Ask Anything: What ever happened to Joseph after Jesus was born?

Another excellent post from guest blogger, Jake Brown

Q: What ever happened to Joseph after Jesus was born?

A: This is a question that I think has popped into the heads of most Christians at some point in their lives.  Early in the New Testament we see Joseph leading his wife to Bethlehem. (Luke 2:4-7)  We see him as Jesus’ adopted father who obviously cares about Mary and Jesus. We see that Joseph is commissioned by an angel of the Lord to care for Jesus and stay wed to Mary. (Matthew 1:20)  We see a picture of Jesus at age 12 as he is separated from his parents and stays in the temple to discuss and ask questions (Luke 2: 44-47). We know from looking at Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55 that Jesus was a carpenter and learned the trade from his father Joseph. Joseph would have taught him this trade somewhere around 12 years old but again this doesn’t tell us much about the gap between Jesus in the temple and when we next see Jesus at a wedding alone with his mother.  What happened to Joseph after this point?

From this point all we have to go on are church tradition and conjecture as Joseph is not present the next time we see Jesus in the bible. It is believed that Joseph died in the quiet time between Jesus being 12 and being ~30. During this time Jesus came to have other brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3), but his mother was still unmarried.  We can assume that Joseph and Mary had other children and that after some time Joseph passed away. Later in Jesus’ ministry Jesus is referred to as the son of Mary as opposed to the son of Joseph which would give evidence that Joseph had passed away rather than just left. (Mark 6:3) What this leaves us with is that Joseph seemed to be a man who followed and loved God, loved his wife and cared for his children including Jesus.  He set Jesus up with a legacy as a builder and showed him an example of sacrifice.

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