When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus… (Matthew 1:24-25)
One day in Joseph’s life, everything changed. He was ‘betrothed’ to Mary, in good standing within his community, and Scripture tells us that he was a righteous man, “faithful to the law.” He lived at a time in Israel’s history when they had not heard from God for about 400 years, and suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.
This turn of events could have been very upsetting to Joseph. Later in his life he might have felt like he wasn’t getting very much credit for being good and obedient, but it seems that Joseph maintained a different perspective. Joseph obeyed the Angel’s command to, “not be afraid to take Mary home as [his] wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit…” and he gave him the name “Jesus” (Matt. 1:20). God’s Word tells us that when he woke up, Joseph simply, “did what the angel of the Lord had commanded” (Matt. 1:24) and “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet” (Matt.1:22).
As Jesus grew up, Joseph continued to obey the Lord and moved from place to place as the Lord commanded him without complaint or doubt. It was as if Joseph had little concern for how his own story would turn out, and was focused on obeying God’s plans instead. Joseph can be an example for us today as we face changes and unexpected challenges throughout life. Though people around us may try to find their identity in their own accomplishments or plans, we can know that our story only makes sense in the bigger story of who Jesus is.
- Has the Lord ever brought something into your life that was a surprise or unexpected?
- Are there opportunities which God is giving you to glorify Him even if you won’t get much attention for doing so?