Shelbyville Daily Union

Ask the Pastor

December 23, 2011

Ask the Pastor

SHELBYVILLE, IL. — What can we learn from Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father?


Many characters are highlighted in the birth of Christ, but Joseph is rarely one of them. As a society, we talk about the Virgin Mary or the wise men and shepherds following a star or listening to angels. Joseph gets pushed to the sidelines and it is sad because he is vital to the story of the birth of Christ and his childhood.

We first see Joseph in Matthew 1 when he was engaged to Mary and found out she was pregnant. It says twice that he had not been with her to consummate the marriage, so he knew it was not his baby. Knowing that, he went to divorce her quietly so she was not put to shame.  Divorcing her publically would mean she could receive the penalty of death for adultery.  But being the just man that he was, he did not want to do that to her.

Later in Matthew 1, it says that when he was thinking of divorcing her, an angel of the Lord came to him and told him not to, but to accept her and the boy who was to become the savior of the people. Joseph did what the angel commanded thus showing us that he was committed to do whatever God instructed.

Joseph also listened to the Lord when He was told to move to Egypt in order to protect the boy from Herod.  He also obeyed the Lord when He said to return to Israel.  Not to diminish Mary’s role at all, but it seems Joseph exhibited some excellent examples of Godly living which we may have overlooked before

We do not see Joseph past Luke 2, where Joseph and his family traveled to and from Jerusalem.   But everything we need to know about Joseph can be found in the first two chapters of Matthew.  Simply put—Joseph obeyed God and went where He told him to go.

This Christmas let us ask ourselves if we are following Joseph’s example; will you follow God when he tells you to do something? Mary was chosen to carry the baby, but Joseph was chosen to raise the baby and raise him in a Godly manner.

On a personal note, I pray that you will be in a church this Sunday morning. There is something precious about celebrating the birth of Christ on a Sunday morning with a church family. If you need a place to go, give me a call.  We would love to have you worship with  us.


Chase Smith is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Shelbyville. For more information from Chase or the church call 774-3636 or visit


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