Updated: Mar 27
It’s that time of year again – time to celebrate the birth of our betrothed, the one we love and call Holy. As we prepare for our Christmas traditions and all the fun and love that surrounds this time of year, I have been thinking about the story of Christ’s birth. We often speak of Mary and all that she must have experienced as she carried our Lord in her womb but lately, I have been thinking of Joseph and his role in the life of both Mary and their son, Jesus.
We seldom speak of Joseph other than to note that he chose to continue on with his betrothal and marriage to Mary but it seems that we tend to overlook what that meant in the bigger picture and in the life of Christ. You see, just as Mary was chosen by God to be the earthly mother of His Son, Joseph was also chosen. Through Joseph, the prophecy of Isaiah “A shoot will stem forth from the root of Jesse and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit” was fulfilled. What is most amazing to me about this is that Jesus was not born of Joseph’s biological lineage. He did not carry Joseph’s DNA and yet, the prophecy was fulfilled. Joseph was called on to be the ‘savior’ of Mary’s scandalous situation. He could have divorced her quietly as he originally planned to do, knowing full well that the child she carried was not his flesh and blood. But something happened that caused him to rethink his plans. God sent him a message. I love that, in God’s message, the angel of the Lord addresses him by his name and his lineage – pointing out his identity as one that comes from the legal line of David, like it was important and mattered. It’s as if God said to him, “Joseph, I see you. I know who you are and I have chosen you for this.” While others may have seen Joseph as a mere carpenter, God saw Joseph, the descendant of David. And just as Esther, an orphaned child, adopted by her cousin, was chosen to be a part of history, Joseph was also chosen.
What impacts me the most about the story of Joseph is that, in choosing to obey the Lord, he chose to adopt Jesus as his son. And in doing so, gave Jesus the full weight of his lineage and birthright. Because Jesus was adopted by his earthly father, Joseph, the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled. It speaks volumes about the power of adoption. Jesus, born out of what those of the time would consider a scandalous situation, was adopted and given the place of first born in the home of his earthly father. What a precedent Joseph set for the adoption that we would later obtain through Jesus’ own death and resurrection. Jesus, who knew the power of adoption, chose to give His life out of obedience – just as His earthly father did – so that we could be given the birthright of our heavenly Father. What an example Joseph set for Jesus! He sacrificed his reputation in society to obey the Lord and become the father of a messiah that no one was looking for – a mere carpenter’s son from Nazareth. Little did they know that this carpenter’s son was the fulfillment of the words of Isaiah “Then on that day, the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal flag to all the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.”
Please know, during this season of celebration, that we are not just celebrating a holiday or even a birthday. We are celebrating the fact that we have been grafted in – adopted into the family of God. He sent His Son to us so that we might also be given the birthright of son and daughter. We are now heirs and coheirs with Christ so that we not only share in His sufferings but also in His glory. And we shall reign with Him! That is truly something to celebrate!
I pray that this season would be a season of revelation for each of us. That the Holy Spirit would pour out fresh revelation of the nature and personhood of Jesus over us so that we might know what it means to be His sister and bride.