Jesus — ‘bastard child’



Jesus understands everything about being human because He experienced it, including feeling the effects of the rumor mill. He understands how people talk, and how no matter what you say, people are going to believe what they want to believe.

To start with, Jesus was born under a cloud of confusion and uncertainty — a cloud that — most likely in some people’s minds — never went away. It was nothing short of a scandal. Betrothal was as good as marriage, but still, the knot had not been tied, so if Mary was with child and Joseph knew it wasn’t his, she would have to be “divorced” even though they weren’t married yet. That was his plan, to put her away quietly and away from the public eye, but to divorce her nonetheless. I mean, it was not that hard to figure out. The baby was either Joseph’s or some other man’s; in either case the child would have been a bastard child because they were not married.


“Mary, oh Mary, how can this be true?

How can I believe the words you’re saying?

I’ve kept you a virgin and now you are with child;

How can I be sure you are not lying?”



“Joseph, oh Joseph, I’ve loved no other man,

And I serve only one God, Jehovah.

Please know I am not deceiving you;

I am only believing in His promise.

The Spirit of God has overcome me

And I will bear His child,

And I shall call His name, Jesus

For He’ll save His people from sin.”



“Mary, my beloved, come walk with me a while,

I have something to share with you this morning.

An angel of God has appeared unto me

And this is the greeting that He gave me:

‘The Spirit of God has come upon her

And she will bear His child.

And you shall call His name Jesus

For He’ll save His people from sin.’”

                From the song “Mary and Joseph” by Pam Mark Hall *

So Joseph, too, received a visitation from the angel, and this gave him the courage to take Mary to be his wife and to believe that the child was indeed from God. But here’s the catch: The angel didn’t appear to everybody. So everybody else was where Joseph was at before his own visitation. You can’t expect them to all believe. You can’t dispel the rumors. And as for us, we’ve got the scriptures, the gospel accounts of angelic appearances, and the prophesies. But all the neighbors and friends … they only had the word of Mary and Joseph against their own doubts and rumors. It is safe to assume that not everyone believed them, and the rumors most likely persisted throughout the life of Christ. Like I said: The angel didn’t appear to everybody.

Suddenly, the humility of Christ takes on deeper implications. It’s not just humility, it’s humiliation. It undoubtedly included being called names as a child. Human nature is that way, and kids can be cruel. When Jesus was mocked and jeered at during His trial and crucifixion, it was not the first time. He was used to it. There was always a cloud around who He really was.

Everybody doesn’t always get an explanation. Faith can be a lonely road sometimes. This is true for us as well. If it’s true for you, know that you are not alone; Jesus — “bastard child” — walks with you.

* Look for how you can purchase this song as well as all the songs newly remastered from the albums “Naphtali” and “Inside.”

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11 Responses to Jesus — ‘bastard child’

  1. Sandie says:

    He was also accused of being mad, out of His mind…by His own family, He was accused of being demon-possessed by the religious leaders. Yet He kept His own council. And eventually some of His accusers believed in Him.
    In the second verse of ‘Mary’s Song’ by Petra, the words speak of Joseph’s pain and the joy Gabriel’s visit brought to him. When I first covered this song, it was hard to sing through the tears it caused.
    ‘God’s Own Fool’ by Michael Card, speaks of the insults piled on Him by his family and the religious leaders. This song helped me be a ‘fool’ my self.

    • Mark says:

      Seen a few musicians and others tear up from Petra’s song…
      PS loved your post, yet again my sister in the Lord, Sandie…

  2. John A Fagliano says:

    Jesus can identify with the bullied and he came to save the bullies. That’s the wonder of His Love.

