This post is part of a series on Adoption. If you’d like to read the first post, click here.
It’s not Christmas yet, but I can’t help but think about Joseph these days. Joseph is a biblical character that rarely gets any teaching time. And in all fairness, he doesn’t get much time in the bible either. Besides the visit from the angel, he shows up in a few chapters and then disappears. We don’t talk about him much, but he is a pivotal part of the biblical story.
I’m thinking about him because as our family continues this adoption journey, he is one of the examples I see in scripture of adoptive fathers. He is one of the men who decided to look and love beyond biology. We need more Josephs today. Let me give you the top 5 reasons…
- Joseph was Jesus’ adoptive father…and that’s not just words. That means he was Jesus’ real, legal father. Check out what Luke says:
Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it…they went back to Jerusalem to look for him…When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Luke 2:41-43, 48
- Joseph taught Jesus a trade and the Torah…at home and in the synagogue.
Now we don’t have a specific example of this, but we know that this was expected of all Jewish fathers. From what I’ve read, Talmud: Kiddushin 29a teaches that a father must
circumcise him, redeem him, if he is a firstborn, teach him Torah, find him a wife, and teach him a craft or a trade.
Again, I can’t speak authoritatively to that, but other places say that a father must also teach a son how to swim. We know that Jesus was not married, but we don’t know if he was able to swim because he could walk on top of the water!
- Joseph was “of the line of David” which means that Jesus was too.
Both Matthew and Luke trace Jesus’ genealogy through Joseph. It is through Joseph that Jesus fulfills the Old Testament promise. And this is a good thing for us because the Scriptures tell us God promised the Messiah would be of the line of David. Jesus can only fulfill the prophecies, and claim to be our Messiah, IF he is of the house and line of David. That happens through his adoptive father, Joseph!
- Joseph protected baby Jesus from King Herod by taking Jesus and Mary to Egypt.
Matthew tells us that this fulfilled Old Testament prophecy. He writes,
This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.” -Matt 2:15
This also brings to mind another Joseph who protected the people of God while in Egypt. Back in Exodus, he protected the people of God from a dictator. But more than that, both of these men show us what God the Father is like. He is our protector. (Psalm 68:5) That brings us to the last reason…
- Joseph was a human picture of God the Father to Jesus and to us.
Joseph is a reminder to me that we all need Godly examples. We need more believers to adopt. Yes, we need that example. Adoption runs counter to the world around us. But we also need spiritual Fathers and Mothers, men and women who will focus outside themselves to love, teach, guide and protect.
God is calling me to be like Joseph.
Is he calling you?
We need more people like Joseph.
*This post was inspired by the book Adopted for Life by Russell D. Moore and much of the content is taken from it.