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Joseph FATHER OF JESUS

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JOSEPH--FATHER OF JESUS

MATTHEW 1:18-25 (NIV)
THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST

18 THIS IS HOW THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST CAME ABOUT:

HIS MOTHER MARY WAS PLEDGED TO BE MARRIED TO JOSEPH, BUT BEFORE THEY CAME TOGETHER, SHE WAS FOUND TO BE WITH CHILD THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT.

 

19 BECAUSE JOSEPH HER HUSBAND WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN AND DID NOT WANT TO EXPOSE HER TO PUBLIC DISGRACE,

HE HAD IN MIND TO DIVORCE HER QUIETLY.

 

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.

 

21 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.”

 

22 ALL THIS TOOK PLACE TO FULFILL WHAT THE LORD HAD SAID THROUGH THE PROPHET:

 

23 “THE VIRGIN WILL BE WITH CHILD AND WILL GIVE BIRTH TO A SON, AND THEY WILL CALL HIM IMMANUEL”—WHICH MEANS, “GOD WITH US.”

 

24 WHEN JOSEPH WOKE UP, HE DID WHAT THE ANGEL OF THE LORD HAD COMMANDED HIM AND TOOK MARY HOME AS HIS WIFE.

 

25 BUT HE HAD NO UNION WITH HER UNTIL SHE GAVE BIRTH TO A SON. AND HE GAVE HIM THE NAME JESUS.


 

ONE SUMMER EVENING

DURING A VIOLENT THUNDERSTORM,

A MOTHER WAS TUCKING HER SMALL SON INTO BED.

SHE WAS JUST ABOUT TO TURN OFF THE LIGHT WHEN HE ASKED IN A TREMBLING VOICE,

"MOMMY, WILL YOU SLEEP WITH ME TONIGHT?"

HIS MOTHER SMILED AND GAVE HIM A REASSURING HUG.

"I CAN’T, DEAR," SHE SAID,

"I HAVE TO SLEEP WITH YOUR DADDY."

AFTER A LONG SILENCE THE LITTLE BOY SAID,

"THE BIG SISSY."

HERE ARE SOME THINGS

THAT YOU MIGHT HEAR A DAD SAY:

1. “GO ASK YOUR MOTHER.”
2. ”DON’T WORRY; IT’S ONLY BLOOD.”
3. ”DO I LOOK LIKE I’M MADE OF MONEY?”
4. “I’M NOT SLEEPING; I WAS WATCHING THAT SHOW.”
5. ”I’M NOT JUST TALKING TO HEAR MY VOICE.”

6. ”A LITTLE DIRT NEVER HURT ANYONE; JUST WIPE IT OFF.”
7. ”WE’RE NOT LOST!”
8. ”NO, WE’RE NOT THERE YET.”
9. ”DON’T MAKE ME STOP THIS CAR!”

I LOOKED IN MY BIBLE FOR A QUOTE FROM ANOTHER PROMINENT FATHER, JOSEPH,

AND TO MY SURPRISE I COULDN’T FIND ONE.

I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT BEFORE,

BUT JOSEPH DOESN’T SAY A SINGLE WORD IN THE BIBLE.

HE LISTENS AND OBEYS.

WE PROBABLY JUST ASSUME HIS WORDS ARE RECORDED,

BECAUSE WE CAN KIND OF IMAGINE THE CONVERSATIONS HE HAD WITH MARY, AND THE ANGEL GABRIEL.

WE CAN “HEAR” HIM TALKING TO THE INNKEEPER.

WE CAN VISUALIZE HIM TEACHING JESUS ABOUT CARPENTRY…

BUT THEN HE KIND OF FADES FROM THE SCENE.

IT IS WIDELY THOUGHT THAT JOSEPH WAS MUCH OLDER THAN MARY,

AND WHEN JESUS BEGAN HIS MINISTRY,

MARY APPEARED TO BE ALONE.

ALTHOUGH THE BIBLE DOESN’T SAY SHE’S A WIDOW,

IT SURE SEEMS LIKE JOSEPH HAS ALREADY DIED.

JOSEPH PROBABLY THOUGHT HIS LIFE WAS PRETTY WELL PLANNED OUT.

