This is a long post, but I am sure it will bless you and those you share it with.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man – Matthew 1:19
I know your thoughts would immediately go to Joseph the 11th son of Jacob and the first son of Rachael. The one who became the Prime Minister in Egypt and saved his family and the whole world from famine. Yes. He was a great man. But today I want to look at the other Joseph. The one we hardly talk about. The one I have never heard a sermon on. The one who history seems not to want to remember.
Joseph the stepfather of Jesus Christ. Yes this Joseph.
One of my early morning musings with my heavenly Father, He simply dropped this statement into my heart.
‘Consider a man like Joseph, the one man in the entire world I could entrust the care of my Son to.’ I had to pause to get the impact of this statement. Then as I was still thinking through this statement, as messages from heaven sometime come, my heart and mind was flooded with revelations of the Man Joseph.
Let me share some of them with you. Most young unmarried women pray to God to provide for them a Boaz or someone like that, and yes they are right, but I have never heard any woman cry out for a man like Joseph.
1. Consider the only man to meet God’s requirements for a Father figure in the life of Jesus. He was responsible for training Jesus up to perform His unique role in history. I can only imagine what type of man he must have been. He must have had an impeccable character. Consider a man like Joseph.
2. When he became betrothed to Mary the bible recounts that before they came together, Mary was found to be with child and he wanted to put her away secretly.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
This man had the shocker of his life, when his supposed virgin fiancè was found to be with child. In the Jewish custom and under the law of Moses, this woman once exposed would be summarily executed by stoning. Joseph could have just exposed her and got her killed, but I believe he truly loved Mary and decided not to expose her but get her out of town secretly, so her life would be spared. Hmmm. Ponder this. A man who covered and protected his woman despite the fact that she had seemingly erred gravely. Consider a man like Joseph.
3. Joseph was later informed by an Angel that the child was God’s child and that Mary had not done any wrong, and Joseph believed.
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Two points here. Joseph must have been extremely devout and committed to God for him to hear so clearly and secondly, he totally believed and did not doubt. He believed God and trusted his intended. Absolute trust. Consider a man like Joseph.
4. After this he looked after Mary, not mentioning anything of the origin of the pregnancy to anyone, but looked after her, cared for her and took her from Nazareth to Bethlehem to have the baby and named him according to the revelation. The bible records that he did not have any sexual relations with Mary until after Jesus was born.
24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.
He was a man of conviction. He had supreme self control and he understood what it means to be consecrated. Qualities that are so rare today. Consider a man like Joseph.
5. Now Herod rose up to kill all the young male children under the age of two and again Joseph was warned in a dream and he took the boy and his mother and fled to Egypt. Most men will immediately see this as the god given opportunity to be rid forever of the problem. But at great risk to his life and great sacrifice he left his hometown, his kinsmen and fled with Mary and Jesus to Egypt. Joseph was prepared to risk it all for Mary’s son.
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
He was prepared to sacrifice his comfort and security for this young woman and her child. Consider a man like Joseph.
6. Now when Herod died he was informed and he was instructed to return to the land of Israel. He was going back to Bethlehem. Why was he prepared to go back to Bethlehem? I can think of two not so obvious reasons. a. Joseph was from the royal house of David. He must have a place of prominence in Bethlehem and would possibly be able to leverage his position and power to look after Mary and Jesus. b. He felt more comfortable with being in Bethlehem, because most people would not be familiar with the history of Mary. But again he was instructed to go to Nazareth and he simply took the young woman and her son there.
19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
He was ready to live in obscurity for the sake of his love for his family. Consider a man like Joseph.
7. He trained Jesus to be a carpenter and become a very responsible man. He had taught Jesus the Torah that by the age of 12, he was able to discuss the Torah with the elders. He was a dedicated and loving father and blended his family so well. Do you know that two of Jesus’s brother wrote two books of the bible.
Matthew 13:55 New King James Version
55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?
Consider a man like Joseph.
8. Finally, it is quite interesting to note that both Joseph and Boaz are from the city of Bethlehem and both hail from the tribe of Judah. Both are relatives of King David. Why is this important? Judah is the kingly tribe and they produce great breakthrough leaders. Judah, Boaz, Jesse, David, Solomon, Joseph and our Lord Jesus all come from the tribe of Judah. Bethlehem means the house of bread. Bread is a symbol of God’s word. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. So both Boaz and Joseph were men who came from a strong life in the word of God. They were from Bethlehem. Lastly Judah means PRAISE. It is important to note that Judah was chosen to go first into battle. These men must have been men of praise. This probably accounts for David’s musical skill and his ability to play anointed music on his harp that chased away the demons from king Saul’s life. Joseph was both a man of praise and a man of the word.
Consider a man like Joseph!
Let’s Pray: Lord Jesus raise more men like Joseph for our daughters. We pray for all fathers and husbands that we will learn from Joseph’s life and emulate him. We ask for grace to grow in wisdom and dedication to God and steward correctly the children so they can fulfil destiny in Jesus name. Amen.