I love the cheesy humor in this comic. I resonate with this pun from Joseph consoling Mary as he tries to make the best out things after finding out there is “no room in the inn,” as this is how I tend to bring levity to bad situations. But today I want to look into the life of a man who does not get much coverage in the Christmas story but yet his influence was great. When you think of the major characters in the Christmas Story, who comes to mind, other than Jesus of course…The Angel Gabriel? The Virgin Mary? The Angel’s announcement of the Birth of the Messiah to the Shepherds? Or perhaps the Wise Men from the East? What about Joseph? You know Mary’s husband…In all the Hollywood movie adaptations, Joseph does not get very much attention and so we will remedy that and be focusing on the character of this mighty man of God.
Matthew 1:18-25 (NLT) is told from Joseph’s point of view about Mary’s Immaculate Conception. (If you missed ★ Day 05 – Reason for the Season – Faith Like Mary ★ we looked into Luke 1:26-38 which is Mary’s point of view.) As a husband and father of two daughters, I would have found it very difficult to be in Joseph’s position. Not only trusting that the child is indeed from God but also to endure the daily judgement and speculation of who’s the “real” father’s identity is that must have been pervasive in the small town of Nazareth. Gossip isn’t a new thing and you know how news spreads in a small town…everyone knows everybody else’s business. Joseph was a man who clearly thought of others above Himself. When faced with the betrayal of Mary’s pregnancy, before the Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to confirm the truth (see Matthew 1:20), but right before that verse 19 gives us some insight to his character…
“Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.”
Amazing! “He decided to break the engagement quietly,” and by deciding to do that, Joseph would have never ended the scrutiny or dispelled the rumors of whose child it was. You know it would be one thing to make that decision after the dream, but to decide that beforehand shows what an incredible amount of integrity Joseph possessed. In Matthew 1:22-25 (NLT) it says,
“All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’”
When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.”
This furthers the point that Joseph was a man above reproach, because not only did he have an unwavering acceptance to being part of God’s plan for Jesus’ arrival on Earth, and took Mary as his wife, but he abstained from having sexual relations with “his wife” until AFTER Jesus’ birth. Joseph was an ordinary man who trusted God so much that he was willing to believe the extraordinary and walked it out! He is a model of integrity and I pray that we would all grab hold of this attitude to accept whatever God’s Will is. I had heard a sermon some years ago from David Smith, one of Gateway Church’s Elders and he said this about integrity…
“Integrity is when your behavior matches your beliefs … when what you SAY and what you DO aren’t separate … it’s an INTEGRATED lifestyle. Integrity will bring you peace. Trust, Respect, Honor and Influence will happen for you if you walk with integrity.”
It is certain that long before the news of Mary’s pregnancy, Joseph was already living that “INTEGRATED lifestyle” in which he had peace in his life and was probably a trusted, respected, honored man who had influence within the community that made him the ideal candidate to participate in God’s plan…To be the stepfather of the Son of God. Joseph must have had unparalleled confidence and trust in God to walk the path that was laid out before him, which could have only resulted from knowing His character and understanding God’s love for Joseph and the children of Israel. We posted recently this ★ Thought for the Day – Confidence IN WHOSE You Are ★, if you want to learn more about how you are the Apple of God’s Eye, just like Joseph was! God will take you and me exactly how we are (see Romans 5:1-8 for further evidence!) I saw this image and it got me thinking…
Every one of us wants to be accepted regardless of the baggage we have from past mistakes. Today I want to speak on behalf of God and say there is unwavering acceptance from your heavenly Father; He will accept you just the way you are! And if you have accepted Jesus as your savior but you still feel unworthy because of the lies of Satan, Romans 8:1-2 (NLT) says,
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
That is the truth that Joseph walked in as well! Though he probably received much condemnation from the people around him when he chose to take Mary as his wife and be the father of Jesus, Joseph was confident in whose he was and that was enough. Tony Evans talked about what is available to you if you have faith in God, he said,
“God will often wait to do His big thing until you have done what He has asked you to do. He does this because He wants us to see Him in a way we’ve never seen Him before. He wants us to experience Him in a way that we’ve never experienced Him before. He wants us to see the connection between our act of faith and His deliverance. He wants to be more than just a Cosmic-Santa Claus with a pocketful of miracles to throw down. God wants a relationship with you.”
Amen? If you are reading this and you have not trusted Jesus to be your savior, you can develop a relationship with God through Jesus today! Go to ★ Thought for the Day – I Hate Religion and I’m a Christian… ★, which will lead you on how to make that decision today. I am so thankful that God uses ordinary people to do the extraordinary and for Joseph’s example to spur us on to have unwavering acceptance of God’s providence in our lives! And if you too want for “someone to say ‘come as you are’ and mean it,” then here it is from Jesus who said in Matthew 11:28 (NASB)…
I will close with this song from Crowder that echoes this truth, aptly names “Come As You Are.”
As an additional supplement to today’s “Reason for the Season”…I highly recommend you listen to “The Twelve Voices of Christmas” audio dramatization from Back to the Bible of “Joseph – The Voice of Reason.” This dramatization is designed to help the listener experience the story of Christ’s coming in a fresh way from the Joseph’s perspective.
If you would like to see the next installment of our “25 Days of Thankfulness” series go here… ★ Day 08 – Reason for the Season – Christmas or X-Mas? – Part 2 ★
Or you can start from the beginning by ★ Clicking Here ★
Here is a follow post on the life of Joseph called: