Hall of Faith: Joseph Was Faithful

We discussed how Mary belonged in the Hall of Faith {although no one in the New Testament is mentioned in this list of spiritual giants}, but Mary was not alone on her

An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream

journey. She had Joseph to walk beside her on this journey.

We know little about Joseph, but we’re told he “went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David.” {Luke 2:4} So, Joseph descended from the royal house of King David.

Luke 1:26 says, “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph”. When we first meet him he is betrothed to Mary.

Matthew 1:19 says, “And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.”

Joseph and Mary

We don’t know how Joseph discovered Mary’s condition, but at some point it was revealed to him. But notice, that he is referred to as a righteous man. He had no desire to humiliate Mary in any way or make her a public example.

Matthew goes on to say, “and when he thought on these things.” So he apparently gave the matter great thought, as he tried to decide what was the best course of action. Verses 20-21 goes on to say that the angel came to Joseph and told him to “fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife.” The angel let him know that it was okay to take Mary as his wife. Scripture gives us no indication of Joseph’s reaction to the angel, other than the fact that he was obedient.

Matthew 1:24-25 says, “And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord

Joseph was a good man

commanded him, and took unto him his wife.” Joseph did as the angel commanded.

Luke 2 begins by saying, “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David to enroll himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child.” Joseph followed the law and went to enroll for the census, although it was not the most convenient time given Mary’s condition.

Luke 2 goes on to share the story of the birth of Jesus. Joseph is not mentioned by name again, but he is right there with Mary. Given the fact that Jesus was born in a stable, Joseph was probably present at the birth of Jesus. Whether he was able to find a midwife to help him deliver the Christ child we do not know. What is clear is that when the angels appeared and the shepherds arrived, Joseph was there with Mary.

The angel told Joseph not to be afraid

Luke 2:27, “and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, that they might do concerning him after the custom of the law”. Joseph kept the religious law to take Jesus to the temple. He heard all that Simeon and Anna said. While we often focus on Mary pondering things in her heart, it is important not to leave Joseph out. In Luke 2:33, “And his father and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him.” Not only did Mary marvel at all that was said, but Joseph also cherished and marveled what was said about his son. The word marvel means “to be filled with wonder and astonishment.” Joseph stored the words up in both his heart and mind for future use. He was filled with wonder at who his son was and what that would mean for his people.

Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus

As Jesus grew, Joseph probably witnessed first hand some of what was said.

The birth of Jesus completely changed his life. He was forced to take his young family and flee to Egypt when Herod sought to kill Jesus. They stayed until the angel reappeared and told him that it was safe to return. {Matthew 2}

The next time we see Joseph, Jesus is 12 years old. We are told that “his parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the passover. “ Once again, we see how Joseph is faithful to the religious law, but faithful in living out his faith.

This is the last active record of Joseph. The only other mention is in Matthew 13:55, when Jesus has begun his earthly minister. The people “Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son.” From this we know that Joseph was a carpenter.

Joseph was a carpenter

Being a carpenter during Biblical times was hard work. Joseph worked with his hands and did not have the luxury of electric tools the way we have today.

Joseph is not mentioned again in scripture and it is believed that he died before Jesus began his earthly ministry.

But what can we learn from Joseph?

  1. Joseph was righteous

  2. Joseph was obedient

  3. Joseph was law abiding

  4. Joseph kept the religious law

When it was safe Joseph returned with his family to Israel

  1. Joseph was a hard worker

  2. Joseph was faithful

  3. Joseph marveled at the miracles he witnessed

So, Joseph was faithful, righteous and obedient. He witnessed miracles first hand, but more than likely died before witnessing the full ministry and calling of his son.

Are you obedient, even when it does not make sense?

 

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*Pictures from FreeBibleImages.org

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