Summary: When preachers talk about Christmas it’s usually about Jesus and Mary. But what about Joseph; the silent father? What do we learn from his life of devotion and faithfulness?
“The Forgotten Father of Christmas”
Usually at Christmas time, preachers spend a lot of time talking about Jesus’ miraculous conception, which I did last Wednesday.
And the virgin birth leads you and I to think about the fact that Jesus was conceived apart from any human father.
Jesus did not have a biological father.
And so naturally and rightly so, we focus on Jesus’ Heavenly Father, God.
But even though Jesus did not have a biological father, he did have an earthly father, a forgotten man by most accounts.
I rarely hear a message on Joseph, the father of Jesus.
Most of the time we’re talking about Mary, the mother of Jesus.
But Joseph’s dad was quite a man.
And he mostly gets overlooked at Christmastime.
So tonight, I want to talk with you about:
“The Forgotten Father of Christmas”
The fact that Joseph gets overlooked does not mean we should underestimate what He has to teach us.
Can you imagine the Halls of Heaven when God was trying to decide what man on earth would be qualified to act as Jesus’ Foster Father?
God had every man who was alive at that time on his list and at his disposal.
And if he had not found one worthy to fill the position, he could have resurrected any man who’d lived before to fill the role.
But God chose Joseph.
Of all the men God had to choose from, his top pick was Joseph.
Why? Why did God choose Joseph to play the role of Jesus’ human father?
I have a theory.
See if this makes sense to you.
I have a suspicion that the reason God chose Joseph to be the father of Jesus is the very same reason God chose Abraham to be the father of many nations.
Look at this verse from Genesis 18:17-19:
“And the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him’.”
God said, “I know the kind of man Abraham is. If I ask him to do something, then I have confidence in him that he will do it.”
And I believe that God chose Joseph for the same reason.
God knew what kind of man Joseph was. The Lord knew that if he asked Joseph to do something, he would do it.
And not only would Joseph himself do it, but Joseph would also make sure his children and his entire household followed him, as best he could.
If you notice, Matthew says in verses 1-2 at the beginning of his gospel:
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: Abraham begat Isaac…”
And then he finishes up his genealogy in verse 16 by saying:
“And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.”
So Joseph’s family tree travels all the way back to Abraham.
So I think, that just as Matthew makes this family connection between Joseph and Abraham, there was a close connection in the type of men they were.
So God chose Joseph, I believe, because he knew Joseph would obey.
Joseph then is an outstanding example of obedience to the Will and Word of God.
What we learn from Joseph has a lot to do with obedience.
I want to share with you some things that Joseph shows us, some practical we learn from the human father of Jesus Christ.
If you were to think of the first Christmas as a movie, then you might think of Joseph as a character in that movie.
In every movie there are leading roles and supporting roles.
Leading men and women and supporting men and women.
Well, most people look at Joseph and say he is more like an extra in the movie rather than a leading man.
And the reason is because he never speaks during the entire story.
If you notice, Matthew nor Luke record Joseph speaking one word.
Joseph doesn’t even get a line.
I remember when I was in like 3 or 4th grade and we did a Christmas play at our school.
And I was given one line right at the beginning of the play.
The music would start and I would say on cue, “I say, ole chaps, Christmas is almost here.”
And that was it!
But here, Joseph doesn’t even get that much.
Because we don’t hear Joseph speaking it’s easy to assume that he is unimportant to the plot of the story.