Joseph is one gospel character we don’t usually pay much attention to. Because we don’t hear much about him during Jesus’ 3 1/2 years of public ministry, the assumption is that Joseph had already died. This would be why, while on the cross, Jesus asked John to care for His mother Mary. She must have been a widow at that time.
The Gospels don’t tell us much about Joseph, but what we do know about him as a man, as a husband, and as a father is rich.
Joseph’s Personal Character
We are told the Joseph was a righteous man. He cared deeply for Mary and wanted to believe the best about her and protect her.
Joseph’s Spiritual Devotion
Joseph was a man who listened to and followed God’s direction. God spoke to him through angels and dreams. He doesn’t speak to me that way, but he did to Joseph. And Joseph listened and obeyed. Immediately. We see this before Jesus is born when the angel tells Joseph that Mary will give birth. We see this again when Joseph is warned in a dream to flee to Egypt. We see it yet again when an angel tells Joseph to return to Israel.
Joseph’s Enduring Legacy
You have to respect Joseph. He was a man of God. He was chosen by God to be Jesus’ earthly father. And as a father, Joseph modeled manhood for his adopted son. He modeled hard work, devotion to God and compassion for others. It couldn’t have been easy being given the task of being the earthly father of the Son of God, but Joseph manned up and accepted the challenge.
Joseph listened to God, and as a result he provided for and protected his family. Joseph obeyed God, and as a result he led his family well.
As a man, as a husband, as a father, I want to lead well. Spirit of God, lead me. I’m listening.
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