What does it mean to be a ‘just man?’ Often, men have responsibility for many roles. A man is not only a son or brother, he is a husband, a father, a ‘dad.’ He must demonstrate total faithfulness in all his relationships. Let’s look to the scriptures to identify a man we can learn from: Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus.
“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately” – Matthew 1:19
The Bible does not say a lot about Joseph, but the little that is said about him clearly indicates the type of person he was.

Just imagine for a moment that you are God. You devise a plan to save humanity from destruction and eternal punishment. Your plan involves impregnating an engaged woman who will raise the Saviour of the world with her husband. The challenge is the environment, culture and time period are host to certain religious laws and customs that can hinder your plans. For instance, the woman you choose to impregnate can be put to death for having committed adultery if her husband does not cooperate; her husband may not take responsibility to be the father of a child who is not his biologically. Your plans hinge on finding a woman who is engaged to be married to a just man. Just means: Righteous, Precise, Balanced. A just man is one who is right with God and seeks to live his life in accordance with the Word of God by the leading of His Spirit.

The man the Lord found was Joseph, the son of Jacob, from the lineage of King David. Joseph was a young businessman from Nazareth who operated a carpentry business. He was engaged to Mary, a young virgin and was looking forward to getting married. However, Joseph’s world is turned upside down when he is informed by Mary that she is pregnant. Knowing that he is not the father, Joseph begins to make plans to cancel the engagement. As Joseph contemplates how to deal with the situation, he gets a visit from an angel of God, through a dream, to inform him that the child his wife is carrying is of the Holy Spirit. In other words, God Himself is the Father of his child and the child’s name is Jesus who came to seek and save the lost. Wow! How would you handle this type of news? What was it about Joseph that God could trust him with such an assignment? What made Joseph such a just man?
• He was righteous – Joseph lived a life that reflected complete obedience to the scriptures. He was a just man. Matthew 1:19
• He was gracious – Though Joseph thought that Mary potentially had sinned against God, he was careful not to do anything to embarrass her or hurt her. He planned to put her away secretly. He exemplified the scripture that says love covers a multitude of sins. Matthew 1:19
• He was sensitive to God’s Spirit – As he contemplated how to handle the situation, he left himself open for the Spirit of God to speak to him. Matthew 1:20-21
• He was obedient – When God spoke to him, he did not hesitate to act on God’s instructions. Matthew 1:24
• He was disciplined – Most of us look forward to getting married so we can enjoy our new bride sexually. Joseph demonstrated great discipline by keeping himself from his bride until she gave birth to the baby Jesus. Matthew 1:25
• He was a protector – Once he recognized, through the warnings of God’s angels that the child Jesus was in danger, he moved quickly to protect him and his new wife by traveling to another country. Matthew 2:13-15
• He was a provider – Joseph was a businessman. He provided for his family through his carpentry business. Mark 6:3
Ask yourself these questions:

What type of father am I? Can the Lord trust me with an assignment that will impact eternity? Reflect on the characteristics that made Joseph just, and seek the Lord as to how you can enhance your own character to reflect those attributes. If you are a woman, seek the Lord’s wisdom as to how you can help your husband, future husband or the men in your life develop those attributes.

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Copyright © 2014 Patrice Tsague
Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible