Joseph probably had his life all planned out. He was set to marry, have children, settle into his carpentry business. It would be a good life. Then Mary gave him some news that rocked his whole world. He could have handled it in any number of ways, but Joseph was a good man who did not want to publicly disgrace his bride. His first thought was a “quiet” divorce. But after the angel appeared to him, Joseph was obedient and followed through with the marriage.
You see, God not only chose Mary to be Jesus’ mother, but he also chose Joseph to be his earthly father. Nothing about it would be easy, but Joseph willingly took on the responsibility of raising Jesus as his son.
Think about that. What if Joseph had taken on the task grudgingly? What if he had resented that he had to raise someone else’s child, or that Mary’s firstborn was not from him? What if he gave his other children more love and respect than he gave Jesus? He was obedient to God by doing what the angel instructed, but he could have done it unwillingly and with a poor attitude. But instead, Joseph worked to provide for Jesus. He loved and cared for him, as we see when Jesus went missing as a child, and Joseph was worried and frantic looking for him (Luke 2:48).
There is not a lot written about Joseph in the Bible, but his was not a minor role. He had one of the most important jobs anyone could ever have. His obedience and willingness serve as an example to all of us.
It is important that we are obedient to what God calls us to do. We can either do it willingly as Joseph did, or we can do it grudgingly. God’s purposes will be accomplished either way, but how much happier will we be if we serve Him joyfully? God loves a cheerful giver. In this season of giving, let’s give God our best, our willing hearts.
Psalm 100:2 NASB “Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before Him with joyful singing.”