Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spot Light: Joseph By Leah F.

Spot Light: Joseph

By Leah F.

It's Christmas time, and nowadays us Christians are thinking about a manger, Bethlehem, Mary, and Jesus. We always think about how "the virgin Mary had a baby boy." But, do you ever think about Joseph? Do you ever think about what he had to go through? We sometimes forget about Joseph and the roles he played in the story.

"This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about : His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord 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." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us"). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. (Matthew 1:18-24 NIV)"

Ok, so let's go through this slowly. First, I'll start with a bit if background. Back in that time, women got married quite early in life. Mary would have traditionally gotten married in her early-late teens. She would've been 17 at the latest and 12 at the least! But Joseph's age is hard to determine. He could've been between 20-65 years old. It is really hard to tell. So, imagine yourself as Joseph for a second. Your teenage wife-to-be just came and told you that an angel came down and said she was in charge of raising the Messiah. That is a lot of pressure. I know if I was Joseph, I would have been scared, and maybe a bit worried about Mary. I don't think even back then seeing angels was normal. Even though Mary was overjoyed, Joseph was worried. He actually had plans to quietly divorce her, when an angel came to him in a dream. The angel gave him the same message as Gabriel had given to Mary, and it showed Joseph the importance of what was going to happen. So, Joseph accepted the child. Then, when Mary was close to having the baby, Joseph had to take her to Bethlehem for the census.

Now imagine you're Joseph again, and think about taking your pregnant wife 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem! There weren't any machines back then to give Mary a due date, so they had to keep on their toes just in case the time came. Imagine how scared or worried Mary might have been, so Joseph had to stay brave for her sake. Then, when they reached the town, there wasn't a place for them to stay! Because of the census, all the inns were full. Imagine how emotional Mary would have been; she wanted somewhere warm for the baby. So Joseph had to ask around the town, exhausted from the trip, asking for a place to stay. He probably begged and tried to bargain, but nothing worked. Finally, an innkeeper let them use his stable.

Now, back then, stables were caves where someone kept their animals. It would of been cold and wet, but I think Mary and Joseph were happy with anything at that point. Then, after Mary had her baby, Joseph had a "son." I say that because the baby wasn't his child, but God's. But Joseph took the role as earthly father for Jesus. He loved Jesus as much as he would love any son.

Now, this concludes my version of the Christmas story. I think that during this Christmas season, we should think about people other than Mary, angels, Gabriel, and even Jesus. Everyone in the Christmas story is important, no matter how big or small their part was. God chose every man for a reason, and out of all the men in the tribe of Judah to be Jesus' father, he chose Joseph.


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