As many of you know, we are preaching a series on Sundays about “Heroes of Faith.” Time does not permit us to honor all the great men and women in the Scriptures. Most of them were of little consequence to the world, but all of them were known and honored by God. As we approach Christmas, we need to consider Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus. There’s not a lot mentioned about Joseph in the Bible. But what I appreciate most about him is his kindness and willingness to give God his reputation. As the story goes, Joseph, who was engaged to Mary when he found out she was pregnant, decided not to make a public spectacle of her. According to the law of the day, he could have pushed this “scandal” to the extreme…insisting on the death penalty by stoning! Instead, he chose kindness as his response to his pain and disappointment. Later God spoke to Joseph through an angel who told him, “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20). Joseph obeyed the Lord. However, obedience doesn’t always make problems go away. People who knew about Mary’s pregnancy and that Joseph was not the father would have talked. By simply accepting the situation, Joseph invited disrespect and scorn from those who judged by their own understanding. However, Joseph willingly laid aside the opinions of others in order to follow the Lord. His faith in the face of not being able to fully comprehend is a powerful example to us! We’re not sure how long Joseph lived. Since he is not mentioned during Jesus’ ministry, we assume that he died young. But Joseph will always be remembered as an obedient follower of the Lord, who loved his wife and child greater than his reputation. Thank you, Joseph, for being a hero of faith!
Pastor Mark Boucher