What Happened To Joseph, Father of Jesus?

What Happened To Joseph, Father of Jesus?

Where the heck is Joseph?

Recently, I read all four gospels in their entirety; that is, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. According to certain translations, that's roughly 84,000 words. And you know what struck me? Well, many things actually, like

Why don't I do this more often?

I actually like reading the Bible.

Wow, I had no idea Jesus said that.

Wait, what?

That last one happened uncomfortably often, and I had to pose questions to facets of my faith I had never thought about before. Strangely though, out of the thousands of topics I could go into based on Jesus' life, death, resurrection, ascension, miracles, teachings, worldview, identity, disciples, etc., the thing that stuck out to me maybe more than it should have was actually something that wasn't mentioned.

Where the heck is Joseph?

You know, the guy who was doing just fine in life until he thought his bride was fooling around (I mean, who wouldn't? Unless of course you were told in a vision that what really happened was the Holy Spirit did some unexplainable, fancy shmancy "I'm God; I do what I want" stuff inside Mary's virgin womb... oh, wait...). Literally all we know about this guy is that he was a descendant of David and the royal line, he was engaged to and eventually married Mary, he didn't have sex with her until after Jesus was born, he was a righteous and gracious man, he followed Jewish customs, he probably wasn't too overbearing (he did lose the Son of God for a good three days), and he listened to angels when they show up in dreams. That's it. The earthly father of the most important man to ever walk the face of the earth is virtually an extra in the movie of Jesus' life.

But, why?

Turns out there a few theories. I did some digging, and Josephology is a real theological study sating back as far as AD 800 and growing in the Catholic tradition especially in the 16th century. It is pretty common scholarly thought that Joseph was a good bit older than Mary, and that he died before Jesus' ministry began. He isn't mentioned to be present with Mary and Jesus at the wedding in Cana, where Jesus' first sign of changing water into wine takes place. He definitely isn't around at Jesus' death, where Jesus bonds his disciple John to his mother, Mary, so that she will be taken care of. Furthermore, Jesus' body after death is taken charge of by Joseph of Arimathea, a role his father would have taken on had he been alive. Many think that when Jesus' dedication takes place in Luke 2, Joseph's death before Jesus' rise as a rabbi is foreshadowed when Simeon tells Mary she will live to be touched by Jesus' ministry.

I have heard some thought processes of Joseph potentially being ashamed of Jesus' abandonment of his family, trade, and home. Many thought that Jesus was a blasphemous radical; that certainly wouldn't have been a reputation you would want to know your son by. But I don't find this convincing given the circumstances of Jesus' birth, his claim of authority as early as age twelve, and his dedication at the temple. Furthermore, knowing that Joseph is regarded by God to be a righteous man (at least enough that he gets to father the Savior of the world, no pressure), he would have no standing to leave his family.

Based on this evidence, I find the straightforward, surface level reading of the text to indicate that Joseph died an uneventful death of old age prior to Jesus' ministry beginning. Looking deeper though, I think even God's providence was at work here. Joseph's absence leaves no room to question who Jesus' Father is. This makes the Gospel of John even more astonishing to read, as Jesus knows the Father, is in the Father, and is worked through by the Father, even as the Father. This has deep theological implications for our faith on multiple levels, and I regard that as a very good thing.

Cover Image Credit: Childhood of Christ

Popular Right Now

12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.

Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

13 Bible Verses To Give You Strength In A Season Of Weakness

When you are weak, He will give you strength.


Everyone is fighting their own battles and going through hard times on a daily basis. Some days are harder than others, but it is by the strength of the Lord that we are able to get through the day and live our lives according to his plan. Here are some encouraging verses that prove the Lord will give you strength.

1. Isaiah 40:29 


In the book of Isaiah, we are told: "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."

Even when we are at our lowest, when we are weak, he will give us the strength to keep going.

2. Psalm 119:28


"My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word."

When we are tired and at our lowest, when our mental state is deteriorating, call on the Lord. Ask him to give you strength not only when you are weak and tired physically, but also mentally.

3. Isaiah 40: 31


"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

If you put your trust in the Lord and choose to walk with him, He will give you strength.

4. Mark 12:30


"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

He is the one who gave us life and gives us strength, so we should return that love with every ounce of our being because we owe our lives to him.

5. Psalm 46:1-3


"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."

Whenever we are in need, we should look to him in times of trouble. God has all of the answers and we should look to Him because he is the one who can help us best. Even through hard times, when the earth feels like it is crumbling and your world is falling apart, He is still there for you, He will give you the strength to make it through whatever troubles you are facing.

6. Psalm 28:7-8


"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one."

God will give us the strength we need and keep us from harmful things. He deserves all of our praise in all circumstances. He loves his people and gives them strength. We should always praise Him for giving us strength, especially in times of weakness.

7. Psalm 118:14


"The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation."

The Lord is our protector. He will take care of us and keep us from harm. Everything He puts us through is for a reason, to help us become better people.

8. Isaiah 33:2 


"Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress."

We need to remember to praise God not only in the hard times, but in the good times. Praise him for giving you life in the morning and giving you the strength to face another day.

9. Joshua 1:9 


"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

We should not be afraid We have strength in the Lord. He is always with us and should not fear because He will protect us.

10. Isaiah 41:10


"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Do not fear, God has a plan for your life. He will give you strength whenever you need it, all you need to do is trust in Him and have faith. He is always with you and will always be there for you.

11. Psalm 16:8


"I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

Focus on the Lord. Praise Him for the life you live, ask him for help in time of need. Always acknowledge his presence in your life. He is worthy of all praise. The more you focus on the Lord, the more you will see His presence in your everyday life.

12. Psalm 73:26 


"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

He strengthens our souls. Even though our bodies will fail, our spirits will live on to be with him forever. He will strengthen our spirits, as long as we have faith and trust in Him.

13. Philippians 4:13


"I can do all things through him who gives me strength."

This verse has gotten me through so many tough situations. It helps me get through life every day. I would love to get this tattooed across my forehead if I could. It is such a great daily reminder because it is Him who makes us strong.

Related Content

Facebook Comments