Jesus' earthly father is a key figure in the life of Jesus, yet his story is often overlooked. United Methodist pastor and author the Rev. Adam Hamilton wrote a book called Faithful: Christmas Through The Eyes of Joseph. Hamilton says Joseph's story is a reminder that in life, we sometimes encounter circumstances we would not have chosen for ourselves and this provides opportunity for us to obey God and to live faithfully.
(Voice of the Rev. Adam Hamilton) "Joseph is the patron saint of dads, of foster fathers and adoptive fathers. Joseph is somebody who has no lines in the text and yet he plays a really important role. He is the patron saint of all the people who work behind the scenes and yet play such a pivotal role in what happens for the kingdom of God. The people who don't get any credit and yet are utterly impactful in doing God's work.
So you know, some of the things I love about Joseph: He's the first person to doubt the Virgin birth. You know, Joseph, who's described as a righteous man, heard from Mary herself that she conceived of the Holy Spirit. And he said, 'I don't believe it.' He's the patron saint of doubters. When I think of Joseph, I think of Jesus and the fact that no other man had a greater influence on Jesus in mentoring him and shaping him than Joseph did. If you think about the role our fathers play, you know, we either push back against our dads, or we become like our dads. And when I think about Joseph and then I look at Jesus, I think how many of the things that Jesus said and did are things that he learned from Joseph. So, I think we see a lot of Joseph in the Gospels. I think we see it and we hear it in the words of Jesus. So, Joseph was a man who was faithful. He loved Jesus. He raised him as his son. And he was the patron saint of both doubters and those who are faithful in following God's will."
The Rev. Adam Hamilton is pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Hear more from Hamilton in this segment of the Get Your Spirit in Shape podcast on UMC.org.
Or read more about lessons from Joseph.
This video was first posted on December 7, 2017.