Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus

Last week, we took a look at the last mention of Joseph by name or reference.  This was

There is no record of Jesus after he is at the temple when he is 12, until he begins his earthly ministry

There is no record of Jesus after he is at the temple when he is 12, until he begins his earthly ministry

when Jesus was twelve at the temple.

The majority of what we know about the childhood of Jesus comes from the accounts found in Matthew and Luke.  The two books together provide the large picture we have of Jesus birth and childhood.

From these two accounts we have learned the majority of what we know about Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus.

Joseph is not mentioned at all in the Gospel of Mark.

There is only one mention of Joseph in the

Jesus would have worked alongside Joseph to learn the trade of carpentry

Jesus would have worked alongside Joseph to learn the trade of carpentry

Gospel of John.   For whatever reason, this was the only mention of Joseph that John felt he needed to record.

This occurs as Jesus is beginning his earthly minister.  We know that Jesus was thirty years old when his earthly minister began.

Most scholars believe that by the time Jesus began his ministry, Joseph had already died.   This is based on the fact that while Mary is described at various points in Jesus ministry, the crucifixion and Jesus rising from the dead there is no mention at all of Joseph.

People, especially men, did not live as long in Biblical times as they do today.  Life and work was hard for those that lived during Biblical times.

Jesus brothers and friends questioned his teachings because they knew him and his parents

Jesus brothers and friends questioned his teachings because they knew him and his parents

John 6 says, “41 The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said, I am the bread which came down out of heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how doth he now say, I am come down out of heaven?”

The Jews were unsure of Jesus and his teachings.  They were questioning his ministry.  They asked is this not the son of Joseph?

After all, they knew both Joseph and Mary.  They clearly did not understand what Jesus was saying, but would we if we had been in their shoes.

Joseph worked hard with his hands

Joseph worked hard with his hands

Matthew 13:55 re-iterates this sentiment.  Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers–James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.”

This time Joseph is not mentioned by name, however we learn a very important point about Joseph.  He is a carpenter.  This was his trade and how he supported his family.  This was the trade he taught to Jesus and his other sons.

However, what’s interesting is that Jesus mother, Mary, is mentioned by name. This is another indication that Joseph has probably passed away by this point.

Joseph and Mary

Joseph and Mary

We are also provided with the names of four of Jesus brothers, which would have been the sons of Joseph.  We also know that there are unnamed daughters that Joseph and Mary had.

{Note: The Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church teach that these children were not Mary’s biological children and she remained a virgin.}

So these last piece of scripture provide additional biographical and genealogical information about Joseph, in the same way the first scripture references provide us with this information.

Joseph was a good man

Joseph was a good man

So from this reference in Matthew we know”

  1. Joseph was a carpenter
  2. Joseph remained married to Mary
  3. Mary and Joseph had four other sons—James, Joseph, Simon and Judas

In Greek, we learn the name Joseph is translated and means carpenter.

We do not know when Joseph died.

 

 

However, we do know that Joseph was:

  • Honest

    Joseph the earthly father of Jesus

    Joseph the earthly father of Jesus

  • Hard working
  • Righteous
  • Obedient
  • Caring
  • Protective

He witnessed many miraculous events with the birth of Jesus.  While we focus often on Mary in the Christmas story, Joseph was just as hand picked as Mary was.

  1. God chose Joseph to be the earthly and legal father to His son.
  2. God chose Joseph to protect His son.
  3. God chose Joseph to teach and raise His son
  4. God chose Joseph to train his son

Joseph is the type of man that as women we can strive to marry the same characteristics he exhibits.  As mothers, we can strive to raise our sons to exhibit the same characteristics as Joseph.

What have you learned from the life of Joseph?

 

 

*Pictures from FreeBibleImages.com

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