Summary: A Christmas time message about Joseph

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Holy Days, Holy People

Joseph: Do your actions speak as loud as your words?

-Have you ever thought much about the Nativity scene? Most of you own one or have seen one before.

-Everyone knows about Mary, and baby Jesus, and the angel Gabriel. We know a lot about the Wise Men from a distant land.

-We know about the Shepherds, and we even know about the cattle…the cattle were “lowing”. But what about Joseph.

-Standing in the background watching over the manger.

-Today we’re talking about a mysterious Xmas character:


-Most of us would consider Joseph to be a key player in the Bible, but we know very little about him.

-He was a carpenter. (Mt 13:55)

-He was a skilled laborer, a craftsman, probably physical & strong.

-From his genealogy in Matt 1 we see Joseph was….

-A descendant of King David. (Mt 1:6, Is 11:1)

-That was an important detail because Isaiah 11:1 predicted the Messiah would come from the line of David.

-In fact, Mary and Joseph were both descendants of David.

-When they dedicated baby Jesus they offered two doves at the temple. This gives us an important detail about Joseph:

-He was poor. (Lk 2:24, Lev 12:8)

-When you had a baby the required offering was a lamb, but the poor were allowed to bring a pair of doves or pigeons.

-Perhaps the most startling fact about Joseph is that he is the only character in the Christmas story who didn’t speak.

-Nothing Joseph said was recorded.

-He had no lines in the Xmas play! He’s kind of an extra.

-His words to the angel Gabriel weren’t recorded.

-His words to Mary weren’t recorded.

-Nothing he said to Jesus was recorded for us to read.

-And yet Joseph has been revered through the ages as a Bible hero and a man of great faith. Why?

-Because what he did, not what he said, reveals everything we need to know about him.

Matthew 1:18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph.

-Joseph was godly in his engagement. (Mt 1:18a)

-Joseph had probably been waiting to marry Mary for a long time.

-He did what God-fearing Jewish men were supposed to do.

-Their marriage would have been arranged while they were young

-In Mary’s day a girl’s marriage was often arranged at age 2.

-Can you imagine? What do you think of this one son? Well she’s drools, and throws temper tantrums and isn’t really potty trained!

-But then again I’m only six, and I still sleep with the light on.

-The marriages were arranged very young but the official engagement would occur around 12 years old and the wedding could happen as early as 6 months after the engagement.

-The men were usually engaged at 16 years old so it’s very feasible that Joseph was a young man as well.

-It’s hard for us to accept this practice but it was a different time, & a different culture. Lifespans were short, people grew up quick

-While we wait to fall in love with someone before we get married, they got married and then decided to love each other.

-And divorce was practically non-existent: Go figure!

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