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Archive for December 19th, 2013

I cannot imagine the insecurities of Joseph, the husband of Mary (Matthew 1:16). The man was not only the earthly father-figure of the Messiah, but he was also married to the Virgin Mary, who was chosen by God, to be the vessel through which God would come to Earth! That, is alot to live with under one roof!

Really, I do wonder about Joseph. I wonder what kind of a man he was. I wonder what he thought about his virgin fiance being with child. I wonder if he felt like he was father to Jesus. I wonder if he felt his role was understated. I wonder if he felt it difficult to correct Jesus, as a child (or did he need correction?). I wonder if he felt used, unjustly treated, minimalised.

The Bible really says little of Joseph, but I do not think that his role is minimal, after all he was chosen, by God, to be the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus as well as to do all that an earthly father does for his child. Joseph married his fiance (knowing that the child she was carrying was NOT his), worked to earn an income, helped to raise Jesus, and moved around whenever he had a dream telling him to.

Matthew 1:18-19 gives the main account of Joseph’s part in the birth of Jesus:

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 …”

Being engaged to a pregnant woman during those biblical times was not a politically correct position to be in. He could have had her stoned (adultery), he could have left her publically, but he didn’t want her to ‘disgrace’ her (most of that time would think that it was she who disgraced him), so he planned to divorce her quietly.

Matthew 1:20

“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 “…”

Joseph is one of the small, elite group of people of the Bible who have been given a message through an angel of the Lord. He did not ask for it, he had already made the honorable decision about what to do with his Mary, before any angel entered his dream world. He is also of the line of David, a royal line that was part of the big picture plan of God.

Matthew 1:21-23

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.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”) …”

Joseph did not even get to choose the name of the child that his betrothed was to give birth too. Even that was not in his power or choosing … but, he did it!

Matthew 1:24

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife …”

He married her! He did not divorce her quietly, but he took her to his home. This would increase suspicion that the child that Mary was carrying was his … he put himself in a position of public ridicule.

Matthew 1:25

“But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”

Hum, how do I expand on this point … ? So, Joseph … a young man … pregnancy takes nine months … Joseph takes her home as his wife around three-four months … so they would be married, without consummating their vows for about four months before the baby was born, and then another two weeks after the birth (before her ritual bath). So, married? Yes. Joseph experiencing marital physical closeness? No. Enough said!

Joseph was a man, chosen by God, because God knew that Joseph was an honorable man, who (obviously) sought to ensure the validity of God’s plan. And really, I doubt he was full of insecurities … I expect that he understood what it was to fully seek God’s will for his life.

What an amazing man he was!


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