How Important Is the Role of Joseph in the Life Mary and Jesus?

The story of Mary and Jesus is one of the most significant and well-known stories in the Christian faith. However, a vital character that often goes unnoticed is Joseph, the husband of Mary and the earthly father of Jesus. While his role may seem insignificant, it is essential to understand how crucial he was in the life of Mary and Jesus.

The Importance of Joseph in the Life of Mary

When Mary was approached by the angel Gabriel with the news that she would bear a child, she was undoubtedly filled with fear and uncertainty. In those times, being pregnant out of wedlock was considered a significant scandal and could even result in death by stoning. However, Joseph’s presence was a source of comfort for her.

Joseph not only believed Mary’s story but also stood by her throughout her pregnancy. He did not abandon her or expose her to shame but instead chose to protect her reputation and care for her until she gave birth to Jesus.

Moreover, Joseph played a critical role in ensuring that Mary safely delivered Jesus in Bethlehem. When they arrived at Bethlehem, there was no room for them at the inn. However, Joseph did not give up; he found shelter for them in a stable where Jesus could be born safely.

The Role of Joseph in Raising Jesus

After Jesus’s birth, Joseph played an essential role as his earthly father. He provided for him, protected him from danger, and taught him valuable life skills such as carpentry.

Joseph also played an integral part in raising Jesus according to Jewish customs and traditions. He ensured that Jesus received proper religious education by taking him to synagogue services and teaching him about their faith.

When King Herod ordered all male infants under two years old to be killed after learning about Jesus’s birth from the wise men who came from the East seeking information about the baby born king (Matt 2:16), an angel warned Joseph about this danger while he was asleep and instructed him to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus. Joseph immediately obeyed, ensuring Jesus’s safety until it was safe to return to Nazareth.

The Significance of Joseph in Jesus’s Life

Joseph’s significance in Jesus’s life is evident in the fact that he is referred to as “the son of Joseph” in the Bible (Luke 3:23). Jesus grew up under Joseph’s guidance, learning from him and likely adopting his values and work ethic.

Moreover, the Gospel of Matthew mentions that when Jesus began his public ministry, people referred to him as “the son of the carpenter” (Matt 13:55). This reference suggests that Jesus not only learned carpentry from Joseph but also continued to practice it after his death.


In conclusion, while Mary is rightfully celebrated for her role as the mother of Jesus, we must not overlook the importance of Joseph in their lives. He played a crucial role in protecting and providing for them, raising Jesus according to Jewish customs, and helping shape Jesus into the man he became.

Without Joseph’s presence and support, Mary may have faced rejection and even death due to her pregnancy out of wedlock. We owe a debt of gratitude to this humble carpenter who played such an essential role in the life of our Lord and Saviour.