Summary: Lessons from the life of Jesus’ stepfather Joseph. How we can learn to become a person God can trust.
When you own something of great value you want to make sure it is kept in trustworthy hands. You want your money to be with a bank you can trust. If you own stock, you want the stock to be in a trustworthy company. As any owners of Enron stock recently learned; It’s risky to be the stockholder in a company whose leadership you can’t trust. What if you are God and you want to redeem the human race and in fact to redeem all of creation? To do so, You plan to send the second member of the Godhead into the world, the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The event of Jesus Christ coming into the world is what we celebrate every Christmas. But remember, when God came into the world, he came as a baby. A baby who had to be fed, and had to be burped, and had to be changed, and had to be nurtured and had to be raised from childhood, through adolescence, to adulthood. So who, in all of the world, would have the monumental honor and the unique task of parenting the Son of God. Jesus Christ was left in the hands of someone God could trust.
In his infinite wisdom God chose a young engaged couple named Joseph and Mary. Much has been written and much has been said about Mary. But this morning I want to focus on the adopted father of the Son of God, Joseph. I believe Almighty God chose Joseph because he was a man who the Lord knew He could trust. Through his life we can learn how to become a person God can trust. The Scripture tells us very little about Joseph but it tells us enough to see why he was considered trustworthy. This morning let’s read God’s Word beginning in Matthew chapter 1, verse 18.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
When Almighty God, the creator and possessors of all things, came to earth, He left the riches of Heaven to become a man. More than anyone who ever lived, Jesus realized that earth was not His real home. He was simply a pilgrim, a sojourner, on the great mission of redemption. He didn’t come to acquire financial fortunes, luxurious mansions, or earthly empires. In fact, it seems he possessed little but with it He accomplished the greatest work. So much of what he used to fulfil His Heavenly Father’s purpose, he accomplished with items that He borrowed.