I’ve often thought about Jesus’ step-dad. The thoughts usually come when I am thinking about Mary and all the misunderstanding and tongue-wagging that probably surrounded her after her pregnancy became known. But just as Mary was likely misunderstood, the same would be true of her betrothed.
Just to clarify, I was not there. But I know humanity well enough to know that we tend to be critical of what we don’t understand. The Bible says that Joseph was going to end the betrothal, as was common in his day when a woman was found “with child” before the marriage was consummated. But an angel appeared to Joseph and told him to marry Mary… that she was the anointed one to carry the Messiah (Matthew 1:18-25). BECAUSE Joseph knew and loved God, he believed the angel, even though God hadn’t “spoken” to the children of Israel for a VERY long time! Joseph must have been a man after God’s heart… one who was looking for the Messiah’s appearance… one who knew God’s Word to be true! So, when the angel said that Mary would give birth to a son and that Joseph was to name Him “Jesus” because He would save His people from their sins, Joseph did not question. He remembered the prophesy in Isaiah 7:14 and 8:8-10 that said that a virgin would conceive and bear a son and that He would be called Immanuel or “God with us.” He also knew that his own family history went back through King David to Abraham, the father of all Israel. According to scripture, it was through Abraham that all the nations of the earth would be blessed… and Joseph was in his ancestral line!
Joseph was a man of obedience. He didn’t question the angel, he just trusted and obeyed the Word that the angel conveyed to him! He knew the Hebrew scriptures and the prophesy handed down through generations! He trusted God to lead him and to keep him from error. He also trusted the woman who was to become his bride. So, even though he wasn’t sure at the outset, once the angel showed up, Joseph drew a sigh of relief and married this precious woman who was bearing the Son of God! And, despite what others would do or say, HE was convinced that Mary was a woman set apart for greatness and he was willing to bear the immense responsibility of helping to raise this most unique of all men!
So don’t just gloss over this special man-among-men! Joseph was the man chosen by God, and fully equipped, to be the godly step-dad to the Saviour of all mankind… God’s very own Son! I’m guessing that this was another of those things that Mary kept and pondered in her heart….