The loss of a loved one is one of the most sorrowful times we can experience in life. The grieving process is difficult to go through. We have deep valleys and conflicting thoughts. Our grief can seem overwhelming one moment and then we think we will be okay. I will never forget sitting with my father as he died. I was reading the bible to him when he drew his last breath and passed away. Jesus gave me the strength to take care of what needed to be taken care of that day and then still teach my class that evening. Yes Jesus gave me the strength, but it was not easy. The death of a parent is hard to endure.
The last mention of Joseph in the bible is the time Joseph took Mary and Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve. Jesus stayed behind and the caravan started back without Him. Joseph and Mary hurried back and found Jesus in the temple asking questions and sharing from the scriptures and amazing those who were there. When asked why He stayed behind Jesus replied, “did you not know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Jesus was not being insensitive. He was reminding them of who He is and the reason He came. There is a silence to this story that jumps out at me. This is the last reference to Joseph in the bible. He fades from the scene as Jesus and His Father in Heaven take over the story. Mary is mentioned in passages after this, but not Joseph.
This shows that Joseph would have died between the time Jesus was 12 and the time Jesus began His public ministry some 18 years later. Jesus would have experienced the death of His earthly step-father, Joseph, and Mary’s need for comfort from her son after the death of her husband. Jesus would have also taken over as provider for His family and protector of His mother. Jesus understands our grief and the complexities of taking care of those left behind. He understands how we feel when we are grieving and at the same time concerned for those who need us to take care of them.
If you are grieving, please remember that Jesus understands your grief. He is our Sympathetic High Priest who is able to sympathize with us in our weakness and He invites us to come to Him for rest for our souls. We can pour out our grief an sorrow to Him because He cares for us. We do not need to be alone in our grief and sorrow.