God always entrusts his treasures to ordinary people. One such person is a man I would love to meet in heaven. He was a craftsman, a carpenter, but he could have been anything . . . plumber, farmer, shepherd, or even a scholar. His occupation isn’t the important thing. His character is. It’s not what he did, but how he lived that makes him Mister Right.
This man lived at a time when many people used religion as a cosmetic. It was useful for hiding blemishes and giving an imaginary glow of righteousness. But Mister Right had no use for cosmetic religion. He truly believed in God and tried, in every way, to orient his life with God’s commands.
You would have liked him, respected him, and trusted him. I know God did. For he chose this everyday man, this carpenter from Nazareth and Bethlehem, to be husband to Mary, and the guardian of Jesus, the Son of God. Joseph is Mister Right.
As a husband and a father figure, Joseph has much to teach us. Looking at his life in the few verses that describe him, I see why God trusted him with his treasures. I see the kind of man every wife and child needs, and I see the kind of man God makes us, if we’ll let him.
Joseph was fully devoted to God, therefore, a righteous man. (Matthew 1:16ff). He centered his life on pleasing God. As I have said so often, to so many groups, it is the center that matters, because your center controls your thoughts, actions, and relationships.
Joseph may have been ordinary, but he had the qualities that always make a man a true success:
Faithfulness. Faithful men are reliable, dependable, predictable, and consistent. They make promises carefully and keep the promises they make.
A sense of honor. Matthew tells us that even when Joseph had the legal right to shame Mary, he would not. That’s quite a lesson for those of us who make the slightest offense an excuse for retribution.
Responsiveness. Joseph listened to messages God sent through the angels, and adjusted his plans to God’s plans.
Self-control. Joseph didn’t have sexual relations with Mary until after the birth of Jesus. Yet how many men become sullen, pouting like little children, when, for some good reason, their wives are not sexually available to them?
Humility. It wasn’t all about him. He wasn’t the star, and didn’t need to be.
Support. If they gave awards for the best man in a supporting role, Joseph would win the Oscar. Yet his role satisfied him. Mary could feel secure with Joseph, knowing she had his full support. Supportive men make secure wives.
Adaptability. Some of us are so rigid. Everything has to be done our way or we become uncooperative. I know two causes for rigidity: pride and fear. Both harden our hearts and make us hard to live with. Joseph had the sense to know that God was doing something greater than his five-year plan, and the wisdom to adapt. I am sure he is not sorry. Surrender your agenda and discover God’s higher purpose.
Preparation. God trained and prepared Joseph for this extraordinary responsibility. He probably didn’t know it at the time, for his training occurred in everyday ways. We, too, are in preparation for something bigger than what we know, so we might consider how we can pay attention and live purposefully.
No doubt, Joseph was an imperfect man. He had his struggles, but always yielded to God’s will.
It is an honor, the greatest honor, when God trusts us with a treasure, and that honor always makes us thankful people. Feeling any other way would be wrong for Mister Right. Like his young wife Mary, he could say, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For he who is mighty has done great things, and holy is his name!”
“Father God, thank you for men like Joseph. We acknowledge you as the very center of our lives. Make us right men, living in right ways, for the right reasons, to the honor and glory of your Name. Amen.”