One of the ways I’ve been getting ready for Christmas is by studying the life of Joseph in Matthew 1–2.
Joseph is often overlooked in the church and in Scripture. For example, Joseph is mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew only in chapters 1 and 2 in association with the birth of Jesus. In some people’s minds, Joseph appears to have been nothing more than a “Mr. Necessity” in the message of Jesus’ birth.
In reality, Joseph played an indispensable part in the drama associated with the coming of the Son of God. God repeatedly spoke to Joseph by an angel of the Lord in dreams, and Joseph responded in obedience and faith. Though put in difficult positions, Joseph’s great faith showed through.
Think of what Joseph faced.
First, he experienced the fear of ridicule and the fear that his wife had been unfaithful to him. God’s great plan put Joseph under a tremendous amount of pressure, but Joseph withstood the pressure and showed us great examples of faith, trust, and perseverance.
Second, Joseph faced down one of history’s worst tyrants. The Romans and the Jews knew Herod the Great as a paranoid despot. Out of fear that they might challenge him for his kingdom, Herod had his favorite wife and several of his sons put to death. No wonder the Bible says that “Herod was troubled and all Jerusalem with him” at the news of the birth of a king. Any time Herod was agitated, peoples’ lives were at stake.
In spite of the power of the throne of the king of Israel, Joseph obeyed God and took care of the child and His mother.
Third, Joseph moved to a new land, made a living for his family, and took care of God’s own Son.
After the death of Herod the Great, Joseph received God’s message to return to the land of Israel. When he did so he found that Archelaus (who could be as ruthless as his father) ruled over Judea, Joseph obeyed God again and took the Boy and His mother to Gallilee.
Joseph was a great man of God who can teach us many things about God.
Let us learn about manhood and fatherhood from this great man of God who exhibited faith, trust, and obedience.
I have the privilege each day of writing a devotional for people all over the country. If you would like to be a part of this audience, you can subscribe to my daily devotional by signing up at WaylonBailey.com or in the box below.