Matthew 1:16. and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
Luke 3:23. Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph
Joseph may not have been Jesus’ biological father, but he was the earthly father that Jesus needed. The book of Matthew describes Joseph as a “righteous” man. This means that he tried desperately to keep the law of God. It also describes him as a compassionate man, a man that refused to disgrace Mary, and rather, sought to handle things quietly when she got pregnant out of wedlock.
Joseph was also an extremely obedient man. Whatever the angel said, Joseph did. Stay with Mary. Yep. Name your son Jesus. OK. Take your family to Egypt. Let’s go. Return to Nazareth from Egypt. Let’s go again.
It is very clear from both Matthew and Luke that Joseph loved God and he loved others. Having been born into a time of silence, a time without a prophet, without a king, and even without hope, Joseph chose to do what was right, even when it must have made no sense to him at all. He chose to obey God even when it would be humiliating for him. To share a life with Mary is to share in her public shame. To adopt Jesus as his own son is to adopt the burden he would carry of doing his heavenly father’s business.
Are there things that don’t make sense to you as you wait for Christ’s return? Are there things that God is asking you to do but you’re not even sure you can do them or even if you want to do them?
Have you been choosing the easy way out? Are you willing to do hard things? Uncomfortable things for the cause of Christ?
Can you identify anything that God has asked you to do that you keep putting on hold?
Listen, this isn’t about letting the righteous compassion of Joseph inspire you to be like him. It’s never about that. It’s about asking what motivated Joseph? What allowed him to choose this level of obedience, and do I have that same motivation?
Joseph was motivated by his faith in God. Are you? Am I?
We’re not motivated by Joseph; we are motivated by God’s grace just like Joseph was.
Matthew 1:20-21. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
May we find the same motivation that Joseph did in the grace and salvation of our heavenly father.
What specific obedience is God calling you to this Christmas? What’s your motivation for obedience? Is it God’s grace?