day 7 :: Joseph’s Lullaby

Joseph.  What a guy.  Really.  What a guy!

We meet him today in Matthew.  Matthew 1:18-25.  Prior to these verses, Matthew gives us the long, long list of genealogy.  Honestly, I normally skim over all those lists of names {the pronunciation makes me tired} but the important thing to note in Matthew’s list is that Jesus comes from the lineage of King David, which is important when you look at prophecy.

So Joseph.  He must have discovered that Mary was expecting.  We don’t know how he knew — if Mary told him that the angel had appeared to her, or if Elizabeth & Zechariah spilled the beans or if Mary just began showing — but regardless Joseph knows.  And he also knows that he has nothing to do with it.  To him, his betrothed has cheated on him.  Gasp!  Is he hurt?  Is he embarrassed?  Is he livid mad?  We don’t know for sure.  All we know is he decides to divorce her quietly.  He has the option to make a HUGE deal out of it, shaming Mary, embarrassing her!  But not Joseph.  He opts to not make a big spectacle that would embarrass or shame his to-be wife, but rather divorce her quietly.  That in-and-of itself is enough to say, ‘what a guy!’

So Joseph heads off to file the divorce paperwork, but before he can, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream to explain the situation.  He fills Joseph in on how Mary got pregnant, what to name the boy, who he will be & what he will do for mankind.  A bit overwhelming.

And now my favorite part : Matthew 1:24-25

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.  But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. 

I can only assume that Joseph knew the Scriptures.  He knew the prophecy & he believed God.  He was ready to be used by God and already had it in his heart to be obedient.  What a guy!

I think we forget about Joseph sometimes.  Mary gets a lot of air time, especially during this season.  And she definitely deserves it.  But I wonder sometimes about Joseph.  What was he thinking?  At the birth.  Was he sad that he wasn’t able to make a beautiful cradle for Jesus, he was a carpenter after all.  It would have been a beauty.  What were their conversations like when Jesus was a little boy, learning carpentry from Joseph?  Did Joseph know what the end might look like for his son?  Did he wrestle with preparing him for being a man?  Did Joseph struggle as a stepfather to find his place?

We don’t see much of Joseph in Scripture.  We see that he continued to be obedient, protecting Mary & Jesus as instructed by God.  The last time we find him is when we see him searching for Jesus who is lost {but not really, he’s in his “Father’s house” {Luke 2:49}.  And then there’s not another mention.  Some believe that he died sometime after this event when Jesus was 12 & before Jesus begins his public ministry at age 30.  It is likely.  He is not at Jesus’ death & Jesus makes sure to make arrangements {from.the.cross} for Mary, indicating Joseph wasn’t around to care for her.

Joseph had a huge assignment.  Raise this child, who is God.  How does one do that exactly?  Definitely no how-to book on that.  Oh, and this massive assignment, even if done perfectly, will yield very little earthly accolades.  I mean you’ll get a figurine in the nativity scene, but that’s about it.  Don’t expect people to think very often about you & the amazing job you did.  They won’t.  Perhaps there will be recognition in Heaven…imagine what Jesus might say to Joseph there.  chills.

Joseph.  What a guy!  Listened to God.  Was obedient to God.  Without fanfare.  With just the knowledge that what he was doing was what he was supposed to do.  Good guy!  That Joseph.

Here’s a link to today’s song.  Joseph’s Lullaby by Mercy Me.  And a bonus song that I love about Joseph!  Check this one out too.  This is All I Have to Give by Todd Agnew.


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