The Josephs in the life of Jesus
Luke 23:50 -
And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:
In the Bible we have two Josephs in the life of Jesus one in His birth and the other in His death. The first was the husband of Mary and the other was a member of the Jewish council.
People think Joseph the husband of Mary was the father of Jesus (even legally) but that too is not true. According to Jewish customs [Also Biblically] a marriage commences only when the couple come together (have physical relationship). Mary being pregnant with a child at the time of their marriage caused them to delay their marriage until the birth of the child. Matthew clearly records Mary as Joseph's fiancee at the time of Jesus' birth and then states after His birth they came together thus became husband and wife.
According to Jewish customs there are three methods of solemnizing a marriage, i.e. kesef, shetar and bi'ah (money, deed, and sexual intercourse). The first required money to be given by the groom to the bride's family, second required transfer of property and third they coming together. The last was important for if the last not abided by would nullify the marriage, such that even not satisfying the husband would be sufficient grounds for divorce of the couple. I read during the time of Jesus as per custom the marriage couple were not part of the marriage celebration since they were put up in a room to come together while the others celebrated the banquet, that is the reason at the marriage of Cana (marriage of Mary's daughter that is why she was there at the venue 3 days before Jesus came with His disciples, and also the reason why she was organizing things and was worried about the wine getting over) the marriage couple are not mentioned even in the background. So we see Mary's husband Joseph took charge of the infant Jesus after He was born and by their marriage extended his name officially (for records) as father to the child. This Joseph did not die immediately after Jesus' birth like some people think. He did live a long time after Jesus' birth for he had many children by his marriage to Mary (at least 3 boys and 2 girls for their marriage was blessed). In reality the earthly father of the man Jesus was the Holy Spirit since He was born of the Holy Spirit; that is the reason why He was born without sin even though Mary was with sin, since sin (sinful nature & curses) is transferred from father to children. The mother's sins get transferred through the father when they come together as one. The Holy Spirit was no man and Jesus was not born out of any sexual intercourse but by the power of the Holy Spirit but yet in a natural way as any normal baby is born.
People also think Jesus's family were very poor, but that too was not true. Joseph was a known carpenter (Jewish documents records him as into construction business) and they also forget the very precious gifts the wise men gifted the family. Anther fact was the robes Jesus wore were not very expensive but also not cheap that is why they caste lots for it at His death and did not tear it to share it like His other belongings. Jesus lived as a middle class man. What 2 Corinthians 8:9 speaks of is of Him humbling Himself spiritually for our sake to as to lift us up spiritually. Remember God promises to provide all our needs and in Jesus' life too this was fulfilled.
The Joseph in today's message also has very interesting background in the life of Jesus. He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 53:9. Jesus was killed among the criminals and was buried in the tomb of the rich due to this man. Interestingly this Joseph came from the birth and burial place of Samuel the Prophet (Arimathaea is the Greek name for Ramah). According to Jewish record this man is said to be the brother of Nicodemus the tax commissioner of Jericho and is recorded as Joseph ben Gorion brother of Nicodemus ben Gorion. That is the reason John states him to be a secret disciple of Jesus for although being a Jewish councillor (a Jewish priest) he believed in the teachings of Jesus due to his brother.
The name Joseph means 'let Him add' or 'Jehovah has added'. People may think it is a blessing to be a Joseph in the life of Jesus but surprisingly it is not. Both theses Josephs were associated with the earthly (physical) man Jesus but about the spiritual Jesus they did nothing much. The first took care of the infant /child Jesus and the other the dead body of Jesus, both were not associated with the teachings of Jesus or part of the ministry of Jesus.
We Christians - people of God do not follow a man Jesus but the teachings of Jesus Christ, the mission of Jesus Christ, the Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore the child Jesus or the body of Jesus is not important to us but His Word is, for His Word is Living Bread (the word 'flesh' in Hebrew comes from the root word 'tiding' / 'message'). Jesus without His teachings or His ministry or sacrifice is like a statute or another worldly man and not Jesus Christ the Saviour. If we truly love Jesus we should love not the man Jesus but His words, the teachings that came from Him and believe in the things He did for us.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You lifted your Word about all things. You came to make way for us so that by your Word and Spirit we would be able to walk in the way and return to You. Lord, we pray we do not become like the Josephs with our eyes focused on the physical You but be like John, Paul, Peter, James and the other disciples who were focused on your mission. Give us the courage to stand for your Word and your Cause...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:
51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.
52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Matthew 1:18 - Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed [engaged] to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 53:9 - And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
1 Samuel 1:19 - And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her.
1 Samuel 28:3 - Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.
John 19:38 - And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
Matthew 24:35 - Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
47 Every one that cometh unto me, and heareth my words, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like:
48 he is like a man building a house, who digged and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock: and when a flood arose, the stream brake against that house, and could not shake it: because it had been well builded.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that built a house upon the earth without a foundation; against which the stream brake, and straightway it fell in; and the ruin of that house was great.
John 14:23 - Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
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