Beginning on Christmas Day, I watched The Nativity Story:The Journey of a Lifetime, a Story for all Time, in its entirety and then watched various scenes again, several times. And  I am seeing Joseph as I have not before. I see his compassion which was demonstrated before he knew the truth about the conception of the Child Mary carried. I see he must have had a heart that was tender toward God. Unlike Zacharias, who initially doubted the word spoken to him in person by Gabriel, Joseph believed the word spoken to him in a dream. I am thinking of his total obedience and how his reputation was likely forever damaged in his community but he had the applause of heaven.

The Bible tells us that Mary was highly favored but I believe Joseph was favored also. He was trusted by God with a task that few other men would have accepted, much more executed as he did. Trusted to protect and provide for Mary and the Word made flesh. He knew in the most intimate manner what others would later discover – the long awaited Messiah had come. God had kept the promise He made. Also, if the birth scene in this movie is an accurate depiction of what occurred, in helping to deliver Jesus, Joseph was given a  gift that no one else ever received – He was the first to see God in human flesh and the first to hold Him. Joseph. One of the lessons of his life is – obeying God may result in loss, heartache, struggle, and pain but obeying God is always worth the cost and is always rewarded by God.