As we round the holiday corner and steam toward Christmas, our thoughts are centered on the story surrounding our Lord’s birth. Often times we focus on different characters in the Biblical narrative, from the holy to the horrible.
As a father, I like to study Joseph and the way he reacted in different situations. As God always does, he choose the right man to raise God incarnate. Consider all the character tests that Joseph went through. Prior to traveling to Bethlehem, Joseph learned of Mary’s pregnancy. While the law allowed for capital punishment, he was willing to quietly divorce her and move on with his life.
This speaks of his compassion and grace, traits that would be seen in the life of Christ.
Joseph also traveled to Bethlehem with his wife being great with child. The purpose, as the Bible explains, was to be taxed. How easy would it have been for Joseph to say "Honey, no one will know if we skip this one. I mean, you are about to give birth, the IRS will never know if we don’t show up."
This speaks of Joseph doing the right thing in a hard situation. Sort of like Christ facing the cross.
After the birth of Jesus, Joseph was warned by God to flee from the land because the life of Jesus was in danger. He obeyed, as he obeyed him before when God said to remain with Mary.
Christ, the Bible says, was obedient even unto death. God did not need Joseph to teach these traits to Christ per say. Jesus, being perfect and without sin, would posses these anyway.
Joseph was what every father and Christian should be – honest, obedient, and compassionate. Let us not overlook this little spoken of character this season.
May we all be like Joseph.
Jerry Boyce is the youth pastor at Bible Baptist Church in Fort Mill. He can be reached at email@example.com