“Joseph, An Unsung Hero”

Posted: December 9, 2015 in Bible Prophecy, Christmas, Salvation, Uncategorized

To produce a major motion picture, such as “A Christmas Carol,” “The Ten Commandments,” or “The Passion Of The Christ,” many people were needed.  Some people are in the limelight while others work hard behind the scenes. But they all have an important part. Although this character had royal blood flowing through his veins, Joseph, the step-father of Jesus had nothing he ever said recorded for us in the Scriptures. But he did play an important role in the life of Jesus and Mary. He was –

A Just Man. He knew the Mosaic Law. He knew that the seventh commandment said, You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). When he learned that Mary, his fiance was pregnant and that he wasn’t the father of the child, he knew that she could have been stoned to death for here immoral behavior (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22-24; See John 8:11; Romans 9:15). He also could have taken her to have her tested in an unusual way. (If you want to learn what they did back then, you will need to get out your Bible and read Numbers 5:11-31.) While he didn’t desire to demean or hurt Mary, he was determined to put her away privately (Matthew 1:19).

An Attentive Man. While he was grieving over all that was happening, an angel appeared to him to enlighten him. If an angel appeared to you as they did in times past, you would probably be startled too (Luke 1:12, 29; Acts 10:4). Angels were created by God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shares an absolute equality with God the Father (Colossians 1:16; 2:9; John 5:18; 8:58; 10:30). Angels have had an important role in providing limited information to people and assisting them (Hebrews 1:14; See Acts 10:3-6; 1 Kings 22:22). This angel told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because the child that she was carrying in her womb was conceived by God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20; See Luke 1:35). Little did Joseph realize that his fiance, Mary was the virgin who would bring forth the promised Messiah who wanted to save His people from their sins (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:21; See John 1:11, 12, 29).

An Obedient Man. In response to the angel’s instructions, Joseph took Mary as his lawful wife (Matthew 1:24) even though it meant that he would have to bear the shame that would come from the accusations of others who didn’t know that her conception was miraculous (John 8:41). Joseph provided a home for her in Nazareth (Matthew 2:23; John 1:46). When she was about to give birth to the Christ Child, he had to take her to Bethlehem where they were required to register (Luke 2:1ff). By the way, that wouldn’t have been an easy trip (over 80 miles) for a woman who was very pregnant. They didn’t have automobiles. She either walked or rode on the back of an animal. Micah, the prophet had predicted that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Her virginity was maintained until she brought forth her firstborn Son who was called Jesus (Matthew 1:25). After Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary had other children (John 6:42; 7:5-10; Acts 1:14). Mary was highly favored, but was not filled with the Holy Spirit as her cousin Elizabeth was nor was Mary, by her own confession, sinless (Luke 1:28, 41-47). She was the mother of Christ’s humanity only, not the mother of God or a mediator between us and Jesus and God the Father (1 Timothy 2:5).  We don’t pray to her.

A Cursed Man. No, Joseph himself was not the one on whom the curse was placed. Rather it was his ancestor King Jeconiah who had a curse placed on him that would affect all his descendants (Jeremiah 22:24-30; Matthew 1:12). Joseph was in that line and therefore couldn’t be the rightful King of the Jews. But as the step-father of Jesus he could pass the right to rule on to Jesus. Mary also came from King David through his son Nathan (Luke 3:23-38).

Roles. Although not much about Joseph was recorded in the Scriptures, he fulfilled the role that God gave to him. You and I also have a role in a major production called “LIFE.” In this drama, we all start out our lives as children of the devil. We’re all antagonists and enemies against God (John 8:44; Romans 5:10; 1 John 3:9, 10). But God graciously saves and turns some of His enemies into His children and even calls some of them His friends (Romans 8:15; John 6:37, 44; 15:15). On whose side are you? Would you like to get out of Satan’s family and the kingdom of darkness (Colossians 1:13) and enter God’s family and spend eternity with Him in heaven (John 14:1-3)? It involves a conscious decision on your part.

Unbelievable? Believe it or not, some people don’t want to go to heaven to be with a holy and righteous God. They hate Him and defy Him (Psalm 2). If they were forced to go there it would be like having hell in heaven. They don’t realize how awful hell really is (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:15; See Luke 16:10-31).  But they would rather go there than to heaven because they love spiritual darkness and the pleasures of sin rather than light (John 3:19; Revelation 16:11; 21:9). Are you one of them?

Believe. The Gospel is clear and simple. For I [the Apostle Paul] delivered to you first of all that which I also received; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried [for three days and nights], and that He rose again [bodily] the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; See Luke 24:39). He was seen by Cephas[Peter] and by over 500 witnesses for the next forty days before ascending back gradually, literally, and publicly to heaven  with a promise to return someday (John 14:1-3; Act 1:3-11).  Therefore, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). It’s that simple. Don’t try to add your good works to salvation. Why? For by grace [undeserved favor] you [are] saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9; See Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6). Don’t put off making this decision. Our lives are like a vapor that quickly vanishes away (James 4:14; See Proverbs 27:1; 2 Corinthians 6:2).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: http://www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d would like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  We’d like to know if this article has helped you.

 

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