Joseph – A Model of Purity


It’s the Greek word translated as “took” in the Gospels and it means “to enter into CLOSE relationship.” As in, “When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he TOOK his wife” (Matthew 1:24). The less emphatic version of this word is used by another man of virtue later on in the Gospels, when Jesus gives his mother to the Beloved disciple John. “‘Woman, behold your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple TOOK (lambanō) her to his home.”

Both men of great virtue not only RECEIVE Mary on her terms, not theirs, but they agree to enter into a close relationship with her. And in both cases, Mary submits herself to be given at the hand of the Lord to whomever He has chosen for her. In this case she is fortunate that both are men of great virtue who have walked with the Lord.

What does it mean for a man to enter into “close relationship” with a woman? Like Joseph has already shown us, IDENTITY is the key.

Before a man can be a husband and father, he must first know how to be a brother. And before he can be a brother, he must know how to be a son. Joseph shows us that sonship is not wrapped up in what a man does but in WHOSE a man is, “a Son of David” a son of God. The evidence a man is healthy in his identity as a son is that he does not feel the need to prove himself. His worth is already proven by WHO his Father is.

Next, men learn how to be a brother. Here, men learn how to SEE women for who they are, as sisters, not objects. The evidence that a man is healthy in his identity as a brother is that he SEES women as they are, not as his imagination compartmentalizations them to be. Only when a man is a healthy son and brother can he be a healthy husband and father. His maturity as a husband is revealed in his purity of SEEING HIS WIFE AS SHE IS and, therefore, receiving her and letting her reveal herself to him, in her time, on her terms.

❤️💛💙It’s Joseph’s purity that allows him to receive Mary as his wife. It’s the Beloved Disciple John’s purity of heart that allows him to receive Mary as his Mother. It’s the same with you and I. The purer our hearts are the more we are able to receive the woman God has given us as the New Ark of the Covenant. When we can SEE Mary purely for who she is we can see clearly all the Lord has gifted us in making her the Mother of Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother. We can RECEIVE her and all she has to reveal to us on her terms.

There is a purity of how Joseph enters into “a close relationship” (paralambanō) with his wife. Their relationship would’ve been one of profound intimacy, vulnerability, and receptivity precisely because of their identity and why they were uniquely chosen to raise the Son of God.

Can you feel Joseph’s heart for his sister, his bride? He has no fear of being fully seen by her. He has no need to hide from Mary. He can be fully known by her for who he is and be at peace.

Can you imagine how many times he had to turn to the Father and share his heart with him. After all, loving Mary with the level of purity she deserves must have taken ALL that Joseph could offer.

🙏🏼 Talk with God today about the level of purity in your heart. Where is it at? How much do you desire more? Matthew 5:8 reminds us “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” How well do you want to SEE God as He is, in His time, on His terms.

📖 READ: Psalm 119:1-16. Ask God what is He trying to show you about having a purer heart.

🙏🏼 PRAY: Father, I beg you to pierce my heart with purity. Help me to see others as you see them. Help me to receive others as you receive them.

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For Further Reading On Joseph – A Spiritual Father

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