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Hosting His Presence: rediscovering the Bible VIII – Joseph

A reflection on the significance of Father’s Day focuses on the figure of Joseph, a manly gentleman whose example shows that fathering is not limited by links of blood

Your character is truly tested during trying times. The celebrations around Father’s Day are a good time to reflect on the attributes of a man who embodies fatherhood in a special way. Fathers have a profound impact on our lives and society. One person who exemplifies the essence of fatherhood in the Bible is Joseph, the husband of Mary.

Mary was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. While Mary is often seen as the star of the nativity story, it is important to note that the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1 traces His lineage through Joseph, not Mary.

The prophecy stated that Jesus would come from David’s line, and Joseph is the one who is a descendant of David.

Dare I say that Joseph was the one who carried the promise? As a man, he didn’t have a womb to bear a child. Therefore, Mary, who was pure and favoured by God and who was destined to be with Joseph, became a partaker in God’s promise through her marriage to him.

The New Testament does not mention Mary’s descent from David. However, through her marriage to Joseph, both she and her son Jesus became legally members of the House of David.

Principled justice

Joseph surpassed the gold standard of a man. He had admirable qualities that every father should aspire to. When he found out that Mary was pregnant, he knew his bride had a good character and must have thought deeply about it. However, the fact remained that the child was not his.

He decided to break off the engagement but he did so in a way that would not bring public shame upon Mary. Even though he acted with justice, he was driven by love. I can imagine how he felt before the angel revealed to him that the child conceived was of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible says, “He kept her a virgin until she had given birth to a son” (Matthew 1:25), which tells me he was a man who was disciplined and had his sexual desires under control.

We all know that Jesus was not Joseph’s biological son but God’s begotten son. However, one couldn’t tell that Jesus wasn’t his. In fact, Jesus was brought up and trained by Joseph to follow his trade of carpentry, which is what every father would do at that time.

Joseph adopted Jesus. This story embodies the essence of salvation as described in Romans 8:15-16: “We have been brought into God’s family and made God’s children. From God we have received ’the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father.’”

Joseph’s admirable qualities show us that a son is not only one who is born to you but can also be one who is adopted. God uses Joseph to teach us that we do not necessarily have to be begotten of God like Jesus, but we have indeed received the spirit of adoption, which qualifies us as sons and children of God.

Adoption does not diminish the legitimacy of fatherhood.

Jasmin Zubida Baidoo

Jasmin Zubida Baidoo presents “Hosting His Presence”, a dawn devotional on Asaase 99.5 every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday (4.25am-4.55am). Watch the last devotional on catch-up here.

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