Bible Verse: When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. Matthew 1:24
Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-27
There is not a lot written about Joseph, Mary’s husband.
Some scholars believe he was a widower and much older than Mary. Nonetheless, the news that Mary was with a child was a punch in the gut, and given that Joseph wanted to end things quietly and not disgrace her, it suggests he cared deeply for Mary.
Most men would have wanted revenge for the betrayal. I am sure the concept of a virgin birth did not cross Joseph’s mind until the angel of the Lord corrected him in a dream. And how many of us would wake up and not think it was a dream only? Joseph was unmistakably a man of deep faith.
Joseph, like Mary, lived a life of complete sacrifice for the Lord. I am sure most of the community thought Joseph was either raising another man’s child or was a hypocrite for pretending to be a man faithful to God’s Law.
In some ways, I can relate to Joseph. I come from a legalistic church where people were ridiculed rather than forgiven or supported when they failed. In high school, one of my classmates, Isaac, got his girlfriend pregnant. When the news broke, Isaac was judged at every opportunity. Every parent used Isaac’s misfortune as an opportunity to scare their children into celibacy.
The birth of Jesus is an example of Joseph’s deep faith in God’s plan for humanity. Joseph took Mary, who was far along in her pregnancy, to Bethlehem for the census declared by Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor. Against his free will, Joseph travelled with pregnant Mary about 145 km to be counted so they could pay taxes to the Roman occupiers. Joseph would have considered that Mary could go into labour during the trip. They had no place to stay but had faith that God would provide for them.
Joseph is an excellent example of a humble man who sacrificed his life for the greater good. He surrendered his life and obediently followed God’s plan to save humanity. He did not receive earthly honour or glory, but being part of God’s plan was enough.
Prayer: Father, please let us humble ourselves in faithful service like Joseph. He did not receive earthly glory but had a purpose in Your plan. Give us faith to live for You and not ourselves. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Reflection: Is there any part of your life not aligned with God’s purpose?
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