I think, in many ways, that Joseph is the unsung hero of the Christmas story. In a way, he has been forgotten and ignored.
But let’s remember that God the Father in Heaven chose Joseph to be a father figure to Jesus on earth. What a privilege. God was saying, in effect, “Okay Mary, you’ll carry the Son of God in your womb. But there will be a father figure for Him when He’s growing up.”
When the angel announced to Mary that she would be the mother of the Messiah, no doubt she wondered how she would explain it to Joseph. But the Lord had that covered.
Matthew’s Gospel tells us, “As he [Joseph] considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. ‘Joseph, son of David,’ the angel said, ‘do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins’” (1:20–21 NLT).
Joseph could have easily said, “Now, I know you’re an angel and all. But how do I explain that my pregnant fiancée is the mother of the Messiah? They won’t believe it.”
Even so, Joseph was willing to obey the Lord. As a result, God used him in an incredible way. After Jesus was born, an angel of the Lord warned him in a dream to flee from King Herod to Egypt. Joseph didn’t hesitate.
As a result, his actions not only protected his wife and adopted son, but they also prepared the way for God to fulfill more Old Testament prophecies. Just as surely as God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus, God chose Joseph to play a significant role as well.