Joseph, Husband of Mary

Open Your Bible

Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 2:1-23, Luke 2:41-50, Matthew 13:53-58

Start each day by reading the passages listed above. Then use the summary and reflection provided here to guide discussion around the daily reading.

Joseph was the husband of Mary and the adoptive earthly father of Jesus. Joseph appears mostly in the narratives surrounding Jesus’s birth and adolescence; the Gospels also tell us that he was the father of several other children through Mary and was a carpenter by trade.

In what ways do you connect or resonate with Joseph’s story? 

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38 thoughts on "Joseph, Husband of Mary"

  1. Terri Honeycutt says:

    Joseph’s story resonates with me in that he thought he was going to live life one way but God stepped in and everything changed just like God did in my life. I also understand how that change seemed so much and difficult to understand but God took that situation for him and showed him how good would come from it.

  2. Terri Baldwin says:

    What I love about this story is you can see both Mary and Joseph’s human side. Mary questioned the angel. Joseph was about to leave Mary. They struggled with what God was asking them, as we all would.

    They were struggling to understand a plan that from their perspective didn’t make any sense. And they choose that despite their lack of understanding that they would trust God anyway.

    Sometimes God asks us to do things that will not make sense. In those moments we need to be like Mary and Joseph. Look at God instead of what we think makes sense. We will struggle, as they did. But if we can push past those struggles and trust God he can use us in incredible ways. Their story reminds me of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz.

  3. Terri Baldwin says:

    Fear didn’t stop Mary and Joseph’s obedience. Instead they kept their eyes on God.

    Fear doesn’t have to stop you either. Rather than focus on what is causing your fear, focus on the one who can overcome the storm.

  4. Terri Baldwin says:

    The love and affection between them (Mary &Joseph) mirrors their love for God, for he is fully present in them” While their marriage may look different, it is the most perfect one in human history, because it is free from the “selfishness and urges to control that result from sin”
    The relationship of Mary and Joseph reveals God’s intention for marriage: self-sacrificial love in imitation of the perfect love of God.

  5. Chelsea Wilson says:

    I think about what it must have been like culturally for a man to find out his espoused is pregnant. The cultural pressure put on him must have been immense. We don’t know what others may have said to him about continuing on with the engagement with Mary. Not everyone was visited by an Angel to explain the situation, but we do know Joseph was faithful. As a man he could have let pride, embaressment, and so many other things get in the way of his faithfulness. How can I relate to Joseph? I don’t have an answer for that, but I do know I have seen him from a new point of view today: the silent doer. Let me be a doer and not just a hearer of the word!

  6. Terri Baldwin says:

    Joseph was a man carefully selected by the Creator to be given the distinct honor of serving as the human father for the Son of God! In a manner consistent with his gentle and humble character, we know very little of the details of his life. But we do know he was a man of great compassion and love, great faith and endurance, and a man well suited to help raise Jesus Christ.

  7. Tasha Adams says:

    Joseph was asked to take Mary and marry her even though he knew that he should because she was with child and baby was not his child. He showed so much faith and trust in God’s plans and feel that right now God is wanting me to trust Him in the middle of my questioning and worry.

  8. Ashley White says:


  9. Tanya Evans says:

    Joseph:The Man Who Said Nothing is the the title of a sermon I stumbled across. Joseph was a doer of the Word and not a hearer only. The sermon by Jerry Vines stated, ” Joseph decided to be faithful to the Son of God. He linked his life to Jesus.He gave Jesus his name. He provided Jesus a home. Jesus taught Jesus a trade as a carpenter.” My take away is that Joseph’s obedience to God speaks volumes.

  10. Mercy says:

    **Correction: my aunt’s husband (my baby had a meltdown and I mistyped).

  11. Mercy says:

    Hello she’s, I hope you all are doing well. I missed you in past few days. A few points I gathered from today’s scriptures:

    1-God’s directing our specific life actions through dreams (such as who to marry, when and where to move, and more…) like God did for Joseph. (Matthew 1:20) (Matthew 2:13) (Matthew 2:19-20).

    2-There is protection in obedience what God directs, no matter how difficult and strange that direction might seem (marrying a pregnant girl, moving to Egypt out of all places).

