I love the way the personality of Joseph is fleshed out in Godly character in the seasonal film, “The Nativity Story”. I first saw the movie a few years ago when I bought the DVD, and felt the portrayal of the man espoused to Mary who the Bible calls “just”, was awesome. From the strength of character forwarded in that depiction I recall thinking how blessed any woman would be to have a man like Joseph.
The film presents him as a man really taken with Mary’s virtue and Godliness, who has basically got a full-blown crush on her. But Mary couldn’t care less about being “espoused” to him and no longer free to be the child she was, according to the screen adaptation. So Joseph has to grow on her and, because of the personal view the audience is given early on of Mary’s downtrodden life in Roman-oppressed Nazareth, he’s got to grow on us also.
In not much time, he does.
I admit that when Mary is ambushed by the arranged marriage plans Joseph and her parents have made unbeknownst to her, I want someone to do some really fast talking. Joseph is tentative in presenting his desires at first, but the manner in which he shares his hopes for their occupancy of the house he is building is so boyish and sweet - almost shy, in fact - my skeptical edges start to smooth a bit.
Eventually, the story reveals that this guy is wonderful. Truly. He’s a skilled, hard worker who is kind and thoughtful, not only to Mary, but to her family. He is a devout son of God whose character parallels Christ’s in many ways.
When Mary is found to be pregnant, not only does he desire, as scripture says, not to put her up to public ridicule and possibly death, he’s portrayed as making it his business to approach her with the news of the angel’s visitation revealing to him the truth of her virtuous, holy conception. I like that in a man.
Probably my favorite of the generous glimpses into Joseph’s character portrayed in the film is the way he looks on God’s city as he and Mary approach it afar off. His burning heart touches mine as he fervently declares, “Jerusalem... the holy city!” I understood the passion in his spirit just looking at the tiered, treasured structure realizing its preciousness to the heart of God; it is the true capitol of the world.
Joseph is gentle when he needs to be, and shrewd when it’s called for. Throughout their journey to Bethlehem he protects and comforts Mary, is kind to their donkey, and aptly assists in bringing forth her first born son.
The whole film is well done in my opinion, and I recommend it. But “The Nativity Story” is most special to me because of its honoring portrayal of the just man, Joseph.
"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."