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Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Blog Post #3: Joseph

Joseph.

Dear, dear Joseph.

This man grows in my esteem every year.

I've always pictured Joseph as the strong, silent type. Maybe because we don't know a lot about him other than his occupation and not much else. One thing we do know, however, is that Joseph was "a righteous man" (Matthew 1:19). When he learned Mary was pregnant, he could have had her stoned since he knew the child wasn't his, but he didn't. He was going to divorce her quietly instead of making a public spectacle of her. To me, that shows what a compassionate person he was. God had a different plan, of course. Joseph, with the help of an angel, accepted the fact that Mary was carrying a very special baby who needed protection from King Herod.

How many men do you know who would have done what Joseph did?

We never hear about Joseph directly again after Jesus' birth. Luke 2:41-52 speaks of Jesus' "parents" going to Jerusalem and searching for him, so we know Joseph was still alive at that point. But somewhere between Jesus being a boy of twelve and a man of thirty, Joseph passes away.

The Bible doesn't say this, but I believe Joseph was a good dad. How do I know? Because God chose him for the job, for one thing. But we also have proof that he raised Jesus as his own son. In Matthew 13:55 some people refer to Jesus as "the carpenter's son." Jesus is also known for his trade as a carpenter, which was taught to him by his dad. When Jesus is on the cross, he's concerned for Mary and makes sure one of the disciples is in charge of caring for her needs. I think he learned that from watching his dad, Joseph, take care of his family. Whether or not Joseph fully understood who Jesus was remains a mystery, but I feel quite certain he knows it now as he dwells in heaven while the boy he raised sits on a throne nearby.

I find it truly wonderful that God chose such a simple, decent man to raise His Son.

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