Nativity Tree Day 8 Joseph -

The Nativity Tree: Day 8 – Joseph

Bible Reading: Matthew 1:18-21

Let’s start off by acknowledging we don’t know too much about Joseph. We don’t hear about him much after Jesus’ birth. We know he fled with Mary & Jesus to Egypt for a while (Matt. 2:13-23) and that when Jesus was 12 his parents went looking for him when stayed back at the temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-52). But after that, we don’t hear about Joseph any more.

In fact, I believe that he has probably died by the time Jesus starts his ministry at the age of 30. We definitely know he’s not around at the crucifixion, since Jesus – while hanging from the cross – tells John to look after his mom. (And for Mary to look after John.) I believe that had Joseph still been alive (or not bedridden), he would have heard about all that was going on with his son and made an appearance somewhere along the way.

But let’s look at what we do know. Joseph is an upright, righteous man (verse 19). This makes sense. Would God want just anyone raising His son? God would not have the Messiah raised by an abusive, drunk, foul-mouthed, sly, cheating, woman-hating, idol-worshiping, lying, lazy, good-for-nothing, low-life criminal. Ain’t no way! God would require the exact opposite – a God-fearing man who would take the serious responsibility of raising the Messiah with respect & reverence.

In fact, notice in verse 19 Joseph is planning on quietly divorcing Mary. He has thought through the different options: public disgrace & possibly stoning to death for infidelity – well because ya know how else did Mary get pregnant if Joseph isn’t responsible? Joseph himself would be suspected of having relations with Mary, otherwise she’s committed adultery which does require the punishment of stoning to death (Deuteronomy 22:23-24).

Joseph is in a pickle…there’s no “right” way of handling this situation and everyone coming out unscathed. I’m sure that even if he loves Mary, he probably has doubt as to what the crazy girl has been saying about angels, spirits, etc. (he’s now probably thinking she’s a little touched in the head). He’s probably looking at the other men in the village wondering just which one messed with Mary. He didn’t want the public shame for Mary (or, let’s be honest- I’m sure also for himself) – so a quiet divorce seems to be the safest way to handle the situation.

I’m sure Joseph mumbled (or cried out) a prayer or two along the way. He was probably looking for guidance (as he should) and asking the Lord to help him make the correct decision. “Lord send me a sign.” “What should I do?” It’s obvious he loves and cares about Mary, since he is struggling over the decision.

When Joseph finally falls asleep, an angel appears in a dream. The dream starts out by calling Joseph – a “son of David” – this catches his attention & puts the whole situation in focus…this message is important! This angel not only confirms Mary story, but tells Joseph he should name the baby Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (verse 21).

How many times have you woken up & remembered your dreams vividly? Well, this doozy of a dream was not only remembered by Joseph upon waking, but gave him “peace of mind” and confirmation of how to proceed. He woke up, and brought Mary home as his wife (verse 24). What a dream!

If only answers to our daily problems were as clear as a good night’s rest after turning our problems over to God in prayer.

Christmas Music:

Ornament Ideas: Joseph

Nativity TP Puppets
Mary & Joseph Cones
Popsicle Stick Mary & Joseph

Coloring / Art Ideas:

Angel visits Joseph Coloring Page
Angel visits Joseph Coded Words
Angel visits Joseph Word Scramble
Joseph told about Jesus Word Search
The Nativity Tree: Day 8 Joseph -