Jesus’ earthly father is a small-town carpenter who lives in Nazareth. Why Joseph? A major part of the answer lies in his reputation, and he gives it up for Jesus. Nazareth viewed Joseph as we might view an elder, deacon, or Bible class teacher. Now what? His fiancée is blemished, tainted; he is righteous, godly. The law says stone her. Love says forgive her. And Joseph is caught in the middle. Then comes the angel’s announcement, “She carries the Son of God in her womb.” But who would believe it?
Joseph makes his decision. “Joseph…took to him his wife, and did not know her until she had brought forth her firstborn Son” (Matthew 1:24-25). He swapped his Torah studies for a pregnant fiancée and an illegitimate son and made the big decision of discipleship. He placed God’s plan ahead of his own.