There are many people in the Bible that have become well-known over the years, but details on lacking on their life. Joseph, the husband of Mary, is one example. Still, there is enough information on Joseph to provide men a lesson on how we should carry ourselves. And I’m not just talking about the fact that Joseph was a small town guy who did big things while holding down a job as a carpenter (Matthew 13:55).
Joseph Was a Just Man
Matthew 1:19 provides us this description of Joseph. But what does the word ‘just’ mean? According to Merriam-Webster, there are a few definitions for the word ‘just.’ For starters, it means “agreeing with what is considered morally right or good.” It can also mean “treating people in a way that is considered morally right.” What’s interesting with Matthew 1:19 is the fact that Joseph is described as being a just man after learning of Mary’s pregnancy. Joseph knew the child was not his, but he did not want to make a public example of her by breaking off their marriage agreement. As a result, Joseph planned to keep things under wraps and put Mary away privately. While Joseph thought on these things, the angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph in a dream and told him not to be afraid, and to go ahead and take Mary as his wife. Why? “For that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:20). Joseph was a just man, and he did as he was told (Matthew 1:24). That brings us to the next lesson involving Joseph...
Joseph Followed God’s Instruction
After the wise men paid a visit to Jesus, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him to take the young child and his mother to Egypt (Matthew 2:13). Just as he did following the previous dream, Joseph took the child and his mother to Egypt after he arose (Matthew 2:14). For the purposes of time, I will point out here that Joseph does exactly the same thing after being told in Egypt to return to Israel (Matthew 2:21). Remember, Joseph was a just man. He did that which was right or good, and being a Jewish man Joseph knew Deuteronomy 6:5 and Proverbs 3:5-6 just as Gentiles do today. Joseph knew to love God and to put his trust in Him, even when Joseph did not understand.
Joseph Was a Father Figure
Luke 1 and Luke 2 also contain information about Joseph, the latter having more information. Luke 2 actually includes the last documented time of Joseph’s presence in Jesus’ life. At the age of 12, Jesus accompanies Joseph and Mary to Jerusalem, as was their custom. (Luke 2:42). Sure, Joseph and Mary left town for a bit assuming Jesus was in tow, but look beyond that for a moment and focus on something else. Joseph very apparently stuck things out with Mary and Jesus over the years. He was not always the most important figure in his wife’s life, but he stayed the course. It can also go without saying, but Joseph taught Jesus about carpentry. We’ve already established this, but Matthew 13:55 described Joseph as being a carpenter. Well, Mark 6:3 describes Jesus as being a carpenter. I do not believe this is a typo. Most dads teach their kids a trade, and this was most likely the case. Meanwhile, scholars and authors think this may have been how Jesus supported his mother after what many believe to be Joseph’s death. Joseph was not present at the crucifixion, and he is also not mentioned as being with Mary at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1). Yes, Jesus was the Son of God. He was also the Son of Man. He learned some things just as you and I do. I’d like to think Joseph played a role in that, being the fatherly figure that he was clearly was in Jesus’ life.
Again, we do not know a lot about Joseph, but we can take things away from the scriptures and accounts that involve Joseph. Joseph was a just man. He followed God’s instructions and he was a father figure. You may be just a man, but you can be a just man. You should follow God’s instructions, and be the father figure that God calls you to be.