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Friday, November 30 2012
Joseph Of Nazareth
In the Bible, "Joseph" is the English rendering of the Hebrew name pronounced yo-safe. A number of prominent men of Bible history were named Joseph, including the Israelite patriarch Joseph (see A Biography Of Jacob: A Coat Of Many Colors) and Joseph of Arimathea who, along with Nicodemus (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?), placed the body of the Messiah in the Tomb after the Crucifixion (see The Sacrifice Of Nisan 14).
Joseph of Nazareth is usually who most people think of when they hear of a Joseph in the Holy Scriptures.
"1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ [see What Does Word of God Mean To You?] was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily." (Matthew 1:18-19 KJV)
Just as the angel Gabriel told Mary to name Him Jesus (Luke 1:31), Joseph was also personally told "thou shalt call his name Jesus," while, interestingly, "they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
"1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God] appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins [see What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?].
The conception of the Messiah occurred in Galilee, and the birth would otherwise have happened there also, but the prophecy of the Messiah being born in Bethlehem, the city of David, was fulfilled when the Romans decreed a census that required everyone to register in their ancestral home town. So it was that "Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child."
"2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus [see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars], that all the world should be taxed. 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
The birth apparently came suddenly, otherwise Joseph would surely have made other accommodation; even if the inns were full, there were relatives in the area of their home town of Bethlehem. The visit of the nearby shepherds was just as sudden; "they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."
"2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us [see also Bethlehem In History And Prophecy].
Joseph and his family remained in Bethlehem, and then made the relatively short journey to Jerusalem "according to the law of Moses."
"2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord [see also Simeon and Anna]; 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." (Luke 2:22-24 KJV)
The "wise men," or "Magi," arrived months later, up to two years later ("Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men"), by which time Joseph and his family were in a house i.e. "when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."
"2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him [see Why Did The Magi Come?].
Joseph was then instructed to take his family and flee to Egypt to escape Herod.
"2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
After Herod died, Joseph was told to return to Nazareth. Jesus would be called a Nazarene, not only because He lived there, but because Joseph was a Nazarene too.
"2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
The Scriptures record only one event in the life of the Messiah in the time from His infancy and the beginning of His Ministry at about age thirty - when the Messiah, at age twelve, remained in Jerusalem at the time when the family had journeyed there for Passover. After that incident, "he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them."
"2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 2:42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 2:43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 2:44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 2:45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 2:46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 2:47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 2:48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
"We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph"
As was the custom, Jesus was known by both His hometown (which people regarded to be Nazareth because He lived there for about twenty-five years) and the name of His human father i.e. "Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
"1:43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
As stated, Joseph was a righteous and God-fearing man. Was Joseph present in the Nazareth synagogue on the day when Jesus began to preach? When they asked, "Is not this Joseph's son?" - did they turn and look at Joseph as they said it?
"4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
There is nothing recorded about Joseph during the time after the Messiah's Ministry began, other than, as we read above, "Is not this Joseph's son?" and below, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?" While some are of the opinion that Joseph had died by that time, those statements seem to be saying that he was alive.
"6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joseph had however died by the time of the Messiah's own death - Jesus would never have arranged for Mary to live with her nephew John (i.e. John's mother was Mary's sister; see the Fact Finder question below) if Joseph were alive.
"19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." (John 19:25-27 KJV)
Fact Finder: Who were some of the well-known people who were actual physical relations of Jesus of Nazareth, through His mother Mary?
This Day In History, November 30
1016: King Edmund II of England died. He became known as "Ironside" for his defense of England against the invading Danes under Canute (or "Knut"). Canute's forces eventually won however, and made the Danish/Polish Viking Canute the king of England for 20 years, during which the pro-Rome Canute made England into a territory of the so-called Holy Roman Empire (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1215: The Fourth Lateran Council ended. Convened by Pope Innocent III, it made the first official use of the Church of Rome's man-made doctrine of "transubstantiation."
1554: Under Queen Mary (Mary Tudor - "Bloody Mary") Roman Catholicism was restored to England for a short time. Mary had Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and nearly 300 other Protestant leaders burned at the stake.
1700: A Swedish force of 8,000 under King Charles XII defeated 50,000 Russians at the Battle of Narva. The Russian loses were 10,000, while Sweden lost 600. Charles died on this date, in 1718, while invading Norway.
1803: Spain turned over its control of the Louisiana Territory to France.
1838: Mexico declared war on France after the French taking of Vera Cruz.
1853: During the Crimean War, the Russia's navy devastated much of the Turkish (i.e. Ottoman) fleet at the battle of Sinope (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1939: Russia invaded Finland with 20 army divisions consisting of nearly 500,000 troops.
1950: U.S. President Harry Truman threatened to again use his atomic bombs (his first two uses of "the bomb" incinerated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in which over 200,000 civilian men, women and children were killed or horribly burned), this time against North Korea. From that time on, North Korea sought to get "the bomb" too, to defend themselves from those who threaten to nuke them.
1983: Radio Shack began selling its Tandy computer (80186 chip).
1988: The United Nations General Assembly censured the United States not providing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat a diplomatic visa to enter the U.S. for the sole purpose of addressing the UN.
1996: Prince Andrew returned the Stone of Scone (pronounced "scoon") to Scotland on behalf of England after exactly 700 years during a ceremony in the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle. The 440 pound block of grey sandstone was the coronation seat of Scottish kings until it was carried away as war booty by King Edward I in 1296. It was placed under the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey where it has been involved in all coronations since then.