Good Bible Dads: Joseph

Our last good Bible dad wasn’t even a biological dad. He was a stepdad, the often unsung heroes who step up when the real fathers aren’t there. 

Joseph was the stepdad of God’s son, Jesus.

Imagine that responsibility. 

He was a craftsman in a small town, pledged to be married to Mary. So when she got pregnant, everyone’s first thought wasn’t an act of God. Instead, the Torah said she should’ve been stoned for it. 

Joseph was a good dude, though. 

Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.” Matthew 1:19

Because if he wasn’t the father, someone was. Imagine the surprise when he found out who.

“As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child!

    She will give birth to a son,

and they will call him Immanuel,

    which means ‘God is with us.'”

When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.”

God wanted him to take care of His son, who would save Israel? No pressure. 

Here we see a pattern with Joseph—obedience and sacrifice. He obeyed God at the cost of his reputation. As a result, Jesus would be considered illegitimate. 

Not long after, they had to go to Bethlehem, and Jesus was targeted by an insane king. 

After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.” Matthew 2:13-15

He had to leave his home and support network, and he did it immediately—obedience and sacrifice for his stepson. 

You may think, “Well, that’s God’s kid, of course he did such a good job.” But, think about this: how often do you do even the smallest thing God tells you? We even have the Holy Spirit to enable us.

Joseph didn’t. 

When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.”

So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and his mother. But when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herod’s son Archelaus, he was afraid to go there. Then, after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee. So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what the prophets had said: “He will be called a Nazarene.” Matthew 2:19-23

Joseph, by his example, taught Jesus sacrifice, obedience, and his trade as a carpenter. He was righteous and clearly loved his family and wife. Joseph was a good Bible dad. 

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