Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Joseph, Jesus’s father’s spiritual gifts

In the account of Matthew, about the circumstances surrounding Christ’s birth, it is notable how much guidance comes to Joseph through dreams of angels. He learns through a dream that he need not fear to take Mary to wife. He learns from an angel in a dream that he must take his family and flee to Egypt to save Jesus from being killed by Herod. He learns from an angel in a dream that he can take his family back to Israel when Herod died. And it seems he was directed in a dream to settle in Galilee.


Joseph reminds me a lot of Joseph in Egypt with all those dreams. It is also no less neat that he followed the guidance he received. His spiritual sensitivity and obedience marks him as an excellent surrogate father for Jesus.


Also, from the beginning, Joseph knew the mission of Jesus. In the first dream when he was reassured about Mary, the angel in his dream said, “she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21)


Mary gets a lot of attention for the angelic visitation she had, but if we were comparing her spirituality and Joseph’s, could we really say that she was more spiritual? No, they were equal. They both received revelation—the method isn’t as important as the message--and they were both obedient. It is the same for us today. When we receive revelation and follow that guidance, we are no less worthy than Mary and Joseph.