A Model of Obedience

Although the character of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, does not appear for long in the gospels, what we see of him there is commendable. In just the first chapter of Matthew alone, he modeled obedience to God in a number of ways:  

— :24 says “(he) did as the angel of the Lord commanded him
— then he “took Mary as his wife” as he was instructed
—  :25 indicates: “but KEPT her a virgin until she gave birth”
—  and then it concludes: “and he called His name Jesus” (just as the angel commanded)

Here in a series of actions, Joseph showed his obedience to God, even in some very difficult and virtually unbelievable circumstances. In all the history of the world, there was only one explanation for Mary’s pregnancy. This was the ONE exception EVER — and God asked Jospeh to believe it, and act on it — and he did! It can rightly be said that none of us has ever had to act in such obedience and faith as this!

No, Joseph does not appear in the story of Jesus for long, but what we read of him while he is there is a model of what it means to obey God. In fact we see even more examples of that from him in the second chapter of Matthew, before he disappears from the scene.  Although Joseph was just a man, and needed the Savior he was parenting as much as any of us, we can learn from his faith & obedience.  God is looking for this kind of response to His word from each of us today.  Even when our circumstances are difficult, and it may be hard to understand, may we be found faithful to obey.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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