Joseph’s Thoughts

Josephs Thoughts

Joseph’s Thoughts

December 2017

Let’s start with today and work our way back to this man about whom we know so little.

Joseph could not have recognized that the baby boy, who was about to become a part of his household, would be the ultimate, global game changer. He would live his first twelve years as any other Jewish boy of the time, studying the Book, playing with his friends, and working alongside Joseph learning how to be a good carpenter. “The child’s mother and father marveled at what was said about him. (during his bris mila at the temple) There a righteous and devout man name Simeon said, ‘…my eyes have seen your salvation . . (a) light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.'” Luke 2:21-35   Joseph could not have predicted any of this.

On reaching his 12th year, Yeshua, as he would be called in Aramaic, went to the temple in Jerusalem with a substantial number of people from Nazareth. On the return trip, Mary and Joseph realized that he was no longer with the party of travelers. They went back and questioned his behavior to which the boy Jesus said, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” His capability to learn was way way beyond average. This was the last time we hear about Joseph.   Most likely for the next 18 years, Jesus was a good Jewish son, working as a carpenter and taking care of his mother Mary. Joseph didn’t know this would happen.

When his time had come, Jesus began to minister to the people who would become his first followers.   He hand picked twelve disciples, who immediately followed him, leaving behind their families and their trade.   His message was that compelling.   A review of their whole lives reveals that when they were confronted with what they knew to be true, each of them accepted torture and death rather than denying who their Rabbi and friend, Yeshua, said he was. Joseph did not know of this on those cold nights traveling to Bethlehem.

Just the first book, The New Testament, written about this boy who would become the man is estimated to have sold over a trillion copies – 1,000,000,000,000. From the ten million+ copies of the Gospel According to Peanuts, to the 250,000,000+ copies of Pilgrims Progress, it would be impossible to calculate the number of other books written about Jesus and his message.   No other man in the history of the world has ever had this much written about him. Joseph saw only a baby boy for whom he was now a step father.

Diapers would need to be changed. There would be cries in the night from a hungry infant. There would be school fees, clothes to buy, sandals to be acquired, and food to feed the growing young lad. Joseph would have been thinking of all these responsibilities. Add to that the incredible – a visit by an angel who said to him, “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” This must have left him with three questions, Why me, Lord? and What am I, a simple carpenter, supposed to do? and God, can you please dampen this huge joy and this huge fear I am trying to balance?

Like many men, Joseph would have worked hard to provide for his family, yet he often wondered about himself. He would have thought, Am I doing enough? and I want the boy to be more educated than I am. and I only want the best for Mary because I love her so much. There would be moments in the years ahead when he would have to discipline this boy and he would have thought, How am I going to control the Son of God?

If we just consider Joseph as a man, using modern standards of success, he would be considered a minor player, a bit part in this play. However, through his confusion, he would also be the good Jewish father teaching his son all that a growing boy needs to know about honesty, faith, courage, and trust. On that night when he could not even find a decent place for his beloved Mary to deliver her child, he would not have been feeling like a winner. Yet in his heart and in the very flesh of his skin he could feel something extraordinary was happening. Though his role was not a great one, Joseph would have known that he was more than a pawn in this event. He was the earthly father of the boy who would become a man, both human and God at the same time, the man Yeshua, the Son of God, Jesus, the Messiah.

 

 

 

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