Joseph and Mary are Jesus Christ‘s earthly parents. Mary who was engaged to Joseph but had not yet married and was still a virgin was chosen by God to conceive by the Holy Ghost (Mathew 1:18) and care for Jesus. Joseph was described as a righteous man and proved it by being kind to Mary when he found she was pregnant before their marriage. Declining to follow the law which justified death for Mary, Joseph decided to ‘put her away privily'(Mathew 1:19). While he was thinking on this and wondering what to do, an ‘angel of the Lord’ came to him in a dream instructing him to take Mary as his wife for she had been called upon by God to bear Jesus. That he was sent to ‘save his people from their sins’ (Mathew 1:21).
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‘Now this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”‘
‘Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.’ (Mathew 1:22-25)
The meaning of the name Mary is not clearly translated or recognized for something specific but a few definitions listed are: ‘sea of bitterness’, ‘rebelliousness’ or ‘wished for child’. It is thought to have originated from Egypt and related to ‘mry‘ or ‘beloved’, possibly ‘mr‘ meaning ‘love’.
Mary played a vital role all throughout Christ‘s life, she was there from the day he was born till the time of his death. Her bravery and faithfulness shone brightly from the very beginning at God’s call for her to conceive Christ although not yet wed. Accepting such responsibility and likely great criticism from others with the threat of death being with child before marriage showed an unwavering trust in God. Her passing is not mentioned in the Bible, some believe that she was taken into heaven and spared the pain of death. Hyppolitus of Thebes recorded that Mary was alive for 11 years past the crucifixion of Christ and died around 54 AD.
The name Joseph in Hebrew is translated into ‘Yosef’ which means ‘he will add’. He is part of Christ’s history on the Bible Timeline Chart around 1 AD. Not much is recorded about Joseph and his relationship with Jesus as he grew. The scriptures do tell us that he was a good man who was faithful to God and obeyed his words. It was clear that he was dedicated to God by how often he has lead his family out of danger after being warned and hearkening to God’s guidance. One particular occurrence was their journey to Egypt away from Bethlehem just in time to escape Herod the Great‘s massacre of male infants in an attempt to destroy Jesus.
The last mention of Joseph in the scriptures was when Christ was only 12. After that during Christ’s life as an adult Mary is spoken of in terms that indicate she was a widow. Joseph was not recorded in key events during those times that would have called for involvement on his part. He was not recorded to be standing there at Christ’s crucifixion and Jewish tradition would have placed responsibility on Joseph for the caring of Christ’s body after his death but this charge was undertaken by Joseph of Arimathea. Christ also would not have given Mary’s care into the hands of John if Joseph was still around.
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