Scriptures

Joseph, The Father Of Jesus

Introduction

We know that Mary was the mother of Jesus and we know that Joseph was the one who would become the Father of Jesus. We’re impressed with Mary for her humble obedience to the Lord’s command, her humility is so evident. When we look at Joseph we see a man who had strong moral beliefs, his faith is very evident.

When he discovered that Mary was pregnant he had three options, have her stoned, send her away, or marry her. No doubt that his love for her was so great that he desired to shield her under the circumstances. His feelings remind us of Proverbs 11:13,

‘A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.’

Once the angel spoke to him there was no question how he would handle the situation, but an angel intervenes!

Mathew 1:18-21 ‘This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet 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.’

What a relief it must have been for Joseph to hear these words assurance.

Matthew 1:24-25 ‘When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.’

When Jesus was born don’t you know Joseph felt nervous, there was no one present to take care of the birth. Did he assist in some way? They were a long way from Nazareth, there must have been some anxious moments. Many sceptics will deny that this actually happened but think for a moment.

It’s really no greater than conception and birth today, this miracle is no greater than what happens today. Who can fully understand how it happens over and over again, from conception to birth is both beautiful and beyond our understanding.

It’s said that Joseph

‘did not consummate their marriage’

indicates something about Joseph’s character, he constrained himself, Joseph knew this was a significant event. How many men would live with a woman for this long a period without touching her? He would take great care not to interfere with God’s plan. If you love the Lord you will live a celebrate life like any single Christian does.

Joseph observed the ordinance of circumcision, he was careful to observe what God had commanded. He refused to do anything that would oppose God’s will.

Luke 2:21 ‘On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.’

Joseph brought Mary and the baby Jesus to the temple and presented him to the Lord. Don’t you know he was just as proud of Jesus as if he were his real biological father.

Being warned by an angel Joseph fled to Egypt to escape the jealousy of an insane king who ordered all male infants 2 years old and under to be killed.

Matthew 2:13-14 ‘When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’ So, he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt’.

They go to a foreign land, Egypt and it’s here we see the providence of God. The Egyptian city of Alexandria had a larger population of Jews than Jerusalem. Jews were welcomed to the city, Joseph could work being a carpenter.

Then there were the very expensive gifts the wise men brought and gave to Jesus in recognition of who he was. This is a most amazing event in itself. In all of this we see the gentleness, kindness and consideration for the needs of his Mary and the child Jesus.

Men how do we act toward our wives?

An angel appeared in a dream and commanded Joseph to return to the land of Israel but not to Bethlehem but to Nazareth which was Joseph and Mary’s home village.

Matthew 2:19-23 ‘After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.’ So, he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.’

Here Jesus would grow to manhood.

Luke 2:40 ‘And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.’

Luke 2:51-52 ‘Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.’

These verses tell us the story of Jesus and his family of brothers and sisters by now to Jerusalem. Joseph was always aware of God’s regulations and laws and was a true leader of the family.

The death of Joseph goes unnoticed, no special praise is given to him, yet from what we read about him we realise he was great in the sight of the Lord. No doubt this is why he was chosen to serve as a father to God’s only begotten Son. In this day and time, we desperately need fathers who are like Joseph seeking to do God will and setting an example of a good father.

God chose to bring His Son into the world through natural birth to a poor family who lived in an obscure village. The most striking thing about this complete story is the faith and dedication of these teenagers, they let God lead them.

C. S. Lewis expresses amazement that God left the birth and development of his only begotten son in the hands of two teenagers.

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Isaiah 53:6

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