HIS MARRIAGE AND HIS VOCATION

WERE ALL PREARRANGED FOR HIM,

HE SEEMS TO HAVE HAD HIS LIFE PRETTY WELL MAPPED OUT.

BUT THEN HIS WORLD CAME CRASHING DOWN.

HE DISCOVERED THAT HIS BRIDE-TO-BE WAS PREGNANT.

WE KNOW THAT JOSEPH WAS A MAN OF INTEGRITY—

HE WANTED TO DO THE RIGHT THING, IN THE RIGHT WAY.

SO WHEN HE LEARNED ABOUT MARY'S PREGNANCY,

HE CONSIDERED DIVORCING HER.

HE WANTED TO DO IT IN A WAY THAT WOULD NOT CALL ATTENTION TO THE ACTUAL REASON.

HE COULD HAVE HAD HER PUBLICLY DISGRACED

AND EVEN HAD HER STONED TO DEATH FOR ADULTERY.

BUT BECAUSE OF AN ANGEL'S INSTRUCTION IN A DREAM THAT GOD HAD GIVEN HIM,

HE IGNORED THE QUESTIONING VOICES OF THE VILLAGERS ABOUT MARY’S PREGNANCY AND MARRIED HER ANYWAY.

IN THOSE DAYS, A MARRIAGE CONTRACT WAS WORKED OUT BETWEEN THE TWO FAMILIES,

THE ENGAGED COUPLE CONTINUED TO LIVE WITH THEIR PARENTS UNTIL THEIR WEDDING DAY.

THE TOWNSPEOPLE PROBABLY THOUGHT THAT MARY AND JOSEPH DIDN’T WAIT UNTIL THEIR WEDDING NIGHT.

JOSEPH PROTECTED THEIR REPUTATION BY MOVING UP THE WEDDING DATE,

AND THE ROMAN CENSUS TOOK THEM FAR AWAY FROM THE TOWN’S QUESTIONING EYES.

EVEN THOUGH JOSEPH CAME FROM THE ROYAL LINE OF KING DAVID.

IT'S EASY TO SEE THAT HE WAS A HUMBLE MAN.

THE BRIEF PORTRAIT THAT WE HAVE OF HIM IN SCRIPTURE SUGGESTS HE WAS A QUIET, UNOBTRUSIVE MAN,

AVAILABLE WHEN HE WAS NEEDED,

WILLING TO ENDURE HARDSHIP AND DISAPPOINTMENT.

AND HE WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO FATHERING HIS OWN CHILD.

AND NOW JOSEPH WAS FACED WITH BEING A STEP-FATHER TO A CHILD THAT WAS NOT HIS OWN.

HE ACCEPTED THESE HUMBLING CIRCUMSTANCES THAT SURROUNDED JESUS’ BIRTH.

HE TRUSTED GOD'S PROVIDENTIAL CARE

EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.

HE DIDN’T HAVE PARENTING BOOKS,

I'M SURE HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY TRAINING ON HOW TO BE

A FATHER TO THE SON OF GOD,

BUT HE HAD FAITH AND HE HAD COMPASSION.

BIBLE SCHOLARS PORTRAY JOSEPH AS A GOOD

PROVIDER AND PROTECTOR OF HIS FAMILY.




 

A SUNDAY SCHOOL WAS PUTTING ON A CHRISTMAS PAGEANT WHICH INCLUDED THE STORY OF MARY AND JOSEPH COMING TO THE INN.

ONE BOY WANTED SO VERY MUCH TO BE JOSEPH, BUT WHEN THE PARTS WERE HANDED OUT, THE PART WAS GIVEN TO A BOY HE DIDN'T LIKE,

HE WAS ASSIGNED TO BE THE INN-KEEPER INSTEAD.

HE WAS PRETTY UPSET ABOUT THIS

BUT HE DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING TO THE DIRECTOR.

DURING ALL THE REHEARSALS HE THOUGHT WHAT HE MIGHT DO THE NIGHT OF PERFORMANCE TO GET EVEN

WITH HIS RIVAL WHO GOT TO BE JOSEPH INSTEAD OF HIM.

