‘Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word…’ (Matthew 2:13, NIV).
Not much is known about Jesus’ adoptive father, Joseph, but what has been recorded is nothing less than fascinating. We know from Mark 6:3 that people knew him as a carpenter. ‘Nothing amazing about that,’ you might think. Carpenters in New Testament times were blue-collar construction workers who earned average wages and lived a simple life. People did not think much of Joseph. In fact, people did not respect Jesus because he was the son of a poor carpenter—that much is obvious from Matthew 13:54-58.
People’s opinion of Joseph would not define him in the long run however. In fact, when introducing Joseph, the Bible glosses over his trade and describes him as a just man (Matthew 1:19, NKJV). And that is where the supernatural record of Joseph’s life begins. Because he was a just man assigned a heavy responsibility, God begins to personally guide him in the new task of parenthood.
In Matthew 1:20-24 an angel tells him in a dream to take Mary as his wife and assume responsibility for Jesus. Then in Matthew 2:13 another angel warns him to flee to Egypt and keep Jesus safe from the murderous plans of King Herod. Yet again in Matthew 2:19-23, Joseph is supernaturally instructed to move his family to Nazareth, where Jesus would spend the early years of his life. Time after time, Joseph relies on supernatural guidance to be a good father.
Today you may be working 9 to 5 as a construction worker, a secretary or a car salesman. All those hours at work seem worth it when you get to tuck your children safely into bed at night. You pray in the darkness that God would protect them from evil and yet you wonder if He’s listening.
People may see the hands made rough by your labor and despise you but God sees your heart and will reward you with the greatest gift of all—His friendship. Down here you may be known as one more blue-collar worker, but up there you are known as the friend of God! Don’t worry about your children, your provision or your future. Being the friend of God means that He shares his secrets with you and guides you along the right path for your family. So tonight, as you pray for your children one more time, rest assured in the fact that you are not alone in this thing called parenting. God is listening. He will speak. You just rest.
‘For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence’ (Proverbs 3:32 , NIV).
- Mercy Alarid is the Creative Arts Pastor of Passion Church. Mercy has a Master's degree in Education. Mercy is a member of the faculty of Central New Mexico Community College, where she is an instructor in the Education department. Mercy has been married to Brian for 17 years and they reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico with their 3 children: Chloe, Colin, and Lauren.