When we consider this time of year, it is easy to be brought to a state of awe at the miracle of Jesus birth.  Often we consider all the factors that transpired for this event to take place that were critical for this miracle. These factors were thousands of years of prophecy, the time and location, angels, and a humble young girl.

Christmas and Joseph

There is one factor that is often overlooked or minimized. This factor, however, was a key for the future young girl’s life and development of this miracle.  It was not enough to find a believing girl; God also had to have her betrothed to a man who would become the most influential man in the miracle’s life.  This man was Joseph.

Much can be said in Mathew 1:18-20 of the demonstration of his love, mercy, humility before God and the courage to give up his dreams for the sake of someone else.  Consider his life of isolation with his new family in Egypt. His confidence in God’s word under the contrasting pressure of others and his pursuit of justice over the law.  This is what God was looking for in a surrogate father for His own Son.  Jesus could model after an earthly man, learn from and return to a life with his true heavenly Father.

The Role of a Father

Psychologists and Sociologists consistently emphasize the significance of the father affirming and nurturing his children. These are in ways that are distinct from the mother’s contribution (which is vitally important and not to be set aside).  Fathers can speak to a child’s sense of identity and purpose in ways that challenge the child to move beyond the security and comfort of childhood.

This holds true because God authored it.  We see that God asked Joseph step into this role as a surrogate. Mathew 1:21, “And she will bring forth a Son, and YOU (Joseph) shall call His name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  What was this role? To declare the identity of this new baby and reveal who he would be.  This is the Joseph Factor.

As Joseph was a surrogate to Jesus, we also have surrogates. We have God himself who speaks to our hearts to move forward in a confident identity with a declaration from Romans 8:15. “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry, ‘Abba Father (Daddy)’.” Verse 17 says, “and if children, then heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Jesus himself).”

Blog “Christmas Ponderings” Christmas ponderings here.

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