Luke begins his account of the life and ministry of Jesus with the birth of John the Baptist and Gabriel’s visit to Mary. Joseph is mentioned only as a man to whom Mary was betrothed and who was a descendant of David.
In our Scripture passage for today, Luke continues the birth narrative from a more historical point of view, recounting facts which enable us to more closely pinpoint the actual time when the birth occurred. Again Luke mentions Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, but details are few. We learn only that he is from Nazareth and is traveling to Bethlehem with Mary because the government has decreed that all men must be enrolled for taxing purposes at the place of their family ancestors and Joseph is of the house and lineage of David.
Other Bible passages also are sparse in their description of Joseph. I wish we knew more about him, and, if you think about it, perhaps we do. I see Joseph as a quiet, strong, protective person, capable of great patience and love. Why? Because I believe God would only have chosen this kind of person to serve as Jesus’ earthly father. More telling is the fact that during Jesus’ adult ministry, when he was asked to provide a model prayer for conversations with God, he began with the suggestion that God be addressed as our Heavenly Father. Had he experienced the characteristics in Joseph that we all seek in our fathers, both human and Heavenly?
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus – the pathway to our salvation. Give us the faith to follow Him toward a closer and deeper relationship with You. Amen.