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Joseph: The obedient father

18 June 2023 ‘You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ Matthew 1:21 NIV

When we look at Joseph, we might think how wonderful he must have felt to be chosen to be the earthly father of Jesus. It was a huge honour. He may well have thought that himself, but when he first found out, his mind would have been full of a lot of other thoughts. His reaction to finding out that Mary was pregnant was to try and get himself out of the engagement. The Bible tells us that ‘because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly’ (Matthew 1:19 NIV). From this we can see that Joseph was a fair and caring man. He didn’t want Mary to be shamed in the community. But God had other plans and told him, through a dream, to stay with Mary and raise Jesus as his own (you can read about it in Matthew 1:20-21 NIV). This wasn’t the only time God spoke to Joseph through a dream. He also told him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to keep them safe from Herod, and told him when it was the right time to head back to Nazareth (take a look at Matthew 2:23-14; 20-21). Each time God spoke to him, Joseph was obedient. He followed God’s call on his life, even though it went against the norms of society. Having a father who listens to God is an incredible thing, but we’re not all in that position. Sometimes our fathers make decisions that don’t seem to be very godly at all. But whatever our experience, we have a perfect Father in God, who knows everything about us, knows how to look after us, and has the best in store for us.

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