Stepparents take on one of the hardest tasks in life — raising a child who isn’t biologically theirs. When Joseph first learned that his fiancée Mary was bearing someone else’s child, he must have felt deep heartache. By law, he had the right to accuse Mary of adultery and have her executed. Then an angel brought instructions in a dream: Joseph was to stay with Mary, for her child was from God.

Three times Joseph received angelic messages in dreams, and each time they called for moves he had not planned and would not wish for. First he was called to care for a wife he had never slept with and a child who was not his. Then he was ordered to flee as a refugee to far-off Egypt. Finally an angel told him to return home, where skeptical neighbors probably remembered that Mary had been pregnant before her marriage.

We know one thing about Joseph: He obeyed, following the angel’s orders in each difficult case. A dutiful stepfather, he treated his son as his own, raising him according to the Jewish law. As a carpenter, he taught Jesus to hammer and saw. As a righteous man, he modeled for him an obedient life.

Matthew 1:18-25

Life Questions

Has God asked you to do any thankless tasks? What were they, and how did they turn out?

Taken from NIV Student Bible


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