honor and respect.
Joseph had every right to leave Mary. In fact, he felt he had to considering she was pregnant with another man's child. I don't even think Mary would have argued with him. However, he was going to do it privately. So that no one would shame Mary. Even though he felt she had betrayed him, he still loved and cared for her. If someone betrayed you, would you still turn the other cheek? Would you continue to give to them? Or would you want everyone to know what he or she did to you? Well, most people out of hurt and embarrassment would want revenge. Joseph taught me there was another way. God's way. We don't always know why things happen, why people hurt us, but we need to trust God. God is the only one that can heal and restore.
Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
— Matthew 1:19
2. Joseph has taught me about trust, faith and obedience.
Wow, Joseph had to really trust God. An angel came to him in a dream. A dream. I don't know about you guys, but I would have wanted a second opinion. So what kind of faith do you think Joseph had to have to accept a message in a dream? Not just any message but one that would affect his entire life. Did Joseph talk it over with his friends, his parents, his siblings or Mary? No, he just obeyed. Folks, only a person who has a deep relationship with God could have been willing to do what God asked him to do without question. Joseph had a deep faith, a deep conviction and a deep relationship with God. Joseph taught me that in order for me to have peace about the things that God wants me to do, I have to deepen my relationship with Him. It is only through that relationship that I will understand God. Understanding produces trust and trust produces action.
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