Joseph: Close to Jesus
The people of Jerusalem are suffering under the reign of HEROD, and are hoping to be delivered from the Roman occupiers by the Messiah # whose arrival, it is rumored, is to take place very soon. Unlike his nephew JUDAS, who wants to join the zealots (freedom fighters), the 35-year-old widower JOSEPH is not interested in participating in any fighting against the Romans. He is well aware that such an uprising would be pointless, and Judas’s death shortly afterwards confirms this. The other men in the village have to hide, and Joseph gets a visit from JOACHIM and ANNA, asking him to marry their unprotected 14-year-old daughter MARY. Joseph agrees, but promises to preserve her chastity. Nevertheless, one day Mary tells him, in Anna’s presence, that she is pregnant. Believing in this immaculate conception is very difficult for Joseph, as is the message that her son JESUS will end the reign of Herod, which is announced to him in a vision. Their son is born in a Bethlehem cattle shed and heralded as the new Messiah by the Three Magi. King Herod also finds out about the rumor, and decides to kill all of Bethlehem’s firstborn. Joseph and Mary escape to Egypt. It is only after the death of Herod # when Jesus is eleven years old # that Joseph and Mary return to Nazareth. The parents’ relationship to their child is placed under strain by Jesus’ insistence on recognizing God as his father, rather than Joseph. It is only on his deathbed that Joseph professes his faith in his son, whose divine nature he has now recognized, and asks him forgiveness.
This movie gives a fuller portrait of Joseph, the husband of Mary, than is generally revealed. It is based not only in scripture, but apparently from the furtive mind of a writer and possibly historical notes and/or tradition. The story differs in places from what is given Biblically, including the fact that Joseph dies at the end having not fathered any children although the Bible states Christ had step brothers and sisters. He is also betrothed to Mary at a late age.
We do see Mary receive the announcement that she will give birth to a child. The film also reveals his birth in Bethlehem. The cinematography is nice in the movie and the film no doubt will have viewers looking for Biblical moments as well as making note of those moments based on other sources. We are pleased to award our Family Approved Seal to this movie for ages twelve plus. Give this one a watch soon!