A Different Kind of Christmas Story

By Les Turner

Matthew 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.


Now most of the time the “Christmas Story” is told about Mary and the birth of Jesus, but let’s consider Joseph for a moment. First, it was said he was a just man as he thought to let Mary go quietly. Even around his peers of that day, he could have been considered kind for not having Mary stoned for infidelity which was legal to do back then.

Next he was attentive to the Spirit of God because when an angel appeared to him in a dream to take Mary as his wife, he obeyed where he could have said, “Wow, what did I eat last night? I had the craziest dream!”

He stuck around and took Mary as his wife. He named the baby Jesus just like the angel had said, and also he “did not know his wife.” Now what is it that guys look forward to on their wedding night?  But Joseph did not know her until she brought forth her first born Son.

Later an angel appeared to Joseph to flee to Egypt. Now to pack up and move to another area was no easy task back in those days. Plus, consider Joseph had probably built up a pretty good business. Now in going to Egypt, he did not know anyone, so he had to find work to take care of his new family. We do not know how long he had to stay in Egypt when he was allowed to leave which fulfilled the prophecy “out of Egypt I called my Son.” And he again had to find work in a new area of Nazareth (This was also a prophecy fulfilled in that Jesus was called a Nazarene). This would have taken a real man to accomplish this feat in uprooting his family and moving  plus find a livelihood to meet their needs in each place they landed.

Later I was thinking that when Jesus was older and was in the wilderness and the devil came to him to tempt him, and Jesus fought that temptation with Scripture. Where did Jesus learn scriptures? We think that Jesus was born with all knowledge and power not remembering he was born fully man as a babe in swaddling clothes. In Luke 2:52 the Bible says that “Jesus grew in knowledge and stature.” Jesus had to learn just like the rest of us. Now Joseph being a good Jewish man would have taught Jesus the scriptures from Deuteronomy that he would later use to fight the devil.

This will blow your mind:

John says that Jesus was the Word. Joseph taught the Word the Word.

We do not know a lot about Joseph. The Bible said he was a just man. We read he was a carpenter by trade. We know that he obeyed God’s directions, but then he just disappears.  

After they went to Jerusalem for the Passover feast, they were traveling back home. Jesus’ parents noticed he was not with them and went back looking for him. They found him in the temple listening and teaching and they were amazed. After this journey we do not hear any more about Joseph. Only Mary is mentioned from then on. But without him and his obedience, the Christmas story would and could not have been completed to fulfill scripture as it was.

Merry Christmas!

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