Monday, December 7, 2009

What a Wise Man

What a Wise Man
By Judy Vandiver
© copyright 2009 Judy Vandiver

As I’ve been studying scriptures surrounding the birth of Jesus, I have become intrigued by the man Jesus called Daddy. The scriptures don’t give us a lot of information about Joseph, but what is recorded says much about his faith.

Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and 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 be with child and will 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. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (Matthew 1:19-25 NIV)
Two things I admire the most about Joseph are his faith and his obedience. He was obviously a man quite like one of his ancestors, King David, as he appeared to be a man after God’s heart. While the above verses mention that Joseph did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace, he made himself, instead, a person to be ridiculed. I imagine he suffered his own type of disgrace.

Recently one of my great-nieces was visiting her “mimi” and stated that the nativity scene was set up wrong. “Joseph is with the wise men, and he was not a wise man,” she said. Such an innocent statement, but I wondered how many times Joseph was told that very thing. How many people told him he was unwise in taking Mary to be his wife, caring for her and her child, not knowing who the father was?

It’s easy to see from scripture that Joseph had his own doubts. But, as a man of belief, he accepted the words from an angel of the Lord. He had to be wiser than many people gave him credit for. He was wise enough to recognize that the angel was a heavenly messenger. He was wise enough to know that the only path for him was in being obedient to the Lord. He was wise enough to be counted as righteous through the ages.

We know so little of Joseph, and we know so much about Joseph. He was a man of faith, an obedient follower of God, and a very wise man.

© copyright 2009 Judy Vandiver