Blended families

Yes, what Fajita said is accurate, and I wanted to share a quote to add on to that. Many of our families are blended. Few if any families in the world today are not impacted by divorce, re-marriage, polygamy, adoption, abandonment. Jesus’ was what we would call a stepchild to Joseph. He was not Joseph’s flesh and blood but born of Mary who was impregnated by the Holy Spirit. Ponder for a moment that Joseph was a stepfather, and Jesus was a stepson.

Joseph justifiably felt dishonored by Mary’s pregnancy. His hand was forced, and nothing on earth could stop him from divorcing Mary. He planned to divorce her quietly, but, of course, silence is no protection to a single woman in her third trimester in a village community. A divorce would have been disaster for both Mary and Jesus. God sent an angel to call Joseph to what may have been a more difficult role than Mary’s call. He was asked to support and protect Mary and the child that was not his. The birth in the stable must have felt like total humiliation and failure on his part as the head of the family. However, he was responsive and obedient to God’s warnings and took his small family to Egypt to prevent Jesus from being murdered. The last time we see Joseph is when he and Mary find Jesus in the temple talking with the elders at the age of twelve.

(From Family in the Bible, eds. Richard S. Hess and M. Daniel Carroll R.)

Why don’t we hear from any of the four Gospel writers about Joseph after this, about his death? He’s not at the wedding at Cana and he’s not at the foot of the cross. He’s not with his mother and brothers when they come to check on him at an overflowing house where Jesus is healing and teaching. Where is Joseph? Today, consider that he is with us as one of the great cloud of witnesses who was faithful, who endured shame, who protected Mary and Jesus, who raised Jesus, who was a great stepfather.

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