The Session: What We Can Learn From Joseph About Biblical Manhood

The Session with Tom Russell

14-12-2023 • 25 minutos

We don't know much about Joseph, other than he was husband to Mary, and earthly father to Jesus.  So what can we learn from him about Biblical Manhood?

The Session: 4 Lessons We Can Learn about Biblical manhood from Joseph’s Story

Open with the Matthew account of Joseph, in Matt.1:18-24

1. Acknowledge the truth

Joseph acknowledged the truth. When we’re stuck at the bad end of someone else’s decisions, it’s all too easy to point the finger and place blame. We tend to take it a step further and cast judgement on an entire group of people when, in reality, we were only wronged by one person. If you were bullied by popular kids in middle school, for example, did you grow up seeing “all popular kids” as a threat? While these are understandable self-preservation instincts, are they actually true?

Joseph was treated unfairly by so many people – enough that he could’ve made enemies out of the whole world! Instead, we see Joseph zero in on the individuals who specifically caused him pain. He doesn’t gloss over what was done, but he has enough wisdom to look at only the situation right in front of him without painting with broad strokes.

Acknowledging the truth provided Joseph with clarity, and it can do the same for us. When we focus on what’s immediately in front of us, we can gain clarity that will help us treat our pain at the source. By recognizing the true source of our pain, we can begin the process of healing and transformation.

2. “But God”

When we’re dealing with pain – and especially when this pain is caused by someone else’s actions – it's easy for us to become angry about what we feel we don’t deserve. We become so fixated on what’s right in front of us that we don’t easily see the bigger picture.

In the midst of his trials, Joseph chose to embrace a powerful perspective shift. He turned his gaze away from his pain and toward God, saying, "But God intended it all for good." Joseph chooses to surrender and trust in a higher plan.

While it may be difficult to comprehend the purpose behind our suffering, choosing to adopt a "But God" perspective allows us to step back and acknowledge that our story is not solely defined by the hurt we've experienced. By handing our pain over to God, we open ourselves to the possibility of growth, transformation, and redemption.

3. Trust God's plan

Joseph's story shows us what it looks like to trust in God's overarching plan. While he couldn't foresee the specifics of how his pain would lead to a greater purpose, Joseph held onto the belief that God was working behind the scenes.

This step requires faith and vulnerability, as we release the need for immediate answers and outcomes. Trusting in a divine plan invites us to relinquish our desire for control and instead lean into the belief that our pain can be woven into a greater narrative that brings about good.

4. Rely on God

Joseph relied on God. If you feel like you’re about to crumble under the weight of your circumstances, know that you don’t have to keep carrying it alone. When we can’t understand what’s happening or see the bigger picture in our pain, God is ready to carry us.

Only God can bring you to the place of hope and healing you’re desperately searching for. Joseph’s story shows us that when we fix our gaze on God and choose to rely on him, even the heaviest situations can be made lighter. Remember that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).

Additional Lessons

Don't expose your spouse in public

·  When Joseph learned that his fiancée was pregnant, he decided to break the engagement without exposing his wife to the public (Matthew 1:19). He did not want to disgrace her and opted to handle family matters privately. This should be the case when we have issues with our wives. (New Vision)

·  We don’t have to have a central, “starring” role to serve The Lord and fulfill His plan. God can and has greatly used quiet, steady, faithful people like Joseph to help bring about His will.

·  Don’t dilly dally.  Notice Joseph’s response each time he has a visit or vision and is given instructions.  His response is immediate.  “Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, DID…” (Matt.1:24)  “When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed…”  (Matt. 3:14)