Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, often takes a backseat in the Christmas story, a supporting actor alongside donkeys and camels in the nativity scene. However, his role was far more significant than it may seem. Described as a “righteous man,” the Hebrew words suggests not just morality, but someone deeply devoted to studying and faithfully following the law. Joseph possessed the intelligence and strength necessary for the challenge ahead.
When Joseph discovered Mary was pregnant, he was fully within the law of the time to divorce and even stone her. But “being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, he was minded to put her away privately.” Matthew 1:19
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins” Matthew 1:20-21
Joseph obeyed the angel’s guidance, grappling with feelings of inadequacy and the daunting task of raising a child not his own, let alone the Son of God. It was undoubtedly a tremendous leap of faith, or the shock of seeing and angel, or a little of both.
I don’t know what it is like to care for a child not my own. We have been entrusted with a carload of kids on the way to a game, or band contest, or off to the local burger joint, but not to raise as our own. There are earthly angels who foster and adopt children who may relate more closely to what Joseph was going through.
I wonder what Joseph was feeling as he watched Jesus grow and become less of his little boy and more of what God had called him to be. As I pondered these thoughts, I got a glimpse.
Our daughter went to college with a plan, play basketball, and teach kids how to love the game. Life took an unexpected turn, and she hung up her sneakers, joined the choir and found her love of music again. Struggling with changing her major, her pastor said her training and dedication was not limited to just sports, it would benefit any venture. So, off she went, pursuing music with the tenacity and passion she left on the basketball court. No surprise there, at least until her first recital. She stepped onto the stage and this stunning soprano voice emerged. Reaching for her clarinet, she delivered an equally beautiful piece of music.
It was then it hit me. This child was ours only for a little while but was quickly becoming her own, the masterpiece God had made her to be. He has always put her in the right place at the right time and I can see His hand in everything she does. I imagine that’s how Joseph felt.
Love them, watch them grow, teach all you can and let God handle the rest.
Reach out to me at John@LiftedKeys.com and tell me your story. I would love to know where and in what way God has guided His words through my pen.
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