Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Jesus The Fatherless?
When Jesus was ready to launch his public ministry, his earthly father, Joseph, was likely dead. For how long? We really don’t know.
The last time Joseph is mentioned in the New Testament is in Luke 2, when Jesus was about 12 years old. So, sometime between age 12 and age 30, Jesus lost his earthly father.
Jesus already had to overcome the prejudice against him in his hometown. Some of the folks in Nazareth likely questioned the propriety of his “virgin” birth. Maybe they even considered him illegitimate. After all, Mary and Joseph weren’t married yet when Mary conceived. Was Joseph really Jesus’ father?
After he launches his ministry, Jesus returns to his hometown to teach in the synagogue. But he isn’t exactly welcomed with open arms. Instead, the leaders proclaim, “Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son…” (Mark 6:3)
In a male-dominated society, the fact that they referred to him as Mary’s son speaks volumes. Jesus was on his own, without a “man” of the family to support or defend him.
In human terms, Jesus knew what it was like to be fatherless. He feels our pain when our earthly fathers let us down. And no matter how wonderful our earthly fathers may be, they can never be perfect. They can never take the place of our Heavenly Father.
Jesus shows us, in spiritual terms, what it means to be in perfect relationship with our Heavenly Father. And what a better time than Father’s Day to restore or renew that relationship.
What does it mean to you to know that your Heavenly Father is fully able to meet your needs, regardless of the imperfections of your earthly father?
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5