A misunderstood Dad

We know the story of Jesus’ birth. An angel named Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and that her Son would be the Son of God. She was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter, but he didn’t find out about the Son until she was about three months along. There are only a few lines in the gospels which speak of his involvement and after Jesus’ twelfth birthday we never read about him at all. So what happened?

Joseph and Mary were betrothed before the angel told Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of the Most High. Betrothal in those days was a time of preparation for a couple to be married about a year later. There was no intimacy during this period and no seeing each other without supervision, but it was considered a time of matrimony without the ceremony which made them a legal couple.

When Mary heard that her cousin, Elizabeth, was having a child in her old age she had to go and see for herself. She heard this news through the angel which had told her that she would bear a Son by the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth was in her sixth month with her child and Mary went and stayed with her until almost the day the child was born. The Bible says about three months. When she returned to the town where Joseph and her family lived she was three months along in her pregnancy so it couldn’t be hidden at that point.

The scriptures say that Joseph was a righteous man in the sight of God so he knew that something had happened while they were apart, he just didn’t how or by who. Even though the Law required him to have Mary stoned, he couldn’t because he loved her. While he was thinking of quietly ending the betrothal an angel appeared to him in a dream and told him what had happened and that the Son would be given the throne of David one day. Joseph was every bit the man, husband and carpenter that God knew him to be which is why he was given the awesome job and responsibility to raise the Son of God.

Imagine the honor and privilege of being the Dad who was chosen to raise the Son of God? You couldn’t think about it too much because it would overwhelm you. What can you teach Him? Everything about being a man and a child on Earth is what you would have to do. Model the behavior that He would need to have in order to be your Son and God’s Son. How would you do such a thing? Live out the Law in front of Him and teach Him just as you would your own son, that’s how. Granted, you would probably be a little bit more concerned with what you were teaching Him since His Father is God and it would take a lot of soul searching and prayer to get it right, but God chose Joseph because He knew that he could do it.

Nothing good…

It seems that many in the church today have not realized that nothing good can be done…apart from God and His Strength! Can we do any amount of good in this life without Jesus? I don’t think so. Jesus said that we could do nothing without Him, particularly anything good in this life. Why? Because, as a branch can produce nothing apart from the tree or the vine that it grows from, we can produce nothing for God’s Kingdom without being attached to Jesus in our walk with Him!

Can churches and the people in those churches do much good in their community? Yes, they can and they can do much more if they are doing it for God’s Kingdom! Not for fame or for promotion of the church or the people in the church, but simply for God and for His purposes. Churches have done much to damage the image of Christians in the past and we need to be working toward changing this.

Many of the past “atrocities” that ISIS claims were done by Christians actually were done by the church of that time. I am not trying to point fingers or place blame, but the “dark ages” were times of persecution by the church, but not just toward so-called “unbelievers”. At least one Christian was persecuted and burned at the stake by the church for just having an English translation of the model prayer given by Jesus to His disciples!

During this time period, services were done in Latin and the people were not allowed to have translations in English. Which is why Tyndale determined to translate at least the New Testament into English and was working on the Old Testament when he was arrested, tried for heresy and burned at the stake after he was strangled. So, as you can see, the church has done some terrible things in its time as well. All in the name of God and the faith.

Please, make sure that your faith is grounded in Jesus the Christ and His resurrection. Don’t place your trust in man’s religions and rituals because they are like the flowers in the field, they will wither and die in His Light of truth! God’s Word is the only Truth in this world and the salvation that belief in Jesus brings is the only path to eternity. Any other path is just a dusty trail which leads to death.