There isn't much else said of Joseph (only similar things in the account of Luke) and there really isn't more to say. It is no coincidence that most of what we know of Joseph is found in Matthew's gospel.
It is also not an accident that Matthew's gospel is placed just after the ending of the Old Testament (the book of Malachi), or that it opens with a very clear genealogical layout of the ancestors of Christ.
Between the book of Malachi and the book of Matthew there were what theologians have labeled the "silent years." 400 years of Jewish captivity and no inspired, prophetic words. A commentary I read put it like this,
Matthew opens with a resounding message of hope. Just as the Israelite people waited 400 years for deliverance from their slavery in the land of Egypt, they had waited another 400 years for the fulfillment of another long awaited promise...THE long awaited promise:
Matthew received the joy and the honor of sharing the news that He had finally come. The one they had been waiting for.
To the Jews, lineage and genealogy was everything. It mattered who you father and his father and his father was. Names carried weight, and you lived and died by the Law. Matthew wrote his gospel for the Jews, especially Jewish believers. He knew that unless they could see the evidence that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was in fact the promised Messiah (as prophesied by their forefathers) they would not put their faith in him. Placing faith and stock in this man Jesus, who was causing quite the uproar politically and especially in the Jewish religious circle, was a major risk. Matthew wrote carefully and thoroughly so that the Jews could see that faith in Christ was indeed worth that risk. Not only was Matthew one of Jesus' original twelve disciples, which meant he was giving an eyewitness account to the life and teaching of Jesus, he was also careful to include hundreds of the Old Testament prophesies that Jesus clearly fulfilled.
Matthew opens his gospel with the genealogy of Jesus Christ. He traces Jesus all the way back through the line of King David and to the Jews' founding fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
And Jospeh, the earthly, adoptive father of Jesus, is clearly a part of that lineage.
It may not seem like such a big deal to us in this day and age. It was God's son and God's plan and thus He could have chosen whoever He wanted to serve in this role.
God could have chosen anyone! But he didn't. He chose carefully and thoughtfully just as He always does. Just as we saw last week that He chose Mary for her willing, humble, trusting heart, he chose Joseph for specific reasons as well.
God knew that the Jewish people, His chosen people, were so caught up in the law and religious practice that He was going to have to make it very clear to them that this was it. And that is indeed what I love most about God. I love that He is so patient and gracious with us and that He knows our heart and our frame and our thought processes so well that He chooses to speak to us in our language. He chooses to reveal himself in ways that we will understand despite the detailed orchestration required.
Did it matter that Joseph was part of the line of David if Jesus was only His adoptive son anyways...? To the Jews it did matter and thus to a God who longed for His people to return to Him, it mattered also.
God chose Joseph for similar reasons that He chose Mary. He chose Him for his strength, his commitment, his pure heart, but mostly he chose him because of his obedience. He knew that it would take a special man to accept the way He was choosing to reveal the Savior of the world. In a culture where infidelity and adultery meant the ruining of a name and often isolation and death. God needed a man who would listen to Him and His plan above the noise.
We see God appear to Joseph in dreams. Three times in the first two chapters of Matthew, Joseph is visited by an angel and asked to do seemingly crazy things.
1. Take an already pregnant girl to be his wife.
(Which he does.)
2. Leave with his wife and a brand new baby and make a home in a new land.
(Which he does)
3. Uproot his family again and go back to a seemingly forgotten town to establish his family
(Which he also does)
And what's even cooler...in each account of God appearing to Joseph in dreams, it seems there is literally no gap between God speaking and Joseph acting. He has the dream, hears God speak, and immediately he rises and responds. There is no questioning or thinking or hesitation, only immediate obedience. Mary was a woman who knew God and trusted Him, and Joseph was a man who did the same. Only a couple with this dynamic at the center of their relationship could be responsible for bringing God's plan of salvation into the world and nurturing Him until it was time for God to reveal His master plan.
Perhaps God also knew that Joseph was going to take some convincing and this was not one of those circumstances where He could allow for confusion or hesitation. He needed to be sure that whatever and however He spoke to Joseph, it was in his language and very clear so that Joseph would trust and obey every word. God chose Joseph because He knew He would trust Him. God chose Joseph because He could trust Him. Of course God doesn't need us to accomplish His plans and purposes, but He delights in allowing us to be a part of them, and what a beautiful thought that He trusts us with pieces of His grand story.
It is no small honor that God trusted Joseph to take over His role on earth. To raise Jesus in a broken, sinful world to love and honor God and to serve people. He trusted Joseph to act justly and to respond without hesitation and with the upbringing of the Savior of the world.
Today might our prayer be that God could trust us with whatever role he has designed for us in His story. Don't for a second think that you are here by accident or that God has not very carefully orchestrated you into His plans. Pray for character like Joseph... always waiting for God to speak and then acting on His words without hesitation.
Of course Joseph could not have known at the time what a critical role he would play in the history of the world, but he responded humbly and obediently in the moment with what God put in front of him. The truth is, none of us know how critical our role is either. Might we always respond humbly, bravely, and without hesitation to whatever God puts in front of us, knowing in the deepest parts of us that we could also be history in the making.
I have been pinning like crazy to my "Christmas time is Here" board on Pinterest! Would love to share some fun ideas with you from preschool crafts, to Christmas party ideas and recipes, and even some cheap and creative gifts I am planning to pass around this holiday season. Come find me on Pinterest so we can share some fun Christmas cheer together!
I also waned to share my absolute favorite Etsy shop wit you!
Amy is such a sweet and creative lady and I have loved every piece I have ever ordered from her! She is kind and she listens and pays attention to detail + she is timely and professional. Not to mention, proceeds from her shop go to help families that are trying to adopt!
Check her out for some last minute Christmas gifts!