Joseph: No Understudy Needed?
Joseph often gets forgotten in the Christmas story. Russell Moore writes, “I played a cow in my first grade Christmas pageant, and I had more lines than the kid who played Joseph. He was a prop, or so it seemed for Mary, the plastic doll in the manger, and the rest of us, we were all just following the script. There’s rarely much room in the inn of the contemporary Christian imagination for Joseph. His only role, it seems, is an usher—to get Mary to the stable in Bethlehem in the first place and then to get her back in the Temple in Jerusalem in order to find the wandering twelve year old Jesus.” (Adopted for Life, p.59 Russell Moore)
Joseph does factor into the equivalent of an usher oftentimes, doesn’t he? Where have you ever seen a living nativity that ignored Joseph but yet when was he ever memorable (unless he falls down)? He doesn’t get top billing, doesn’t say much, and is easily glossed over in our remembering the birth of Christ; and yet in the Gospel of Matthew Joseph actually figures prominently. The genealogy is not not Mary’s in Matthew, but Joseph’s– the descendant of David.
Tomorrow at Hope Fellowship, in our second sermon in our Advent Series, Behold Your King, we'll see how Matthew focuses our attention on Joseph in the first chapter of his Gospel in order to display God's Son. Join us and invite a friend!