    3-Unbelief can hinder the mighty works of even the Son of God (Matthew 13:58). Heavenly Father, may you deliver us your children from any unbelief that is still lurking within our hearts that prevent our breakthroughs (healing, deliverance, salvation…)

    Dear sisters, please pray for my aunt’s uncle, who just got diagnosed with cancer. They are unbelievers and they have history of cancer in the family line. They are still grieving their son who passed away tragically last year from leukemia, and now the dad is diagnosed with prostate cancer. My aunt had ovarian cancer and got treated successfully. Please pray that this generational pattern be destroyed and they will live/repent and come fully to God. Thank you so much ladies. Lifting up prayers along with our sisters who are faithful intercessors.

    Be blessed dear sisters! With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26.

  12. Adrianne says:

    I connect the most with what I’m assuming to be Joseph’s confusion/astonishment at the situation of Mary being pregnant when she was a virgin. I would have been flabbergasted honestly. I’m glad he listened to the angel of the Lord and trusted in what he was told about Mary’s pregnancy. And that he kept listening each time he was warned about his families safety.

  13. Sharon Jersey Girl says:

    I think at first, Joseph doesn’t quite know what to make of his situation. He plans to put Mary away as not to cause her embarrassment. He meant well, but God had a different plan! How many times have I tried to go ahead of God, thinking I had to figure everything out, forgettinq that God is in control, He has a plan – so stop! And wait on Him! God always has a plan, and His ways are always best!!

    Have a blessed Wednesday all!

  14. Searching says:

    DONNA WOLCOTT – praying this morning

  15. Mari V says:

    GOOD morning ☀️ and Happy mid week!! I’m a little tired this morning as I normally do not stay up as late as I did last night. Actually, I have not been sleeping well so yesterday since I had it off, I took three power naps because I was that tired and today I have to start over again and get up early. My trip is coming up and we leave early Friday morning so I really need to get some rest and sleep. OK…. now back to the most important part our devotion for today. I pondered the question a little bit, And sometimes I second-guess myself, so I go on to read the comments, and my answer was just fine. Sometimes we have to do things that we don’t understand knowing that it’s in God‘s will and we have to trust Him, even when it doesn’t make sense or understand. But I always trust in my Jesus, my God does, and he knows what’s best for us.

  16. Kristen says:

    Thank you SHES for your insights! Joseph’s actions made me smile. He obeyed and was faithful! The fulfillment of prophecies stood out. I may have mentioned this article called: Silver Dollars all Over Texas It says that there were over 300 prophecies about Jesus’s first coming and the chances of even 8 being fulfilled have odds that are virtually incomprehensible! Then, they give an illustration of the entire State of Texas being filled with 100 trillion silver dollars. That would make the entire state about two feet deep in coins. Then mark only one coin. Then, they shake all of the coins and blindfold one person and give them 1 chance to find the coin! Of course, that would seem like an impossible task! Of course, not just 8, but all the prophecies were fulfilled! I don’t think we can put links, so you can search for the whole article! They hold/ held conferences to show the accuracy of the Bible. Gods Word is truth! He’s plans can’t be stopped! What a Mighty God and Savior! Praying for the requests and you all!

  17. Cindy Hanna says:

    I’ve always loved and wished I knew more about Joseph. His integrity and care of Mary proved him to be a man of character. I’m guessing he loved God and was attuned to his will because of his quick responses of faith to God’s instructions. I’m pretty sure if it were me, I would hesitate to act on the strength of a having a dream. Definitely a man chosen by God.

  18. Kerry Rowley says:

    Praying Donna

  19. Jeanie Mclellan says:


  20. Susan Joiner says:

    There are 5 Old Testament prophecies in our reading today. Joseph’s obedience helped them all to be fulfilled.

  21. Nads says:

    I agree that we don’t sing Joseph’s praise nearly enough…he didn’t do what he had “the right” to do (expose Mary’s “unfaithfulness”) but what was right / good to do!!

    I actually don’t agree that “Gospels also tell us that he was the father of several other children THROUGH MARY”. There are historical documents that point to him having been an older man, a widower with children (the brothers / sisters of Christ) — his betrothal to Mary (i.e. being entrusted to him) was to care for and protect her (a child who had lived in the temple, consecrated to God but now was at the age of menstruation). Jesus being Mary’s only Child, then entrusted her to John the Beloved on the cross.

