Joseph & Mary (Matthew 1) | Story

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Today’s hero is Joseph, husband of Mary, because he shows us the gift of Fatherhood

Essential Teachers notes:
If there was ever a story that has been committed to memory it’s the story of Christmas, of Joseph & Mary. It’s really easy to put this text in your own words by never actually reading it, and for that reason I’ve deliberately tried to pull in facts from around the bible and culture to make this less of the Christmas fairytale and more the life of one man who is faced with a challenge, a challenge to obey, a challenge to be the male role model to an infant who is God.

Main Passage : Matthew 1
Additional Passages : Matthew 2, Luke 2, Matthew 25.


Joseph loved Mary, he pounded another nail into the desk he was making for a Roman official with a smile, picturing her face and the family they would have. He smoothed his hand over the desk top and imagined what he would buy with the Denari it would bring. To the east he could see the plot of ground that would be his future home, the ground swelled and furrowed with foundations.

When you chose the person you would marry, the man would go and build the house, the moment it was finished he would go collect the brides party. He smiled as he thought of the house he would build for Mary, and the family that God may bless them with.

Today, soon, Mary would return. Joseph brushed the wood shavings from his robe, washed his face and walked into town to meet her. 3 months with Zechariah and Elizabeth had been too long.

The cart she rode on came to a stop and he ran to lift her off, but she pushed him away, her face suddenly worried. As Mary climbed down and turned to face Joseph, he understood. Her face seemed rounder, but that wasn’t the only thing, her belly, she was pregnant. The crowd that had gathered to greet her became silent, a few people stooping low to pick up stones with sad faces.

In that time it was forbidden to have a baby before you were married, it was a sin. The punishment was to have stones thrown at you until you died. Mary’s big eyes stared at Joseph, he was the only person who could save her life.

Joseph looked at Mary’s big belly, it held a baby. Babies are made by a man and a woman. But Joseph was not that man, he was not the baby’s father. Confusion and fear filled Joseph, he loved Mary, he couldn’t imagine a world where she died. Slowly he lifted his arm and put it round her shoulder leading her to her parents house. He heard the stones drop from the crowds hands, he heard the whispering start.

Mary tried to speak but Joseph stopped her, they walked in silence until she stood at the doorway to her parents house, then Joseph turned and left. He did not want to hear what Mary had to say.

All day he thought, by evening he had made his decision. He would not put Mary in danger or embarrass her in public. He would wait until he could quietly divorce her. The Law of God would allow this, she would be safe. Having made a decision he lay down to sleep.

In his dream he saw an angel. It called him by name, by the name of his family, called him a son of the great King David. The angel told Joseph that Mary’s baby was not from a man but from the holy spirit of God. The child Mary carried would save the people from their sins. Joseph should not fear to take Mary as his wife.

Joseph went to Mary’s house the next day, he asked Mary to tell her story. As Joseph sat and listened to the familiar voice it told a story he had already heard, a story the angel had shown him in the dream. Even though he didn’t understand he knew God wanted him to marry Mary. He had no house to take her to but he married her anyway.

Soon it would not matter, for soon the census would be called. Soon they would travel to Bethlehem the home of his ancestor king David and Joseph would be asked to be a father to a baby boy who was God.

Today’s hero is Joseph, husband of Mary, because he shows us the gift of Fatherhood



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