Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Unsung Heroes

There are many unsung heroes whose names are mentioned briefly in the Bible and one such hero is Joseph, the foster father of Jesus. The Lord is in the business of shaking up our world, calling unlikely people to extraordinary tasks. Life is never dull when He is at the helm!

The scripture doesn’t tell us much about Joseph, except that he comes into to history as the man who was engaged to a young girl named Mary. He was an ordinary man with an unusual family tree. He was a descendant of King David through his son Solomon. With this bloodline, Joseph was an heir to the throne, and so were his sons.

After the engagement, Joseph set about preparing a place for his bride, (sound familiar?) We are told that Mary went to visit her relative and three months later when she returned, it was obvious that she was pregnant. Joseph knew that he wasn’t the father and was quite distraught about the whole thing.

Under the Law of Moses, he could send her away and have nothing more to do with the obvious betrayal (Deuteronomy 24:1), but that was not what God had in mind. Once the angel Gabriel spoke to Joseph in a dream and told him that Mary had not betrayed him and that the child she was carrying was the long awaited messiah, Joseph immediately was on board. He brought Mary to his home to be his wife.

Have you ever wondered why God would choose such a man as Joseph to be the earthly parent to His only Son, Jesus? God knew the heart of Joseph and that he would step up and do whatever was required of him. I am sure Joseph never in his wildest dreams, imagined that he would be called to be the parent of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. How he must have perplexed at the thought of how could a mear man raise God, the father of us all? The scripture doesn't tell in what ways, if any that Joseph influenced Jesus, but we do know that Jesus honored him by becoming a carpenter.

True fathers are a rare breed. Not many rise to the challenge that Joseph did, not seeking his own but what was best for the child. He honored stepfathers and foster fathers everywhere who step up the ultimate call of their manhood to love, honor, protect, teach and encourage their sons and daughters to be the very best they can be.

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