When I was a theology student, I spent most of my free time studying the Gospels. I found the
story of Jesus’ birth quite interesting. The Bible states that Joseph is Jesus’ earthly father. However, before Joseph married Mary, she had already been pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Being
human, Joseph was confused about whether he should marry Mary; however, an angel
appeared to him in a dream and instructed him not to fear because the child Mary was carrying
was the Messiah sent by God to redeem His people from sin. Since this narrative confuses some
people, I felt the need to answer the question, who was Jesus’ dad?
In this article, I will be discussing more on the real father of Jesus. Join me as we delve further
into this topic and discover whether Joseph was Jesus’ biological father and how Joseph is
important in the Catholic Church. You will also find out what happened to Joseph. Keep reading
to learn more!
Who is Jesus’ real Father? Joseph or God
Jesus had two fathers who each played critical roles in His life here on earth, God and Joseph. God is Jesus’ Heavenly (biological) Father, and Joseph is His earthly Father.
God is Jesus’ heavenly Father. First, Jesus was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit; His conception did not involve a man. His mother, Mary, was a virgin. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as the Son of God.
“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God,” Luke 1:35. Angel Gabriel tells Mary that the child she shall give birth to is holy and shall be called the Son of God.
“And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” Mark 1:11. In This verse, God calls Jesus His Son.
“Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God,” Matthew 14:35. Jesus demonstrates that He has the power to walk over the water and calm the sea. This makes the people on the ship proclaim that He is, in fact, the Son of God.
Christians worldwide affirm God’s triune nature. This is the belief that God exists in three forms; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Spirit). The Bible states that Jesus was a gift from God to humankind. He died so that man could have a direct relationship and connection with God. He is also the Being in God’s triune nature that man is most accustomed and relatable to because He was part human and part God. Therefore, He has firsthand experience of what it takes to be a human.
Joseph was Jesus’ earthly Father. He was Jesus’ earthly/human dad. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost,” Matthew 1:18. Mary was engaged but not yet married to Joseph. Mary becomes pregnant with Jesus before having any relations with Joseph. The child she carries has been conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit. When Joseph realizes this, he is doubtful whether he will finalize his plan to marry Mary. The Bible states that the angel appears to him in a dream and urges him not to fear, for the child Mary is carrying is Messiah, sent by God to die for the sins of His children. Joseph accepts the calling and plays the role of Jesus’ dad.
Therefore, Jesus’ earthly Father is Joseph, but His real Father is God.
Was Joseph Jesus’ biological Father?
Matthew 1:18 states that Joseph was not Jesus’ biological Father. As mentioned, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit; Mary was a virgin until the conception of Jesus. Jesus’ conception did not involve a human male; Mary did not have any sexual relationship with Joseph until the birth of Jesus; “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS,” Mathew 1:25. Therefore, Joseph was not Jesus’ biological Father.
However, he is considered to be Jesus’ earthly/adoptive Father. After being instructed by an angel to be by Mary’s side and help her to raise the child, Joseph obeys without question. He helps Mary to escape from Israel to Egypt to save Jesus from Herod I. Joseph also plays all dad roles as Jesus grows. He teaches Him carpentry which is the family’s source of livelihood.
How is Joseph important in the Catholic Church?
Catholics believe that Joseph is one of the most important figures in the New Testament. It is for this reason that he was promoted into sainthood. He is considered a saint because although he is a silent figure in the Bible, it is through him that a 1000-year-old prophecy was fulfilled. It had been prophesied that a Messiah/savior would be born from King David’s lineage to save God’s people.
What happened to Joseph?
After they visit Jerusalem for the custom of the feast, nothing is heard about Joseph, Luke 2:45-49. Jesus is left behind without His parent’s knowledge. After a day’s journey, they return to Jerusalem and find Him in the temple. By the time Jesus is 12. Presumably, Joseph died before Jesus started His ministry.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.