Summary: Joseph played an important role in the birth of Jesus. We can learn three lessons from him in: Righteousness, Redemption, and Ready Obedience.
Scott R Bayles, preacher
This time of year is always special to many people. Families all have their different traditions: decorating the Christmas tree, hanging stockings, traveling to visit family and friends. Many people enjoy driving around the neighborhood, looking at the twinkling lights used to beautifully decorate people’s homes. As you drive around the town, you inevitably come across various nativity scenes, displaying the birth of Jesus. Many churches throughout the community will often tell the story of Jesus’ birth through dramas and children’s plays, reenacting those fateful events.
The cast of characters associated with the story of Jesus’ birth is colorful and memorable. We recognize them by their unique speaking parts. With dramatic words, the Angels take center stage to announce the birth of the Savior. They appear to Joseph to announce that the name of the child would be Jesus. The arch angel Gabriel makes the unforgettable announcement to Mary. And an angelic choir interrupts the shepherds, singing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14).
Mary, whose Divine selection humbles her, offers a beautiful hymn and thanksgiving in Luke 1:46-48: "And Mary said, ’My soul magnifies the Lord, (47) and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, (48) for He has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.’" The wise men are desperate in their search to find the newborn King and prepared to present Him with gifts of honor, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him" (Matt. 2:2). The shepherds became early evangelists! In Luke 2, the shepherds hurry to find the baby Jesus after the announcement of the angelic choir. Upon finding Jesus, Luke says, "And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child" (Luke 2:17).
Oddly enough, only Joseph has no speaking part. He is the lone silent member of the cast and often forgotten. Angels bring heavenly greetings. Mary sings a praiseful solo. Wise men worship. Shepherds preach. Joseph is silent. No notable lines are attributed to him. No sound bites. No quotes. Only silence. However, Joseph is irreplaceable in the story of Jesus’ birth. His importance cannot be overstated. Let me invite you to read Matthew 1:18-25 with me, and pay special attention to the role that Joseph played in bring about the greatest gift of all time...
Matthew 1:18-25 (ESV)
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.  And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.  But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:  "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).  When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,  but kept her a virgin until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.