Sunday, January 15, 2017

"This was he of whom I spake" - Mystery about Joseph

Tokyo in Summer

Mystery about Joseph

There is one big mystery about Christ Jesus.  Who and what was His worldly father?
While none of the Gospels mentions Joseph as present at any event during Jesus's adult ministry, the synoptic Gospels share a scene in which the people of Nazareth, Jesus's hometown, doubt Jesus's status as a prophet because they know his family. In Mark 6:3, they call Jesus "Mary's son" instead of naming his father. In Matthew, the townspeople call Jesus "the carpenter's son," again without naming his father. (Matthew 13:53-55) In Luke 3:23 "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was [the son] of Heli."(Luke 4:16-30) In Luke the tone is positive, whereas in Mark and Matthew it is disparaging.[14] This incident does not appear at all in John, but in a parallel story the disbelieving neighbors refer to "Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know" (John 6:41-51).
The point at issue is that there must have been many persons who knew who and what Jesus' worldly father was when Christ Jesus was carrying out His mission.  And thus, the Gospel writers must have been able to obtain information about His worldly father Joseph, since followers and disciples of Christ Jesus must have heard about Joseph from Jesus' mother, brothers, and the like.

But the Gospel writers avoided mentioning Joseph clearly or in details.  But they did not write that Joseph had been dead when Christ Jesus launched His mission.  Joseph must have left his family for some reason.  And, probably he was not in Nazareth, Judah or Palestine during Jesus' mission.  Even Jesus' enemies, priests of the Temple in Jerusalem and the Roman authority in Jerusalem, did not try to find Joseph or make an issue of Joseph.  They must have also known that Joseph had gone out of Palestine and had nothing to do with Jesus.

Anyway, it is a wonder that so many people have read the Gospels and the Bible in these 2000 years, but nobody could make clear who and what Joseph was.  Or has truth been revealed already?
The Catholic Encyclopedia citing the texts contained in the apocryphal writings writes that:
When forty years of age, Joseph married a woman called Melcha or Escha by some, Salome by others; they lived forty-nine years together and had six children, two daughters and four sons, the youngest of whom was James (the Less, "the Lord's brother"). A year after his wife's death, as the priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Judah a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age. Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates; a miracle manifested the choice God had made of Joseph, and two years later the Annunciation took place.

**** **** ****

Joh 1:15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.