    Whichever beliefs are true of the Holy Family, (and if Mary is truly the “Ever-virgin” or had kids after Jesus) I don’t think it affects my faith one way or the other…I know my Saviour in whom I put my trust and I know that the two people who raised Him are indescribably excellent examples of a life lived for God — amazingly at a time when God had been “silent” for so long…they both completely amaze me!!


    My uncle was a painter and my very favourite piece he did was of Mary in the background with Joseph in the foreground teaching Jesus carpentry; I’ve only seen it a few times but it’s etched in my brain…it’s absolutely beautiful!!

  22. Michelle says:

    I learned several key points towards Joseph that I wanted to share. He was a direct descendant of King David. Joseph would have been a carpenter of mostly stone (because of the lack of trees in Israel). From a very young age, Joseph had been trained in the law of the synagogue and that he had a profound understanding of the scriptures because of his faithful, yet merciful way of obeying the law. The Angel told Joseph to name the baby Jesus, by naming the child, according to Jewish tradition, Joseph would formerly adopt Jesus as his own. The love and compassion that Joseph showed Mary and his unborn son is absolutely remarkable. He disregarded all cultural consequences by marrying Mary, they forgo the massive wedding feast and took in the young innocent savior of the world as his own. God could not have chosen a better man to raise His own son, than Joseph the humble carpenter. As followers of Christ, we can learn much from Joseph the carpenter. Though there are no recorded words or written testimony from Joseph his actions of obedience, mercy, kindness, and love speak volumes about the character of this most remarkable man and his testimony of the savior! Have a blessed day everyone.

  23. Nancy S says:

    I agree with Theresa-Joseph wasn’t just an accessory in Jesus’ story, but chosen by God for an extremely important (& sometimes thankless) job.

  24. Shelly says:

    Joseph’s life reminds me of what an ordinary life looks like when an extraordinary God is trusted and followed.

  25. Cheryl Blow says:

    Joseph was obedient to God’s direction and you see his faithfulness to God and his family.
    God uses ordinary people for His extraordinary work.

  26. Michelle Patire says:

    I remember like two years ago I was reading about the first dream we see God give Joseph about Mary being pregnant by the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 1:24-25, it says that Joseph did not sleep with his wife until after the birth of Jesus. They were set apart. And I remember struggling in my singleness and God saying through these Scriptures, “Look at how the righteous Joseph waited until it was time to be intimate. It was not easy, being married and not being able to sleep with the one whom I had chosen for him. You’re not alone in your waiting and this is my example for you.”
    It brought me such joy and peace to have that comfort. I have not always been faithful to the Lord in my intimacy, so it was a good nudge to keep going in the narrow path I had committed to.

    I admire Joseph and his quick obedience to the Lord. In all these situations, he is faithful to say “yes” to God after every dream. It also shows that God speaks through dreams when we need clear and precise direction. Of course, the Word is held in most high regard, but I acknowledge that God still speaks in other miraculous ways. As it says in Joel 2:28-29 – His Spirit poured out on His people enables us to have prophecy, dreams, and visions alongside and in consistency with His word.
    May we have faith that He is still working miracles today. May we never box in the mighty work of Jesus, believing He can do things beyond our understanding, but within the framework of His Word. May we have patience and grace for those who doubt, and may we trust in His leading when we struggling with our own confusion and questions.

    @Donna W- God bless you and your family. May you have faith and eyes to see Him working this out in your favor- that all things work together for good for those who love Him. May you be comforted and believe He is with you all in this uncomfortable moment. God, bless them and keep them safe.

    @Maria Baer- God continue to lead you in peace and show you that He continues to care for you, even when things say one thing, His peace can say another ;) thank you Lord for this great peace in Maria’s heart!!!

    @Rhonda J- continue to believe God is with Brayden and works all things together for good. May this grow his faith and empathy for those also hurting. May he grow in all ways through this experience. He is with him!

  27. Erica Chiarelli says:

    I love seeing his obedience to God. He didn’t want to harm Mary and then once he found out she was being truthful, he did all God told him to. It says ‘immediately’..there is no hesitation. I pray I am as obedient to my Father!

