Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.”
which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. ~Matthew 1:18-24 (NAB-RE)
Today in the United States we will celebrate fathers; the men in our lives who raised us, taught us, and mentored us. On my blog today I want to celebrate Joseph, the adopted father of Jesus. He had such a big role to play in the beginning of Jesus’ life, but we don’t actually get to read much about him. It’s never said where he goes or why he isn’t around with Mary when Jesus is crucified. What it does say, though, is that he adopted Jesus as his own, protected baby Jesus when Herrod was killing all of the first born males, and then brought Mary and Jesus back from Egypt when it was safe so that Jesus could fulfill the prophecies.
Being a dad is a difficult job. You provide for your family, protect them from harm and typically you have to be the disciplinarian. When a child gets hurt or sick they usually want to be comforted by their mom. When a child needs something fixed or somebody to play catch with them, they turn to dad. I realize that I’m using stereotypical roles, but let’s just go with this for this one post.
How much more stress was on Joseph? Not only was he raising a child as a first time parent, but in the back of his mind he knows that this is God’s son. If he was a nervous father before, this probably kicked it into overdrive. Can you imagine being the protector of the Savior of the world? Do you think that he played “I’ve got your nose” with Jesus? When Jesus fell did he nonchalantly tell Jesus to just rub some dirt in it? How many times did he tell Jesus to “think fast!” before throwing something at him?
Today as we thank God for giving us the good men in our lives to look up to, let’s also include Joseph in our prayer. He stepped up to the plate when it counted and adopted Jesus as his own. Without his assistance Jesus might not have been the Savior that we know and love. It was a tough job, but Joseph did it well.
I know that it’s not Christmas, but in honor of Joseph please take a moment to listen to the song Joseph’s Song by Michael Card.