So I have a question for the dads out there. Who’s your favorite earthly dad in the Bible? Was it Adam because he was the 1st dad on earth? Or king David with his son Solomon? Maybe Jacob, Abraham, or Moses perhaps.
Mine is Joseph. Not the Joseph we read about in Genesis, but the Joseph who raised our savior Jesus. The bible doesn’t go into great detail about Joseph. We know he was a carpenter. (Matt 13:55) He was a just man. (Matt 1:24) He listened to commands. (Matt 2:13) He was protective of his family. (Matt 2:13)
These are all great traits to have as a dad, but what I love most about Joseph is that he was not perfect. The bible gives us a great example of this regular dad making a mistake.
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
Did you catch that? Joseph left Jesus, the savior of mankind and son of God, behind for a day! A whole day of travel. Put yourself in Joseph’s sandals for a minute. You just lost the son of God, you know the boy you were commanded to raise and protect. Now he’s lost and you know that the wrath of God will be descending upon you if you don’t find him. Can you imagine the prayer Joseph said in that moment? “God, I lost your son. I know you told me to raise him and protect him, but can you please help me find him so I don’t get hit with a lightening bolt.” When Mary says “Your father and I have been searching for you in great distress” you know it’s GREAT DISTRESS!
But rather than hammer on Joseph’s mistake I’d like to look at him as a dad. He’s human just like us. He failed just like us. But in that failure Jesus told his earthly dad, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” He was reassuring Joseph that it’s ok if he failed. God the Father was taking care of him. God the Father was protecting him.
Joseph was human and I’m thankful that the bible shows us that even the earthly father of Christ can make a mistake. He can mess up but yet still be reassured that God loves him. I know in my own life I hammer on myself when I make mistakes with my kids. I know that I don’t want to fail them as a dad. But with reassurance from the story of Joseph even I can mess up and yet still be loved by God.
Stop hanging onto the mistakes and let God reassure you Dad!
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