Legacy of Leaders

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading


Throughout the Gospels, Jesus’ relationship with His Heavenly Father was ever present, but He also had an earthly father—Joseph. Imagine being chosen to raise God’s only Son, knowing all the while, your child is not your “blood.”

His betrothed wife, Mary, was found to be pregnant, but not with Joseph's baby. Matthew 1:19 states that Joseph intended to divorce her, which was required to end a betrothal in that day. His desire to do so quietly was for Mary’s sake, to protect her from public disgrace. Even amid such great personal doubt and question, Joseph loved Mary sacrificially and unconditionally, even in his darkest moment.

An important point we cannot miss is that when an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, the angel didn’t say anything that required Joseph to abstain; in fact, he said to “take Mary as your wife.” Such a statement would imply all the privileges of marriage. Joseph evidently made a personal choice and sacrifice out of respect for God’s plan. He wanted to stay in God’s will while staying out of God’s way.

With Joseph given the responsibility of raising Jesus, God’s making provision for the family would make sense. Remember the gold, frankincense, and myrrh the Magi brought when Christ was a toddler? Yes, those were elaborate gifts that wealthy astronomers brought as worship offerings, but God also provided these as practical assets to finance the family. Those treasures would have provided a nice income for many years. God provided for and honored Joseph’s amazing trust and obedience by taking care of his family.

Joseph was given one of the greatest assignments any man on earth has ever received. His life of dedication to God, Mary, and Jesus proved his service, integrity, sacrificial love, and choice to constantly die to himself. From the moment we met Joseph, we saw how much he loved Mary.

Joseph’s story is one of obedience to God as invisible faith was put into visible action. Joseph listened to God, taking action every time, as God always provided for what He promised him.

What is one truth you gleaned from Joseph’s story that you can apply today?