Joseph - a humble man of faith.
Matthew 1:19 -- 'and her husband, Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.'
Betrothal or engagement was very contractual and binding in Israel in the first century, it was as good as marriage. Joseph had rare spiritual and psychological qualities. The implication of scripture is that Joseph was mature and thoughtful, kind and forgiving, patient and humble. His role in the Incarnation was larger than we know.
An ordinary working man with exceptional faith, he was called by God to feed, clothe, protect and teach the Incarnate God. Was ever a man so blessed? But such blessing could be received only by an exceptional man. He knew this was not his baby; yet he believed the angel, taking Mary as wife. Always in the background, he vanished completely from scripture as Jesus grew to manhood. He must have faced the same ignorant criticisms, judgmental attitudes, gossip, and criticisms that Mary endured. He put his personal life on hold as he went to Bethlehem to register, but apparently his real intention was to move there to protect Mary and their new son, hard times for a humble man of faith.
[ Prayer for the Day ]
We thank you, Lord, for Joseph of Nazareth; for his humble submission to your will and the unique role he played in the Advent. Some times Lord you call us too, to be like him not to play the center stage but be an important part in your story. Make us humble like Joseph to do your will. I ask this in Jesus' Name. Amen.
[ Reference Scripture ]
Matthew 1:18-25 [RSV]
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit;
19 and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;
21 she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife,
25 but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.
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