Sunday, December 4, 2011

Joseph

During the Christmas season is about the only time you ever hear about Jesus earthly stepfather.  I have always wondered about him.  He really isn't spoken about in the Bible much.  By design ~ obviously ;). 

But have you ever sat and just pondered him.  In school we are going over Christmas stuff.  But in the guide I'm using, there's really not a lot about him.   BUT, in my favorite book series by my favorite authors ~ The A.D. Chronicles by Brock and Bodie Thoene ~ they fictionalize the advent of Israel's Messiah and our Saviour.  And they write about Joseph.  It is SO worth the read ~ the nativity/advent stories are books 4, 5, and 6.  Their books always make me think and make me see the stories in the Gospels a new way.  Oh, I can't get enough of their books.  Awesome, spirit filled writers!  Love them.

Anyhow ~ they write about Joseph.  And I love that because he is a very important puzzle piece in Messiah's birth.  And he is in the Holy Word for a reason.  Just think about it.  Everything means something.  Every jot and tittle of the Bible is there for a reason, not just to fill up space.  God could've stopped at "In the Beginning ~ I AM."  And that could've been enough for all eternity, and it is.  But God decided to give us more of HIM.  He gave us a portion of HIS wisdom, knowledge, power and the desires HE has for us.  God is SO awesome. 

Anyway ~ I'm always off on trails, sorry!

Back to Joseph.  We won't know until we get to heaven how old he was or what he looked like.  But we know what kind of a man he was.  And I love this next thought.  God chose Mary to be the mother of HIS SON.  But, had she not been betrothed to Joseph, would he have still chosen her, or would he have chosen someone else?  Did you know that Joseph was also chosen by God in HIS plan?!  I think that is awesome.  We are told in the Holy Word that Mary was chosen, but I happen to believe that it wasn't just her ~ but Joseph too! 

How totally awesome is that.  The angel appeared to Mary and explained to her.  She became pregnant.  She was a virgin ~ as predicted ~ she was engaged to Joseph.  I think it had to work out that way.  She would need the protection of marriage.  She would need a protector and so would the Babe she carried.  God used Joseph in mighty ways.  But can you imagine finding out your betrothed was pregnant.  What Love Joseph possessed.  He had decided ~ after what I am sure was MANY heartbreaking sleepless nights  ~ to not cast her out of the city, not to condemn her publicly.  Why?!  Oh the great true love he had for her because as he thought even though she broke his heart (because he only had her word that it was as the angel told her) he still loved her enough to protect her life.  He was just going to quietly end the marriage, but he wanted her to live.  Oh how he loved her. 

Not only that but after the angel appeared to him in a dream and confirmed that she truly did carry the SON of God, he gladly married the love of his life.  But he married her knowing full well that they would not be able to consummate their wedding vows for several months.  Oh, how much he loved not only Mary, but oh how he loved his heavenly Father and trusted HIM.  That would be so difficult for any man ~ to be married to a woman and not be able to "know" her as a husband should.  But he was strong and selfless for the souls of the world.  And can you imagine the threat that was around Mary and the Babe?!  Think about it, they lived under threat of crucifixion at mere thought of rebellion and for Mary to be carrying the King of Kings.  The stars in the sky told of the coming Messiah.  The heavens shouted that the PROMISE was coming true.  And it wasn't just the wise men who could interpret the signs.   And, he protected Mary.  He was a shield for her.  I doubt it was easy to conceal that she was further along in her pregnancy than their marriage.  Joseph had to protect Mary's hearts from the slings and arrows of cruel people around her.  Oh what a wonderful man Joseph was.  Such love.  Their marriage is a beautiful example that I want to follow in my marriage ~ I believe Joseph and Mary were knit together, closer than best friends.  They bore a secret that not everyone knew or understood.  He understood the gravity of what Mary was carrying.  Such a couple they were.

But just think.  What if Mary had been betrothed to some self righteous, pompous Pharisee who when he found out she was with child, took her to the city and threw the first stones at her?!  Granted that wouldn't have stopped God's plan.  But it would've been a small hiccup.  I am so thankful for Joseph.  I think he is my favorite Christmas story character.  He was such an honorable man who was so in love with his betrothed and with his God.   And he earned a mention in the Scriptures.  But he didn't do it for that.  He did it for his God. 

And as I read the Christmas story, I ask myself ~ would I befriend Joseph and Mary, scandal and all, or would I be one to call for stones to be thrown?  Such thoughts. 

I am grateful that God chose not only Mary, but Joseph to work his plan through, also!!!


1 comment:

karajwardell said...

Good thoughts! It's awesome to think that the people God used were just like you and me, and that He can use us in powerful ways as well if we let Him!

We need to fully embrace the love of Christ, as scary as it can be. Love the hurting and wounded like He did. What a great example of that love in Joseph!