  28. Foster Mama says:

    DONNA WOLCOTT, praying!

  29. Donna Wolcott says:

    Dear sisters, may I ask please for prayers for a serious family matter this morning. Thank you and God bless .

  30. Searching says:

    And the greatest of these is love … from what we know about Joseph, he would have been a good example to Jesus and His siblings of human love, faith and obedience. Joseph’s love for Mary along with his strength of faith in God and his character are evident in his thoughts of how to dissolve his relationship with her in a way that didn’t draw attention, also in his belief and obedience to the instructions he received from God through dreams (regarding Mary, Egypt and Galilee that I spotted).

    We are again reminded of the evil one’s thirst for power and souls in Herod’s horrific massacre of the toddler boys. And also reminded that no matter the schemes concocted or destructive actions taken, God’s plan Will Not Fail.

    KELLY (NEO) – good points, thank you! Joseph’s sacrifice of what he thought his life would look like – it was replaced by God with something better! There have been many comments in this study about giving up our plans for God’s plans but I had not applied that thinking to Joseph before.

    MARIA BAER – thank you for reminding me of how Boaz treated Ruth and connecting it with Joseph’s kind intent toward Mary (before the dream).
    Praying for peace in your waiting.

    THERESA – love how you pointed out that Joseph was chosen!

    Continuing to pray for other requests.

  31. Erin Lew says:

    @Laura- I also have a child who so far has chosen to not walk with the Lord. I pray for her heart to soften and learn to love and trust God. It’s hard, I will pray for your children too. @MariaBaer-praying for your further testing.

  32. Lizzie T says:

    That’s a really good point! Haven’t thought about Joseph as Boaz, but definitely parallels that story!

  33. Theresa says:

    Throughout today’s reading, we see evidence of Joseph’s faithfulness. From his obedience to the instructions God gave him through his dreams, to his trip to the temple when Jesus was a pre-teen. We see that he followed the faith and practices God had laid out for Israel.

    The focus in Jesus’ earthly parentage is so often on Mary, but today I was reminded that God chose Joseph too. Joseph wasn’t just an accessory that came along with Mary and someone who got to play a part in Jesus’ story because he was in the right place and the right time. God hand-picked him for Jesus’ earthly father. He ordained Joseph and Mary’s marriage, knowing that Joseph would be faithful and trust in His plan, even when it might not make sense in his earthly understanding.

    MARIA BAER- praying for good results

    KATIE L-praying for your family and that the visitations between your ex-mother in law and son will go smoothly

    RHONDA J- praying for you today!

  34. Kristine Loughman says:

    Joseph must have passed down his carpenter trade to Jesus. I can imagine them out back, Joseph patiently instructing his oldest son how to hold the tools and where to put the nails. He always seems like a thoughtful, quiet person (maybe because he was quiet enough to hear the voice of God through a dream multiple times). These days we are so busy and distracted, it is hard to be quiet and still enough to hear God. MARIA BAER – I love the comparison of Joseph and Boaz!

  35. Aimee D-R says:

    In his humanity. His trust I strive for.

  36. Maria Baer says:

    Joseph is the epitome of walking by faith—- He believed and trusted God, and did as he was told without questions. And I think this also speaks to Joseph’s character. Not much is known about Him and the focus always seems to be on Mary. But to have that faith and obedience, requires great moral character and maturity of spirit. He reminds me a lot of Boaz— he seemed just, faithful to God and kind. And these attributes is why God chose Him to be Jesus’ father on earth.

  37. Danielle B says:

    Joseph’s obedience when he found out Mary was pregnant was key in how she was received. He then played a supportive role throughout Jesus’ life as described in scripture. Yet he was a faithful Jew who followed Passover and taught Jesus the trade of carpenter.

  38. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Joseph’s commitment to the Lord was evident in his obedience to the messages sent in his dreams. (Thought that mode of communication was ironic considering the “dreamer” Joseph in Genesis)

    Much is made of Mary’s submission yet Joseph sacrificed the plans for his life and his reputation too.

    MARIA BAER – praying that the Lord will keep you in peace as you wait.