FINALLY, IT WAS THE NIGHT OF THE PERFORMANCE,

AND HERE CAME MARY AND JOSEPH

WALKING ACROSS THE STAGE.

THEY KNOCKED ON THE DOOR OF THE INN,

AND THE INN-KEEPER OPENED THE DOOR

AND ASKED THEM GRUFFLY WHAT THEY WANTED.

JOSEPH ANSWERED, "WE’D LIKE TO HAVE A ROOM FOR THE NIGHT.

" SUDDENLY THE INN-KEEPER THREW THE DOOR OPEN WIDE AND SAID,

"GREAT, COME ON IN AND I’LL GIVE YOU THE BEST ROOM IN THE HOUSE!"

FOR A FEW SECONDS POOR LITTLE JOSEPH DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

BUT THINKING QUICKLY ON HIS FEET,

HE LOOKED INSIDE THE DOOR PAST THE INN-KEEPER

AND THEN SAID,

"NO WIFE OF MINE IS GOING TO STAY IN DUMP LIKE THIS.

COME ON, MARY, LET’S GO TO THE BARN." -

AND ONCE AGAIN THE PLAY WAS BACK ON TRACK!



IN ALL THE CHRISTMAS PAGEANTS THAT ARE PERFORMED, JOSEPH DOESN’T GET A STARRING ROLE,

BUT HIS PART WAS SO VERY IMPORTANT.

HIS TASK WAS TO WATCH OVER MARY

AND THE BABY JESUS.

JOSEPH'S ROLE WAS CARING FOR THE NEEDS OF OTHERS.
____________________________________________________


WHEN OUR LIVES TAKE A NASTY TURN,

WE CRY OUT, LIKE JOSEPH MUST HAVE CRIED OUT,

"GOD, HOW CAN THIS BE?"

BUT THEN, LIKE JOSEPH, WE HEAR A STILL SMALL VOICE FROM GOD SAYING, "TRUST ME."

GOD’S WAYS ARE NOT ALWAYS OUR WAYS.

HIS THOUGHTS ARE HIGHER THAN OUR THOUGHTS,

AND WE MAY NEVER UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING THAT GOD IS DOING --- THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN,

BUT GOD SAYS, "TRUST ME,

AND ALL THINGS WILL WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD."

I'VE HEARD IT SAID

"THE BEST THING A FATHER CAN DO FOR HIS KIDS IS TO LOVE THEIR MOTHER".

PAUL DESCRIBED REAL LOVE IN

1 CORINTHIANS 13...

"LOVE IS PATIENT AND KIND. LOVE DOES NOT ENVY OR BOAST; IT IS NOT PROUD OR RUDE. LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING OR EASILY ANGERED. IT KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS. LOVE DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL, BUT IT REJOICES IN THE TRUTH. IT ALWAYS PROTECTS, ALWAYS TRUSTS, ALWAYS HOPES, ALWAYS PERSEVERES".

JOSEPH’S LOVE FOR MARY

MATCHED PAUL’S DEFINITION OF LOVE TO A TEE.

INSTEAD OF BEING INDIGNANT,

JOSEPH ACCEPTED THIS CHILD AS HIS OWN.

JOSEPH ACCEPTED GOD'S WILL

AND FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS THE ANGEL GAVE HIM.

HE TRAVELED FROM NAZARETH TO BETHLEHEM,

THEN ON TO EGYPT,

AND THEN LATER BACK TO NAZARETH AGAIN.

IT'S EASY FOR US TO SEE JOSEPH ACCEPTING HIS SON AS A GIFT FROM GOD.

JOSEPH BECAME A FATHER TO THE MESSIAH.

THIS STEP SON OF JOSEPH WOULD ONE DAY TEACH US ALL ABOUT THE ACCEPTANCE AND GRACE OF GOD.

JOSEPH WAS CHARGED WITH NAMING THEIR SON AND IN DOING SO HE DEFINED HIS MISSION.

THE NAME JESUS MEANS “SAVIOR”.

ARCHEOLOGISTS HAVE UNCOVERED THE RUINS OF A TOWN NAMED SAPPHORIS,

SAPPHORIS WAS A THRIVING CITY NEAR NAZARETH.

