An Unforgettable Picture

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.  –John 3:16

I was walking along admiring the scenery when I spotted a picture of a man seated in a chair with a baby lying on his lap looking up at him with a smile.

The clumsy tools we call words were insufficient to describe the scene before me. The little bundle of joy looking into the face of the man with a million-dollar smile reflected back the father’s own sense of wonder and delight.

I found myself almost overwhelmed by this sight. It stood out above all the scenic wonders surrounding me and it reminded me of another father’s love for his son: Our heavenly Father smiling down upon a manger in Bethlehem with His very own and only begotten Son cradled in His mother’s arms.

Then I reflected about how much that Son loved me. He entered this world the same way we all have: by natural birth.

He grew up the same way we all grow up from a baby to an adult.

He endured the same kind of suffering we experience because of the fallen state of humans. But that’s why He came. He came to overcome the sin of our lives, providing a way back to His own Father in Heaven. I said within my heart: “Hallelujah!  What a Savior!”

I must hasten to say that the picture I refer to was in an exhibit of hundreds of nativity scenes: some so simple the characters had blank faces—others so complex hundreds, it seemed, crowded around the manger with legions of angels hovering above and around them.

But that picture, the one with a young father looking down upon the baby in his lap, the one with such wonder, love and sheer joy on his countenance, was not really the father. He was only the entrusted stepfather Joseph. For, you see, God Himself conceived the baby Jesus by the Holy Spirit. One look into Joseph’s eyes and countenance was enough to say He would raise the Boy, teaching Him how to work, how to play and how to pray.  Thank God for Joseph—a role model to every father in the world!

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