I know it isn’t even December yet, but I wanted to share some thoughts with you about Joseph, Jesus’ “adopted” dad. I think he was put into a very difficult situation!
Many years ago I heard a song, called “Joseph’s Song”, that had the line, “How can a man be father to the Son of God?” I love this line! It helped me realize how difficult the situation was for Joseph. Here was a good man who loved and honored God. And then he had a wife that was pregnant, before official wedlock, and the child was not his own. He chose to stay with Mary, and endure the scandal and whispers that were sure to accompany their marriage. His life was later in danger because of this child and he had to lead his family to Egypt to live as immigrant foreigners. He temporarily lost a 12-year-old Jesus in Jerusalem, only to find Him in the Temple with the teachers of the law. Jesus’ simple line was, “I had to be in my Father’s house” – this revealed the nature of Jesus, but for Joseph it must have only driven home the reminder that he was not the true father of Jesus, the son he loved.
Joseph died before Jesus was fully grown, before Jesus fully lived out His ministry and revealed who He was to the world. We don’t know what Joseph and Jesus said to each other before Joseph died, but we can see that Joseph did the best he could trying to raise Jesus, the Son of God. It might not have always been easy when Jesus was perfect!
The story of Joseph inspires me. It also gives me comfort. God asked Joseph to do something that had never been done – help raise the Son of God. I am sure Joseph, being human, was not perfect. God didn’t expect him to be perfect, just to do his best. And he did. Joseph reminds me that God will ask me to do some things that are hard for me – maybe even impossible for me – and that He will be with me. Joseph also reminds me that all I need to do is the best I can do, even with the voices of criticism that may surround me (and definitely surrounded him). I can smile and keep following Jesus – as He uses my life for His perfect plan.