Joseph – a Valuable Member of the Nativity Scene

This is the time of year when people do a lot of focusing on Mary, the Mother of Jesus. We marvel at what a wonderful person she must have been to have God choose her for the Mother of His Son.

We spend so much time focusing on her that we overlook a really key player in this earthly family of Christ.  It’s the man God chose to be the earthly father of Christ.

God didn’t just come to Mary to discuss the arrival of this child. Certainly, He sent His angel to let her know what the plan was and Mary, in essence, said “whatever You want, I will do.” Mary made her choice.  I am convinced she had the option to agree or decline.  It must have taken a great deal of inner strength to agree to such a life-changing event. But God didn’t send His angel only to Mary. He also sent him to Joseph.  The Bible tells us that Joseph was a Godly man who knew that he had a tough choice to make where Mary was concerned. She was pregnant and single. Totally unacceptable to the church of his time – or to anyone for that matter. In today’s world, he could easily have been the man who said, ‘not my kid; not my problem’ just before walking out the door.

Not so for Joseph. He accepted his responsibility as fiancee’ for Mary and was working on his options when God sent His angel to have a talk with Joseph.  Joseph, too, made a choice. He accepted the responsibility of raising God’s Son.

I find it interesting to note that the Bible tells us that Mary watched everything that happened and ‘pondered it in her heart.’ It was Joseph that was the do-er in the family. Further instructions for the protection of the child were given to him. The angel was sent to Joseph to warn him to take the child somewhere safe.  Joseph just went to Mary and said ‘pack up. We’re out of here.’ Later, it was again Joseph who is told that it is safe to return home.  When he did come back, he went to Nazareth. I’ve wondered about that some. My pastor says there was a lot of construction going on near there so maybe Joseph was just going where the jobs were.  Part of me wonders, though, if he was still protecting Jesus and Mary.  Protecting them from the stigma of being born to an unwed mother – a truly scandalous thing in those days.  Even if the circumstances of His birth did become known, Nazareth was a tough town by all accounts. People said, “can any good come out of Nazareth?” So with any luck at all, nobody would care.

Jesus, Himself, became a carpenter like his earthly father, Joseph. Tells me that Joseph spent some time teaching Jesus a trade and Jesus respected him enough to be willing to to spend some time following in his footsteps. The type of earthly father Jesus should have was as important to God as the earthly mother He chose. It was a team effort – this raising of Jesus. As a team, they went hunting Him when He was missing from the traveling group at the age of 12.  It was Joseph who scolds him saying “your mother and I were searching for You”.

Fathers, just because the woman is the one who gives birth doesn’t make her the only one responsible for the training and the upbringing of the child. Your input is critical. God shows us that by the care He took in choosing Joseph. He shows us that by letting us know that it is Joseph to whom He gave instructions on the safety and protection of the child.  Be the man God wants you to be. Seek His guidance as head of your household. Never underestimate the importance of your role.

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply