When you think of Christmas, people's thoughts turn to Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the shepherds, the wise men, angelic announcements, etc. The person least thought of seems to be Joseph. People look at Mary, sometimes bringing her to almost God-like status, but don't think twice about Joseph. Did God hand-pick Mary, and...oh yes, Joseph's in only as a result of being the one pledged to be married to her? I contend that Joseph was as much a hand-picked choice of God as anyone in this story.
Here's a few thoughts. Soon after the wedding announcement Joseph finds that Mary is pregnant--and not with his baby. If he had a quick tempered response, he would have the Old Testament law applied to her and had her stoned--Mary dies...and so does the baby within her. But this righteous, self-controlled, godly man does not. Instead he has enough peace to go to sleep, and while asleep, an angel tells him what's going on...and to take Mary as his wife.
To submit his will to God, now his reputation is in shambles. Who really believes this is NOT his child--out of wedlock! Then he faces the frustration of the Romans making all descendants travel to the land of their ancestry to register for a census--and right when Mary is 9 months pregnant. And angry, rebellious man would not have taken this 70 mile trip...and the Scriptures that say the Savior would be born in Bethlehem would not have happened. You see, once again God had a plan. It brought frustration to those involved--but being Spirit-led rather than give in to emotional responses, allowed God's will to unfold.
How many of us delay or kill God's plan because we have to have it our way? There's so much more to this story (my Dec. 1st message, archived on our website).
Let's suffice to say that for God's plan to unfold as it had to, God needed a man who cared more about the will of God and his wife than relieving his own frustrations by taking matters into his own hands. Yes, Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, was just the kind of man God was looking for.
Pastor Brent Oliver grew up in Kokomo, Indiana and is an Ordained Minister through the Assemblies of God. Before embarking on God’s plan to establish a church in Delphi, Pastor Brent served in both Peru and Logansport, Indiana encompassing over 29 years of fulltime ministry. His vision and creativity has been the benchmark for the growing ministry at Delphi First and after 23 years, his passion and leadership could not be stronger.