One of my favorite characters in all of scripture is Joseph. When I say Joseph, you are probably thinking of Joseph from the book of Genesis. “Coat of many colors” Joseph. Jacob’s son Joseph who was favored by his father and resented by his brothers.
Though the story of Joseph is a powerful one, there is a another Joseph in the scripture and we seldom talk about him. Joseph was chosen of all the men on earth to be the earthly father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Joseph’s story is a powerful one, yet we have diminished him to nothing more than a figurine in a nativity scene. However, we have to look deeper into the scenario of this story. Joseph and Mary are betrothed to be married. They are in love and excited for the future. When all of sudden Mary turns up pregnant. She is claiming that she had an angelic visitation telling her that she who is a virgin would be the mother of the Christ Child. In today’s culture, Mary would have been taken immediately to a mental health facility.
We breeze right through the text and do not stop long enough to see the man God had chosen to be the the earthly father of Jesus. Matthew 1:18-19 tells the story; “This is how the Christ Child was born. His mother Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.” It is verse 19 that gives us the insight into the character of this incredible man of character; “Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.”
We are not given details about the pain Joseph was in emotionally. Yes, deceit and unfaithfulness will always cause pain. Yet, Joseph did not have an ounce of retaliation in him.
Joseph had his mind made up. He was a man of the Law (Word) and he was a man who walked close to God. Verse 20; “As he was considering this, (divorcing her) The Angel of the Lord came to him and convinced him that Mary was with child conceived by the Holy Spirit. The angel told him he was to name the child Jesus because the Christ Child born would save his people from their sins.”
Joseph was obedient. He did exactly what God told him. There is something else Joseph did. Verse 25 says that on his own accord, he refused to have sexual relations with her until after the Christ Child was born. Joseph is a man of integrity.
In Matthew chapter two, Joseph is the protector of his family. The birth of the Christ Child has created so much havoc that King Herod has been killing all the boys two years and younger. Joseph has a dream and the angel told him to take Jesus and Mary and relocate in Egypt to keep the Christ Child safe. He would stay there until King Herod died. He would bring his family back to Israel and he would relocate to Nazareth. His decision to move to Nazareth fulfilled prophesy, for Jesus would be called a Nazarene.
Joseph is such an example of a Godly Man. He listened to God. He was obedient to God and the scripture. He honored Mary even when he was confused. He refused to retaliate and cause Mary any pain. He was a model father and husband. I am thankful for our spiritual leaders who are an incredible example to us in scripture.
May you have a great week and may the peace of God bless you and your family. Merry Christmas to each and everyone.
Dave Truncone is the pastor of First Assembly of God Church in Van Buren. He is married to Heidi and they have two daughters, Hannah, and Abigail. They live in Van Buren.