By What-or Whom—Will You Be Remembered?
- Wednesday, April 30, 2003
He was the "foster father" to Jesus, the Son of God.
It's the last bit of trivia that is the most important. Can you ever remember a painting of Joseph that didn't involve Jesus in some form or fashion? Or a story? Or a song? Joseph's life is significant to us because of his relationship to our Lord. Because of Jesus, he is remembered.
Being the son of Jacob is important because this put him in the direct line of David-from whom the Messiah would come. Jesus was called "the carpenter's son, " (Mark 6:3) so again we see the direct connection between how we remember Joseph and his paternal relationship to Jesus.
His being called a "just man," (Matthew 1:19) occurs when Mary tells him she is pregnant, and he chooses not to disgrace her, but to quietly send her away. Having made this decision, he is then visited by an angel who informs him that the child Mary is carrying is, indeed, God's. Being just and righteous, he trusts the Lord and brings Mary home to live with him as his wife.
Everything we know about Joseph is centered on Jesus.
Some of you dads were not raised by godly fathers. Others were raised by men who so exemplified our Heavenly Father, their actions drew you closer to God. In speaking with dads, as I have prepared these six articles on Joseph, I have learned that those who were not raised by godly fathers, determined to be as godly as they could for their children. In contrast, those who were raised by godly fathers have a great desire to imitate them.
So here's the 64 million dollar question: when your children-or grandchildren-remember you, how do you wish them to do so?
By your ancestry? I remember learning that my father was somehow related to Melvin Purvis, G-Man ... you know, the guy who took down John Dillinger? I mean, the bloodline may be so far removed there is no more than a corpuscle of relation ... but hey! Who cares? He was related and I was tickled pink to know it and brag about it. However, an even greater memory is seeing my dad pour over the Scriptures and speaking as a Lay Pastor.
By your job? Like Melvin, my father worked in law enforcement. My friends called him "The Man," and I was very proud of what he did. I'd ask him to come to my school and talk about staying straight with the law and clean from drugs, but better still was that on Sundays, he taught Sunday school.
By your personality? Please don't think I'm saying my father was perfect. By no stretch of the word was he perfect. But he was a good man who loves his family and provided for us. And he exemplified humility often, a trait he learned from our Lord. He was and is one of the most forgiving men I've ever known.
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