Joseph, The Unsung Hero


Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

~Matthew 1:19, NLT


God loves obedience.

~James Nesbitt

Joseph, the earthly father of our LORD, does not get much ink. I preached a short sermon on Joseph Sunday morning but I’ve never heard anyone else preach on Joseph, have you? The bible says he was a good man and for the record: only four men in the N.T. are referred to as good men and Jesus was one of the four. Barnabas and one of Paul assistants Apelles are the others. We know that Barnabas played second fiddle and I would bet the farm that the same could be said about Apelles. The word good is translated many ways: the AV translates it “just.” It can mean righteous or virtuous but it refers to a man that does what he “ought.” Anytime we are faced with a decision, there is always an “ought.” Sometimes it is a choice between what I want to do and what I “ought” to do. Joseph was a man who always did the right thing, the thing he ought to do. When he found out that Mary was pregnant, he decided to break the engagement in a way that would not hurt her. Then the angel of the LORD told him he “ought” to marry her and Joseph did as he ought. Joseph was not only a good man, he was a meek man, a true gentle-man. He was not flamboyant or flashy but he was faithful. He had a quiet and gentle manner which is rare. He never speaks in the N.T. We have no quotes from Joseph. He labored in the shadows to raise at least seven children and maybe more. Jesus had four brothers and He also had sisters plural, we just don’t know how many. But the one thing that sets Joseph apart is his spirit of prompt obedience. Every time God gives him instruction, he obeys immediately without question or reservation.

Check this passage out and there are four in total that illustrate Joseph’s prompt obedience. After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. I saw a movie based on this story, the angel spoke to Joseph in a dream while he was sleeping, then he woke up, got Mary and Jesus, put them on the donkey and headed for Egypt. He did not hesitate, he did not wait until the morrow. He left for Egypt that same night. The next morning Herod’s henchmen come to Bethlehem and slaughter every male child two years old and younger.

I heard a story about a missionary in Africa who walked out of his house one day and saw a deadly snake in a tree under which his child was playing. He called out to his son, “Son, slowly lie down on the ground face down and do not move until I tell you to.” The boy obeyed his father promptly and the Missionary retrieved his machete and killed the snake without the child being harmed. What if that had been your child under the tree. I know that had it been me when I was a child, I would have been snake bit.

  • I’ve enjoyed the warm weather but I know it can’t last. Yesterday was perfect.
  • The Ball game Saturday almost finished me off: I don’t want anymore games like that: we played horrible and I think the win was mostly grace and of course I’m thankful. PTL I get a month to recover.
  • One week made a huge difference in the leaves: The mountains at Grace Point are now dark gray.
  • I hope you have a great week!

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