Man of character
We seem to know much about Mary, the mother of Jesus. But not that much about his father, Joseph. Or do we? I find it so interesting that God the heavenly Father chose to provide his Son with a wonderful earthly father. Hand-picked before the foundation of the world. He even fulfills prophecy.
So, who was Joseph? In Matthew 1, his lineage starts with Abraham, in the line of David. Luke 3 records his genealogy back to being a son of Adam, son of God. And as in Matthew, David is recorded. So, Joseph had strong blood relatives all the way back to Adam and spiritual roots beginning with Abraham, father of Joseph’s faith. No shabby heritage!
He was a man of character. Joseph was betrothed to Mary, (engaged) and was the recipient of a visitation by an angel in his sleep, encouraging him to stay strong, and even gave him his son’s name, Jesus. “When Joseph woke up from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son, and he called his name Jesus” (Mt. 1.24,25).
Jesus was referred to as a ‘carpenter’s son’, so Joseph was a man who was responsible and a provider. He obviously trained Jesus in his trade and showed him the value of work.
Joseph was a father that adhered to his faith as he was there for Jesus’ circumcision when he was eight days old. “And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord… and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord” (Lk, 2. 22,23,24). And when you are faithful to God, he affirms you. Joseph and Mary experienced that. We are told about the priest Simeon blessing Jesus and Anna the prophetess giving thanks for the redemption of Jerusalem. “And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him (Jesus). (vs. 33).
That’s when the discipleship begins, at home, where it should start. Go Joseph! “And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him” (Lk 2. 39,40).
Fast forward twelve years to Jesus’ presentation at the Temple at Passover in Jerusalem. His parents (Mom and Dad) were there. They left for home but Jesus hung back and after three days they found him missing. Parents worried! Have any of you been there? They find him and hear him say as a young lad, “why were you worried? I am about my Father’s work”. Now the next eighteen years living and working at home; “And he went down to Nazareth and was submissive to his parents”. (Vs. 2. 51a).
Jesus is being discipled at home, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” (vs. 52). Joseph was there preparing his son, the Son of God, for his mission on earth. Joseph, and Mary, were actors in the cosmic play, but they were faithful to their calling. How could they have even imagined what their role as faithful parents were producing?
We know the rest of the story, but we must understand the part that Joseph, the earthly father, was faithful to fulfill. Not taking anything away from Mary. God the Father knew what his only Begotten Son needed as the Son of Man. Joseph, and Mary, were it and they fulfilled their role. Dads, we need to ask ourselves; are we as faithful and as present as Joseph? Your children and grandchildren need your discipleship. Maybe God is preparing them for incredibly powerful things for the Kingdom that you cannot even imagine. Stay strong, stay faithful, stay abiding!!