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Be a Just Man

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There are many people in the Bible who have become well-known over the years despite details lacking in their lives. Joseph, the husband of Mary, is one example. Still, there is enough information on Joseph to provide men a lesson on how we should carry ourselves, and I’m not just talking about the fact that Joseph was a small-town guy who did big things while holding down a job as a carpenter (Matthew 13:55).

Joseph Was a Just Man

Matthew 1:19 provides us this description of Joseph. But what does the word "just" mean? According to Merriam-Webster, there are a few definitions for the word "just." For starters, it means “agreeing with what is considered morally right or good.” It can also mean “treating people in a way that is considered morally right.” What’s interesting with Matthew 1:19 is the fact that Joseph is described as being a just man after learning of Mary’s pregnancy. He knew the child was not his but did not want to make a public example of Mary by breaking off their marriage agreement. As a result, Joseph planned to keep things under wraps and put her away privately. While he thought about these things, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him not to be afraid, and to go ahead and take Mary as his wife. Why? “For that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:20). Joseph was a just man, and he did as he was told (Matthew 1:24). That brings us to the next lesson involving Joseph...

Joseph Followed God’s Instructions

After the wise men paid a visit to Jesus, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him to take the young child and his mother to Egypt (Matthew 2:13). Just as he did following the previous dream, Joseph took the child and his mother to Egypt (Matthew 2:14).  He does exactly the same thing after being told in Egypt to return to Israel (Matthew 2:21). Remember, Joseph was a just man. He did that which was right or good, and being a Jewish man Joseph knew Deuteronomy 6:5 and Proverbs 3:5-6 just as Gentiles do today. He knew to love God and to put his trust in Him, even when he did not understand.

Joseph Was a Father Figure

Luke’s gospel also reveals information about Joseph. Luke 2 actually includes the last documented time of Joseph’s presence in Jesus’ life. At the age of 12, Jesus accompanied Joseph and Mary to Jerusalem as was their custom (Luke 2:42). Joseph apparently stuck things out with Mary and Jesus over the years. He was not always the most important figure in his wife’s life, but he stayed the course. It is also pretty clear that Joseph taught Jesus the trade of carpentry. Mark 6:3 describes Jesus as being a carpenter. Scholars and authors think this may have been how Jesus supported his mother after what many believe to be Joseph’s death. He was not present at the crucifixion, and he is also not mentioned as being with Mary at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1). Yes, Jesus was the Son of God as well as the Son of Man. Notwithstanding, He learned some things just as you and I do, from his father.

Despite not knowing a lot about Joseph, there are bits and pieces in Scripture that reveal he was a just man. He followed God’s instructions while teaching and raising Jesus. You too may be just a man, but what is more important is being a just man. Follow God’s instructions and be the father figure that God calls you to be.

 

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