Joseph (Guardian of Jesus)

<<the earthly father of Jesus>>

Joseph was a carpenter in Nazareth and this trade would have been passed on to Jesus. 

He was a man of integrity and high morals.  He was going to break off his engagement to Mary when she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  However, he obeyed God’s directions and took her as his wife while exercising self-discipline, honouring Mary’s virginity until after Jesus was born.  He was sensitive to divine guidance. The last recorded account of Joseph was when Jesus was 12 years old and it is believed Joseph died prior to Jesus commencing His earthly, public ministry.

His story is told in Matthew 1:16-2:23, Luke 1:26-2:52. 

Lessons from his life: * Although deeply hurt when Mary said she was pregnant he did not retaliate in anger or plan to humiliate her but to discreetly finish the engagement (Mt 1:19,20). Obviously, he did not respond with a rash quick decision but rather pondered on the situation thinking through the options and even 'slept on it'.  Spontaneous unthought-through emotional decisions seldom reflect God's values and so are regretted. Our reactions, when our dreams turn to nightmares, or when others erroneously consider we have sinned, discloses the character within us.

* Several times he was clearly spoken to by an angel of the Lord and each time he responded in obedience (Mt 1:20-24, 2:13,14,19-23). Consider the consequences if he had not obeyed in each situation. We do not know the full implications of obeying or not obeying the voice of God in numerous scenarios throughout our life, but understand obedience is the pathway to blessing and the outworking of the divine plans through us. Am I acting on the Word of the Lord to me?

* Joseph was a person of high morals and strong self-control to refrain from having sexual relationships with his wife till after the miracle baby had been born (Mt 1:24,25). God expects couples to refrain from premarital sex. If you are unmarried, determine in your heart to guard the area where so many people slip up and live with regret. If you are married the Bible teaches tolerance and respect for your spouse, especially when the other has no desire for sex such as during the menstruation period or latter stages of pregnancy.

See also: dreams, Mary, obedience, reactions, self-control.