Posted by: missionventureministries | December 13, 2018

JOSEPH – JESUS’ FATHER ON EARTH – Matthew 13:55

Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? (Matthew 13:55)

The biblical account of Joseph the earthly father of Jesus is found in the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke. Joseph was a faithful man who obeyed God’s laws. He not only strived to do what was right but also to do it the right way. When his betrothed Mary came to him with the news of her pregnancy, he knew the child was not his.

Joseph loved Mary so he decided he would annul the engagement, but determined to do it in such a way that it would not bring shame to her. Because of Jewish laws he could not marry her under these circumstances, but he wanted to be just, acting with love. He had great respect for Mary’s character but her story of being miraculously impregnated by God’s Holy Spirit was difficult for him to believe.

As he was considering all these things, the Lord sent an angel to speak to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)

God confirmed Mary’s story and told Joseph that Mary had not been unfaithful and that she had been chosen to be the mother of Messiah. The angel told him what Isaiah had professed about this about 700 year before: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14). So God instructed Joseph to marry the young woman and honor her virginity until the baby was born.

This must have been initially very difficult for Joseph to reconcile in his mind. But Joseph was faithful and a man of integrity and He obeyed the Lord.

It is not known how long Joseph was in the life of Jesus but he realized, from the moment of the heavenly visit, that Jesus was to be very special.

 

The last time Joseph was mentioned in the Bible was when Jesus was 12 years old and they went to Jerusalem to celebrate the yearly Passover celebration.

We can assume, that being the honorable man he was, Joseph fulfilled the role of father to the best of his ability and with all the love any man can have for his son. Even though Jesus was the Creator of the World, Joseph and Mary brought Him up in a spiritual environment teaching Him the Torah.

Joseph also taught Jesus carpentry, as we see Him referred to in Mark 6:3, “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?”  

Joseph fulfilled the role of protector, provider and teacher, raising the young boy without any hesitation. God provided Joseph with assurance, strength, and the abilities of leadership to raise the child who was born to be the Savior of the world, “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9).

Just as God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus, He also chose Joseph to be His earthy father and provided Joseph the honor to personally name the child . . . “and you shall call his name Jesus” (Matthew 1:21)

This is deeply significant because, it means that Joseph, in naming the child, acknowledges Him as his own son and thus becomes the legal father of the child according to Semitic law. As a result of this legal adoption, Joseph’s ancestry as a descendent of David transfers also to his lawful Son.

Biologically, Jesus is begotten by the Holy Spirit and is thus the “Son of God” (Luke 1:32), but legally He is the son of Joseph and heir to the promises of David, Joseph’s ancestor.

The angel Gabriel had promised Mary that, “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David” (Luke 1:32). In Joseph naming the boy, and therefore adopting him, David becomes Jesus’ earthly ancestor since the bible states that Mary was a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David, Luke 1:27.

The lineage of Joseph is further explained by the census that was decreed by Caesar Augustus where everyone went to be registered, everyone to his own city. “Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,  in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.” (Luke 2:4-5)

As we see, God honors integrity, obedience, and faithfulness. Our obedience to Him will also bring increased guidance and blessings from Him. With God’s help, any situation or appearance of things gone wrong can be used for good when we remain steadfast and have a personal relationship with God. If you seek Him and listen for His direction, He will answer you with provisions of a blessed outcome for you as well.

Even though our Savior was most probably born in September-October, let our hearts joyfully celebrate Him all year through.

 

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2:14

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