“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g](which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” Matthew 1.18-25
Did anyone have it harder than Joseph? I mean, really? How would he convince people that his wife became pregnant by the Holy Spirit? I can just hear him talking to the guys at work, “I swear! I didn’t touch her! God did it!” That would be a tough one to pass off and a story that he would tell the rest of his life.
When I met and married my sweet wife, Brian came as a package deal. He is not mine biologically, but he is mine in the Lord. He is my son and I am so proud of him. But I kind of know how Joseph feels — to be given a child that you did not “make” but that God ordained. It is a blessing and an honor.
Joseph was asked, like Mary, to believe the impossible. It took an angel of the Lord to come to him in the night and tell him, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.” Joseph was essential — Jesus’ lineage came from him.
One commentary writes, “If Joseph was Jesus’ stepfather, why is Jesus’ genealogy traced from Joseph? If God is His Father, why does Jesus’ human genealogy matter? In Luke’s narrative of the birth of Jesus, we are given Mary’s genealogy (Luke 3:23–38). Probably the best way to interpret verse 23 is like this: Jesus “was thought to be the son of Joseph, the son-in-law of Heli.” Then the genealogy continues all the way back to David, Abraham, and Adam. This establishes Mary as the physical descendant of David, so it can be stated that Jesus truly was “the Son of David” through the lineage of David’s son Nathan.” (https://www.todayintheword.org/issues/2020/march/question-and-answer/question-2/)
Both parents mattered — Mary for her purity and willingness to bear the son of God, but also Joseph for not only his line as a direct descendant to David but also his faithfulness to the Lord as a godly man.
Joseph was called upon by God to accept the impossible and he carried that calling well. He became the earthly father who would shape the Son of God, the Messiah, who would die for the sins of the world.
“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for ordaining the Holy Family just as you ordained my own. Thank you that you know us by name, that we are given a purpose and are able to walk in your light. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with your love. We commit our lives to you and confess you as our Lord. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen