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Jesse Tree: Joseph (Matthew 1:18-24)

December 23, 2002

Joseph is the silent one, as far as Scripture is concerned. Not one of his words have been recorded. He’s a man of action, and of great flexibility as God throws one unexpected twist after another into his life. He’s betrothed, but his betrothed is found with child. The noble, kind action seems to be to break off the betrothal quietly, which he’s prepared to do until an angel tells him to go ahead with the wedding. I’m sure it relieved him to know that Mary hadn’t been unfaithful to him, but that didn’t take away the consequences of everyone else thinking the child was illegitimate. Then came the census, and a birth much different from the one he must’ve wanted for his beloved wife and baby. That birth was followed by yet another message from an angel, saying that the little family must flee to Egypt. So much for life going back to normal! How long were they strangers in a strange land, adjusting to new customs, trying to keep body and soul together? Finally they were able to return to Nazareth, where Jesus would be known as “The carpenter’s Son.” We get one final glimpse of Joseph as he and Mary search for God, their Son, who’s disappeared during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. How must Joseph have felt as Jesus told them He must be in “His Father’s” house, obviously not Joseph’s house? May we be as faithful to God’s instructions as Joseph was, especially when God throws us for a loop.

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