Today we hear much about those servants of God who seem to conjure up fame and notoriety. Some become well known...almost a household word, due to their familiarity and popularity in our society.
At times we hear certain ones referred to as "a good man". But being considered a "good man" in a society that treasures accolades of mass media personalities seems to be not enough. It is easy to call almost any man who is a father a father, but is otherwise unappreciated.
But what about Joseph?
This writer has often wondered about Joseph...your know...the one who married Mary, the mother of Jesus. He played a most important roll in the coming and the development of the Child who was not his. He functioned apparently for about twelve years as the husband of Mary, and as "stepfather" of Jesus.
Then - almost suddenly it seems, the Bible speaks of him no more. He becomes silent in the history of his family, although he apparently was the father of several more children by Mary.
The last significant record we have that refer to him directly seems to have occurred when Jesus was about twelve years old. The account is striking not so much for illustrating the loyalty and faithfulness of Joseph, but in the silence after the last time he was mentioned in the Bible.
The incident occurred when Joseph and Mary - and Jesus - were returning after attending a festival. The had traveled for some time when suddenly the because alarmed; where is Jesus? He was not in the group returning back home. They search and searched, asking others in their party, where is Jesus?
"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" - Luke 2:40-49
One can only imagine the panic they experienced, and the relief upon finding their on lost child.
He already realized His calling, and responsibility to grow up into it.
After this event, the Bible seems to be silent concerning Joseph - the "good man". This may seem a puzzle. However, the Bible leaves us here concerning Joseph - "a good man". Perhaps he died or simply is ignored in order to emphasized the importance of drawing our attention to the purpose for which Jesus came. We all know the importance of having a righteous father in our lives. Joseph was such a good man, that his impact was very intense, but relatively short compared to other fathers.
He fulfilled his calling well. And the results of his short life will be realized for eternity.
If you happen to be a father, either now, or in the past, or some time in the future, will you be referred to as not just a man, but "a good man"?
No greater honor can be conferred on any father.
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