DAY 6: Joseph
Read: Matthew 1: 18-24
Key Verse: Matthew 1: 19 ‘Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.’ (NKJV)
Joseph is first mentioned in Matthew 1:18-25 where he is referred to as a just man. My dictionary defines just as upright, blameless, righteous, conforming to God’s law and mans.
When people set up a nativity scene for the Christmas season, one of the figures that is often not noticed, or is put off to one side, is Joseph. Joseph is not featured in many Christmas songs either. But I believe that Joseph, in many ways, is the unsung hero of the Christmas story. Just as surely as God chose Mary to be the mother of the Messiah, He also chose Joseph. God the Father in heaven chose Joseph to be an adoptive father here on earth, for Jesus!
But this just man faced a heartbreaking dilemma at the news of his beloved Mary’s unexplainable pregnancy. Mary was a virgin, yet the Holy Spirit made her pregnant supernaturally. People would talk, shame would be attached to the pregnancy, and Joseph would probably leave her. But by faith Joseph remained faithful and committed to her. Joseph accepted God’s will for his life. Submission to God’s will almost always involves some risk, but God has promised to work all the details together for good, and we have no alternative but to believe it if we want to enjoy His peace and power.
As scripture states, God appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him to carry through with his plan to marry Mary and revealing to him that her child would be the Messiah. Taking Mary and Jesus as his own was probably humiliating for him in the eyes of the community, but he chose to obey God. His actions reveal not only his strong principles but also his sensitivity and self-discipline. This amazing act of obedience also indicates Joseph’s responsiveness to God. He was a man of integrity who was willing to do God’s will — no matter what.
Prayer: Father God, following your servant Joseph’s example, I pray that You give me the grace and courage to be faithful to You, no matter what price I may be called on to pay.
By Campbell Best