Reflections: St. Joseph, Guardian of Jesus

March 19,  2023

Today’s Reading:  Matt. 2:13-15, 19-23

Daily Lectionary: Gen 41:28-57, Mark 11:20-33

Matthew 2:13: “Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.””

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Joseph’s fiancé was pregnant. He knew it wasn’t his child. People talked about it. Legend puts him a lot older than Mary. Old enough people talked about that, too. I wonder what he dreamed about before God-given warnings took over his nights.  “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  “Rise, flee to Egypt.  Remain there until I tell you. Herod is about to search for the child to destroy him.”  I’m guessing “abandon everything and flee to Egypt to protect the kid someone else fathered with your wife” might not have been on the 5 year plan. Joseph disappears before Jesus begins His ministry.  

It would be easy to remember him for his patience, selflessness, and sacrificial care for Mary and Jesus.  It would even be possible to mark him as one taken advantage of by those looking for a patron saint to represent their own feelings of insecurity and insufficiency. It might be best, though, to remember him only so far as the Scriptures do. He was the guardian of Jesus. The Husband of Mary. Faithful. 

In worry, he was near Jesus. In trial, near Jesus. Until death, near Jesus. Immanuel means God with us. Joseph is marked as one who was near to Jesus because Jesus was near to him. There are plenty of fathers and husbands marked for doing the right thing, and plenty more for feeling bitter about not getting enough attention. Joseph is simply the one near Jesus, and being near Jesus is enough. We remember Joseph as we can now see each other. Near to Jesus, hearing His promises and believing them, that even if we disappear from the story, we will ever be near Jesus in eternity. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty God, from the house of Your servant David You raised up Joseph to be the guardian of Your incarnate Son and the husband of His mother, Mary. Grant us grace to follow the example of this faithful workman in heeding Your counsel and obeying Your commands; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

– Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.