He has become one of my favorite characters, not just in the Christmas story, but in the entire Bible. He doesn’t get a lot of fanfare in the Christmas story – Mary seems to get all of that. But if I had to model my life after any one man in Scripture (outside of Jesus, of course) I think I would chose Joseph. The more I read and ponder the Christmas story the more I admire this simple carpenter. If I had to sum up his walk with God in one word it would be an easy word to pick. It would be the word, “OBEDIENCE!”
In Matthew 1:19, the angel tells Joseph to take Mary as his wife. In verse 24, Joseph obeys and takes Mary as his wife.
In Matthew 1:19, the angel tells Joseph to name the baby, Jesus. In verse 15, Joseph obeys and names the baby Jesus.
In Matthew 2:13, the angel tells Joseph to “Get up” and take Mary and Jesus to Egypt. In verse 14, Joseph “Got Up” and took Mary and Jesus to Egypt.
In Matthew 2:20, the angel tells Joseph to “Get Up” and take Mary and Jesus back to Israel. In verse 21, Joseph “Gets Up” and takes Mary and Jesus back to Israel.
In each and every case there are two descriptions of Joseph’s obedience. It was both immediate and complete. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Partial obedience is disobedience. Perhaps the greatest gift we can give to Jesus this Christmas is our immediate and complete obedience to His words and to His commands. After all, it was Jesus who said, “If you love Me, you will obey My commands” (John 14:15).