A Righteous Man

“Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. […] And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man…” Matthew 1:16 & 19a (NASB)

We don’t know a lot about Joseph, but we do know him to be a righteous man. He, unlike some of his forbearers, follows the example of Boaz. He worships God, and he treats people with justice and kindness. 

However, his righteousness arises out of something other than works—no matter how creditable those works may be. His righteousness is born of faith. His life foreshadows what Paul says in Romans 4, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:5). 

Joseph, then, anticipates the coming of the Messiah, so much so that he never questions the dreams that fill his nights. An angel tells him to not send Mary away; he obeys. When the angel says to flee Bethlehem, he listens even though it means fleeing to Egypt. Joseph goes wherever God calls him, and such faith… such faith causes us to marvel and to desire to follow in his footsteps.

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