“When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.” Matthew 1:24-25
I ashamedly confess that I never gave Joseph much thought until we started having our own children. Watching the vital role played by my husband, Randy, and the unique gifts he brings as father in raising our children into the noble adults they are becoming, I had this very clear realization…God’s selection of Joseph was just as intentional as His selection of Mary!
God, in His selection of Joseph, was fulfilling what had been promised: a great King would come from David’s seed. He confirmed the perfection of His choice in that Jesus’ blood line would come through Mary, as only she shared Jesus’ blood, (from Nathan’s line, the third son of David and Bathsheba) AND Jesus’ titular line, would come through Joseph, as Jesus’ earthly father, (from Solomon’s line, the fourth son of David and Bathsheba).
God also provided us a list of qualities that He found in the man that He was entrusting to raise His only son:
- Just (Righteous): according to Holy Scripture.
- Strong yet Gentle: shown in his handling of Mary being with child that was not his, and making the hard decision to release Mary, but quietly, so as not to publicly humiliate her.
- Obedient to God: shown in his choice to listen to and believe God’s messenger about Mary’s pregnancy and not to release her from their betrothal, no matter what ridicule or harassment he may endure.
- Self-Controlled: Joseph patiently waiting to physically consummate his marriage to Mary until after she had given birth to Jesus.
Joseph was a carpenter, and, as a Jewish father, would not only be responsible for teaching Jesus his trade, but would be responsible for raising Jesus in the Jewish traditions and spiritual observances. Joseph’s steady hand would be very useful in one of those observances as he would be responsible for circumcising Jesus at 8-days-old (no pressure there!) and taking him to the Temple when he was 12. Theologians presume that Joseph passed away at some point between this time and Jesus’ baptism. Can you imagine what it was like for Joseph once he had been given full knowledge of the Truth–that this infant he had helped deliver in that stable, that he had protected with his life, and raised and loved as his own–had actually been born to die for him?
Kathy McDaniel and her husband, Randy, are the proud parents of Taylor, Shane and Jake (their Jack Russell). They joined First Baptist in July 2004. Her hobbies are reading (when she can), scrapbooking (when she is able), and watching Hallmark movies (usually while folding laundry) and her loves are singing in the choir at FBC and spending all the time she can with Randy, Taylor, Shane and Jake!