Updated: Dec 2, 2021
Joseph, I love this guy
Joseph is my most favorite person in the Bible. His name sake in the Old Testament though suffering greatly, trusts God and becomes the second most powerful man in the Egyptian Empire. Elijah trusts God to confront a murderous queen and Jews for ages to come await his return before the arrival of the Messiah. Esther gets a book of the Bible names after her. Peter the disciple is remembered as the first bishop of the early church. Paul, well Paul gets his name everywhere. And Joseph the earthy “father” of Jesus, fades away almost as soon as we read about him.
So, don’t miss out on the magnitude of what Joseph faces by trusting God. Social stigma at Mary having a child conceived before they are married. Spiriting Mary and the baby Jesus off to Egypt to escape an evil and murderous king bent on killing Jesus. Settle in an unfamiliar town to continue to protect the young child in his care from King Herod’s equally as murderous predecessor. Then, fearfully returning to Jerusalem after being there to celebrate Passover to find his “son” in the Temple schooling the teachers of the Law. Joseph raises the Messiah, the Son of God, with no fanfare and rides off into the sunset in a scene that gets cut from the film
The question – What does Joseph see in God or know about God that leads him to “not be afraid?”
Then remember that Jesus is always center stage in these stories. Jesus will be a human “son,” and the “savior of the people of Israel” (read, “the Messiah”) and “Immanuel.” The child will be given an ordinary name in his society, “Jesus.” Jesus will be conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit yet develop in a young woman’s womb like an ordinary child. His birth will fulfill prophecy spoken centuries earlier in the Jewish Scriptures (our Old Testament.)
The question – What do we learn about who Jesus will be; who Jesus is?
Finally, just a thought. Joseph could have said “No.” Joseph could have blamed the dream on indigestion brought on by stress and bad olives. Joseph had a choice.
The question – What if Joseph had said, “No?” More importantly, what happens when we say, “No?”
Joseph could have publicly shamed Mary to protect his reputation. No one would have thought less of him. Yet, Joseph did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace. Here future mattered more than his reputation. I love this guy! See you Sunday.
AMEN for now,
See you Sunday.
AMEN for now.