12 Christmas Characters: Joseph

Welcome! In light of the holiday season, I wanted to share the Christmas story, but I didn't want to look at in the traditional way. Christmas isn't about Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus, or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, it is about the birth of Jesus. By Christmas Eve, I will focus on 12 people surrounding Jesus' birth and their role in the story. I welcome your thoughts and hope to express why I love Christmas so much.

Joseph was a descendent of King David, a carpenter by trade, & from the town of Nazareth. He was engaged/betrothed to Mary. When he heard that she was pregnant, he wanted to quietly break off the marriage. But before he actually did so, an angel appeared to him in a dream and said:

Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:20, 21)

The Bible says, Joseph got up and took Mary as his wife. They did not sleep together until after the baby was born. It is notable that the Bible says once the baby was born, Joseph was the one to name him Jesus. I thought this showed how Joseph was Jesus' earthly father even though Jesus is God. 

Surprisingly, Joseph had 3 more dreams which told him crucial things for the safety of his family. The second dream an angel instructed Joseph to "get up and take Mary and the baby to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Jesus." Joseph immediately awoke, got Mary and Jesus and they travelled by night to Egypt.

In the third dream, an angel told Joseph that Herod had died and they could now return to Israel. So Joseph got up and took Mary and Jesus to the land of Israel. However, Joseph was afraid of Herod's son. Having been warned in another dream, Joseph took his family to Nazareth.

Each time Joseph was given instructions in his dreams, he immediately awoke and did what he was instructed. I love his obedient and willing spirit. The amazing thing is that each dream fulfilled prophecies about Jesus' life that had been foretold long ago. Joseph is a great example of a godly man who willingly submitted to the Lord's direction in his and his family's lives.   

To read the story of Joseph, visit Matthew 1:18-25 & Matthew 2:13-23