I’ve spent all week at the feet of Joseph seeking to learn the secret of his miraculous life. The gospel of Luke simply tells us:
“… a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David: and the virgin’s name was Mary.” (Luke 1:26)
In chapter two, Luke says that:
“Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was with child.” (Luke 2:4-5)
Luke wants us to know that Joseph was a direct descendant of King David, the greatest king in Israel’s history. Joseph was a man with a historic and honorable heritage.
The prophet Jeremiah said of the coming Messiah:
“Behold, the days are coming declares the Lord when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land…” (Jeremiah23:5)
Joseph was born into the proper bloodline to become a significant player in the future hope of Israel, but so had many others. Joseph was just one of all the sons and daughters descending upon Bethlehem to be registered for the tax. Someone has estimated, that in Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born, there were probably 200,000 to 700,000 people there. The total population of Bethlehem when Jesus was born was only around 1,000. You can see by these numbers that not only was Bethlehem over burdened by the massive influx of people, but Joseph was just one among thousands of relatives all there because of their family connection to King David.
The most significant point Luke brings out is Joseph’s relationship to Mary. Joseph was not just any descendent, he was THE descendent. Mary was destined to be the mother of Jesus, the Savior of the world. You might say that Joseph married into prominence. Joseph stepped up. He married above his station even as a descendant of David. He would be the earthly father of God’s Son.
There is a true story of a woman who told about how frustrated she’d gotten with her husband during the early years of their marriage. Apparently, they both worked, but she took pride in the idea that she could still prepare good meals for them to eat. She’d prepare meals in advance and put them in freezer bags, carefully labeling the bags in large clear letters: “Meatloaf” or “Pot Roast” or “Steak and Vegetables” or “Chicken and Dumplings” or “Beef Pot Pie.”
But when she’d ask her husband what he wanted for dinner – he’d never make a decision. He’d just say something like: “ah, whatever.”
So, she decided to stock the freezer with what food that he actually asked for. NOW, if you looked in her freezer you’d see only a couple of labels.
You’d find dinners with neat, legible tags that say: “Something Good,” or “Whatever.”
When you look at Joseph in the Christmas story, you see a “WHATEVER” man in a city filled with “WHATEVER” men. He was one among many sons of David, but he was special. He was the espoused husband of Mary who was carrying the very Son of God. That one thing made him the most important/ special WHATEVER man in the history of the world.
I pray that the men of our church will realized today that each one of you are better than “WHATEVER.” Each of you are special. God sent Jesus to save you and redeem you from your sins. That makes you, “SOMETHING GOOD” in a WHATEVER world that needs all the good it can get.