Mobile, AL (WKRG)
Pastor Cedrick McMillan from New Birth Community Church joins us to talk about the earthly father of Jesus. Here’s a rough transcript of what we talked about:
Monday is St. Joseph’s day, what is that?
Chad, though a holiday mostly observed by our Catholic brothers and sisters. I find it as a day that the Protestant faithful can observe.
The day in and of itself is a day of remembrance for the life and legacy of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. It’s day that Christians think of his clear obedience, unwavering and strong commitment to family.
What is Joseph’s role in Jesus’ story?
In the story of Jesus, Joseph plays the role of his earthly father. He is visited by an angel stating that Mary, the woman he is engaged to, will bring forth a son and he shall be the Son of God. Of course, that was a huge revelation for him and he definitely had a difficult decision to make. Obey the prophetic word or ignore it. You see, early on there’s tension in the story. Joseph legally had no real commitment to Mary and could have easily abandoned her. Yet, he chose to take the role of father and married her with allegations of misconduct.
Arguably Joseph had one of the hardest parts to play–the earthly father of Jesus–how did Joseph guide Jesus?
I believe Joseph guided Jesus in manhood. Though Jesus was fully human and divine, he lived 33 years on earth. Meaning he experienced life from the perspective of a man. I believe Joseph was able to teach Jesus the importance of family, hard work, commitment, obedience, service, sacrifice, integrity, and honor. I believe it was Joseph’s life and earthly teachings coupled with his divine instinct and ability that made Jesus successful and effective. I’ve learned in life that the natural and spiritual must work together. There has to be balance. Joseph gave Jesus that. Hence, him not beginning ministry until he was 30.
What are the lessons we can learn from Joseph when he didn’t abandon Mary when he found out about baby Jesus?
Joseph was obedient to God’s Will throughout his life. Joseph listened to the angel of the Lord explain the virgin birth in a dream and then took Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:20-24). He was obedient when he led his family to Egypt to escape Herod’s infanticide in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:13-15). Joseph obeyed the angel’s later commands to return to Israel (Matthew 2:19-20) and settle in Nazareth with Mary and Jesus (Matthew 2:22-23). From his obedience, we see his selflessness and his example to follow. Leaders aren’t leaders because they are “over” something. They are a leader because they are EXAMPLES in which we all can model. That is the biggest lesson, I believe, we can learn from Joseph.
Often people talk about Joseph having faith without seeing, what the challenges for the faithful in that lesson?
I believe our entire walk with God is built on faith. the Bible is clear, without faith it’s impossible to please God. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen! Faith is the foundation of our relationship with God. Without it, we have nothing but a story. In these times of uncertainty, we are currently facing, I think we learn from Joseph the importance of depending on God for everything. In every instance of Joseph’s life, he understood what faith would produce, results! God always provided for Joseph and his family. If we apply that type of submission to God like Joseph, and even Mary, I believe we will not only find comfort, but also the full manifestation of God’s will for our lives. Nothing in his life story, that we know, worked out the way he thought it would. But each time, he activated his faith, and that FAITH got him through it all.
What are the things in Joseph’s story people sometimes overlook?
I think his strong work ethic and ability to serve. People really don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Joseph’s life, in my opinion, gives us a godly example to model. I think people overlook Joseph without realizing his important role in the life of Jesus. It is because of him, that Jesus was able to connect to the people he would serve and be able to complete his earthly assignment. To me, married carried the seed, but Joseph cultivated the seed and God gave the increase.