IT'S BELIEVED THAT JOSEPH SPENT A LOT OF TIME THERE WORKING ON CARPENTRY JOBS,

PROBABLY WITH HIS SON AND APPRENTICE, JESUS.

BECAUSE WHEN JESUS RETURNED TO HIS HOMETOWN, AFTER HE BEGAN HIS MINISTRY,

THE PEOPLE SAID,

“ISN’T THIS THE SON OF JOSEPH, THE CARPENTER?”


WAS JOSEPH A PERFECT FATHER?

PROBABLY NOT.

WE’RE TOLD THAT AFTER JESUS WAS BORN,

MARY AND JOSEPH HAD CHILDREN OF THEIR OWN,

AND THEY DIDN'T BECOME BELIEVERS IN JESUS TILL AFTER HIS RESURRECTION.

IN SPITE OF WHAT THEIR PARENTS TRIED TO TELL THEM OF THEIR OLDER BROTHER’S MIRACULOUS BIRTH,

JESUS' BROTHERS REFUSED TO ACCEPT IT.

PARENTS CAN TEACH THEIR CHILDREN,

BUT THEY CAN'T GIVE THEIR CHILDREN FAITH.

THEY CAN TELL THEIR KIDS HOW TO LIVE,

BUT THEY CAN’T MAKE THEM MORAL PERSONS.

THEY CAN BAPTIZE THEIR CHILDREN,

BUT THEY CAN’T MAKE THEM BELIEVE.

THEY CAN LOVE THEIR CHILDREN,

BUT THEY CAN’T GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE.

THE INFLUENCE OF PARENTS IS IMPORTANT,

BUT WE MUST INDIVIDUALLY CHOOSE TO ACCEPT OR REJECT A FAITH IN GOD.

THERE’S A LOT I’D LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT JOSEPH—

WHERE AND WHEN HE WAS BORN,

HOW DID HE SPEND HIS DAYS,

WHAT DID HE SAY,

WHEN AND HOW DID HE DIE.

THE LAST WE HEAR OF HIM IS WHEN HE MADE A PILGRIMAGE TO JERUSALEM

WITH MARY AND JESUS,

WHEN JESUS WAS 12-YEARS OLD.

HE WAS APPARENTLY A MAN OF FEW WORDS,

BUT HE DID WHAT HE WAS SUPPOSED TO DO.

WE DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT JOSEPH.

WE’RE PRETTY SURE HE WASN’T AFRAID OF THUNDERSTORMS!

HERE'S WHAT SCRIPTURE SAYS ABOUT HIM.

HE WAS: "A RIGHTEOUS MAN" (MT 1:18).

JOSEPH MAY HAVE THOUGHT THAT BEING RIGHTEOUS INVOLVED DOING THE RIGHT THING;

BUT HE FOUND OUT THAT IT IS ALSO ABOUT

BEING THE RIGHT PERSON.

JOSEPH WAS A REAL MAN. 

HE HAD STRENGTH, BUT HE HELD IS STRENGTH UNDER CONTROL.

HE KNEW WHEN TO BE FIRM, AND HE KNEW WHEN TO BE SENSITIVE TO OTHERS.

HE WAS WILLING TO FOLLOW THE LEADING OF GOD.

JOSEPH WAS GOD’S MAN.

HE DID FATHERHOOD THE WAY IT OUGHT TO BE DONE.



PRAYER:

 

LORD GOD, WHEN WE SEE WHAT THIS MATURE, RESPONSIBLE, RIGHTEOUS MAN DID;

WHEN WE LOOK AT HIS COMPASSION AND INVOLVEMENT, WITH HIS FAMILY.

WHEN WE SEE HIS DISCIPLINED RESTRAINT,

HIS STRAIGHT FORWARD OBEDIENCE,

ALL WOVEN TOGETHER INTO RIGHTEOUS ACTION,

WE REALIZE THAT, THAT'S THE WAY WE CAN LIVE TOO.

LIVING IN OBEDIENCE TO YOUR WILL FOR OUR LIVES AS REAL MEN.

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