We don’t read a lot about the earthly father of Jesus. He was there, of course, and the Bible does give us a few insights into his character: He was just, thoughtful, obedient, chaste, obedient, protective, and did I say obedient? We read these things about him in the Gospel of Matthew. Plus, we know that he was a carpenter and probably a pretty good one at that. If he wasn’t good at it when Christ was born, I’m sure he became very good at it when adolescent-Jesus taught his father how to really make good furniture.
Why Joseph as his earthly father? Why an earthly father at all? I think Jesus needed an earthly father, just as He needed John the Baptizer, His cousin, to be the one to prepare people for His coming. It was all part of the Heavenly Father’s plan.
So God appointed Joseph to be the earthly father of the King of kings. Here are a few things that I see in this dad:
– He was the head of his home and Jesus yielded to His father’s head-ship. That’s the way of our Savior.
– Joseph took his family to church and taught them to love this inseparable part of family life. So much so that Boy Jesus didn’t want to leave it. That’s the way of our Savior.
– Joseph taught his son to make a living. We don’t know anything about Jesus between his 12th and 30th birthdays. During those 18 years Jesus wasn’t idle. He worked, thanks to his father’s upbringing. That’s the way of our Savior.
– Joseph loved Mary. They had more children. Jesus was the first fruits of this marriage. That’s the way of the Savior.
– Joseph blessed his Son Jesus before he died, granting Jesus his divine sanction as a dad so He could begin His ministry. That’s what Godly fathers do – bless their children so they, too, will live a Godly life. That’s the way of our Savior.
Maybe you don’t see these things but I do. And I think about these things as I reflect on how I raised my own children. This makes the Christmas story more personal, more applicable, and more intimate.
It just makes sense to think this way as an earthly father raising his children on behalf of his Heavenly Father. That’s the way of our Savior.