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.

Forgiveness


Did you know that we cannot do this by our own strength but only by the strength of Jesus Christ? God forgives us because of Jesus’ work on the cross and the blood that He shed for you. We are not supposed to keep or hold grudges against others, we as Christians are supposed to forgive even the most hurtful sins which have been done against us. Why? Because every sin which we have committed has been forgiven through the blood of Jesus, no matter how bad they are…yes even rapists and murderers are forgiven if they repent and give their hearts to Jesus.

Is forgiveness easy? NO! When someone has wronged you in any way it is very hard, almost impossible and it usually is impossible for us, in our own strength, to manage to truly forgive someone. We can forgive through our faith in Jesus and by His Strength only! There is no real forgiveness in a human heart until Jesus is in your heart. Because without Him in our heart, we will not forgive or forget.

God loves you and has provided a way for you to be forgiven and by the grace and faith given to you through Jesus Christ, you can forgive others. Refusal to forgive others who have hurt you, no matter what the pain might be, will cause your health to become worse. We must live humbly by the Word of God and live out the forgiveness in our lives toward others. This is not a suggestion but a command. If there is something between you and your brother, leave your offering and be reconciled with him.

Forgiveness is a thread which is throughout the Bible and it is a powerful one between God and mankind. It is part of our life when we have Jesus in our heart and we should practice it for the small things as well as those things which hurt us deeply. Think about the pain which Jesus went through to gain your forgiveness and mine! It was painful but He did it anyway.