But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:20-21 ESV

Imagine that you’re assigned to pick who Jesus’ earthly father would be.

  • What kind of man would you pick?
  • What criteria would you use to decide?
  • What characteristics would you look for?

That’d be a big job. Who should raise the Savior of the world?!

Let’s look at Joseph to discern what God was looking for.

Joseph Was a Descendant of King David

First, Jesus’ earthly dad would have to be a descendant of King David.

God promised David that his throne would be “established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16).

This was a signpost pointing to who God’s promised Messiah would be. And Joseph fulfilled this prophecy.

Joseph Was Obedient

Second, Joseph obeyed God—we see this in today’s devotional verses.

Mary turned up pregnant while they were engaged. Meaning they had never slept together.

So of course Joseph would think she was unfaithful! But an angel appeared to Joseph and said: “Marry her and trust she didn’t cheat on you. God is doing something big. Name the child Jesus, he will save Israel from sin.”

Immediately, Joseph obeys. And we’ll see him do this three more times.

“Get Up!”

In Matthew 2:13-15, an angel tells Joseph to “Get up!” and flee to Egypt to protect Jesus from Herod.

In Matthew 2:19-21, an angel says to “Get up!” and go back to Israel because team Herod is dead.

In Matthew 2:22-23, he’s again warned in a dream to flee to Galilee for Jesus’ safety.

Joseph’s qualifications were simple: he was a descendant of David and an obedient, God-fearing man.

Trust and Obey

God still chooses people like this.

Did you know God has prepared good works in advance specifically for you, just like he did for Joseph?

As disciples of Jesus, obedience is our greatest superpower. God knows what we need and when we need it.

Are you resisting the Holy Spirit in an area he’s calling you to obey? Are you overcomplicating what it takes for God to use you?

It’s simple. Trust and obey.

If that was enough for Jesus’ earthly father, it’s enough for you and me, too.


Today’s devotion by Jordan Loftis, bestselling author of Today We Win, host of The Bible Better Podcast, and editor of Short Daily Devotions.