  3. Mark says:

    Pastor John can u please, pretty please think about and consider doing as you once did record read out loud the day’s Catch…

    PS I got thinking about it again a few day’s ago when u requested people sending in their testimonials about the Bells of Christmas – let me please add, think about & consider after spending time in a coma & having two stokes, and how you may have felt after getting out of the hospital – Did you look forward to reading again, or maybe have a little bit of feeling of dread… knowing your comprehension wasn’t as sharp as it was before…

  4. Gary says:

    Many years ago I enjoyed listening to many a sermon from a seasoned Pastor, who many a time would give a statement during his reading of scripture, “now right here I want to read a little bit between the lines”. He had a great knack in supplying a view point of what could have been going on aside of what he was reading in the scripture. I loved it when he did that. It made me think ” that was helpful”. I was wondering you are doing a little reading between the lines? I just don’t match up what you saying about anyone knowing and carrying on rumors that Joseph wasn’t the father of the child that Mary was pregnant with. I have read that Joseph was very secretive and took her as his wife and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son. (Matthew 1:24&25). Mary visited her relative Elizabeth who was pregnant and in seclusion for five months (Luke 1:24)’ An angle told Mary about Elizabeth in her old age being in her sixth month (L1:36). Now to read between the lines Mary probably told Elizabeth how she became pregnant. But I can’t believe they were loose lip to anyone else, not for a long number of years. Jesus Himself would be saying “woman it is not my time yet”.

    • Sandie says:

      Respectfully, I would just like to interject here – neither Mary nor Joseph lived in complete seclusion – no secret getaway in the mountains so to speak. As was the custom, they both lived in close proximity to family…in a small town. People being what they are, it’s been said that there are no secrets in a small town. A seclusion due to pregnancy meant that the woman wasn’t a full participant in the community until after her child was born. During her pregnancy she was in the midst of family.
      In his book Immanuel : Reflections on the Life of Christ, Michael Card shares the thoughts behind many of his songs. His devotional for ‘Joseph’s’ Song shares thoughts on Joseph’s feelings regarding the conception of Christ. Keep in mind, that in addition to being a singer/songwriter/author, Michael Card has a degree (maybe more than one) in biblical studies – so his reflections ( and Pastor John’s as well ) come from a deep well of study.

  5. Gary says:

    I will try not to assume to know much at all. Only what I’ve read on the matter. There are a lot of great thinkers I really respect, Pastor John is one for sure. Others not so much. Fantasizing can make things interesting and dangerous. Mary and Joseph were probably very close to their family’s. The Angle spoke only to them. They had an event happen that may have been very hard to keep a secret. But not to me. As I have read Mary kept many things close to her heart. It could have very well been that no one knew that Joseph was not the Childs father. A lot could be assumed, but nothing should cause dissention.

    • You make a valid point, Gary.
      Whether or not Jesus was labeled as anything other than Mary & Joseph’s son by the adults of Nazareth is certainly unknown. And, if they did look at Him with jaundiced or self-righteous eyes, I suspect their opinions may have been softened or changed somewhat as they saw for themselves what a respectful and delightful boy and young man He was growing up to become (prior to His ministry years).

      However, young Jesus was possibly branded and slandered as one of the “uncool” kids by the other neighborhood children (as children are often wont to be), and even by His own brothers and sisters, too.
      After all, He probably always did what His parents asked and most likely refrained from participating in malicious deeds or mischievous acts that so many kids over the millennia have been tempted to do – and to their (our) detriment, accomplished.
      While He didn’t avoid His playmates, I’d like to believe young Jesus avoided joining their cliques and clubs and gangs that excluded, devalued, and mocked others, or showed disrespect of any kind.
      By His behavior and unique individuality, He was probably teased and ridiculed and called whatever disparaging names that were anything but honorable at the time.

      I’m sure His feelings were hurt from the rejection but, yet, He found solace and peace in the arms of His mom and dad who, themselves, may have known what it was like to be ostracized from the community because of baby Jesus.

      All of this in preparation for the greatest rejection He would ever suffer…

  6. Gary says:

    Beautiful Bob, you know. I personally believe there are Guardian Angels, I can tell of a lot of times in my life in which there could be evidence of that. They are powerful to me to see the presence of God in my life. I don’t want to assume anything but knowing how He has watch over me, how much more Jesus would have had the Father’s presence through out His life, especially in the times we have no record of, His youth. The moments that Mary kept in her heart.

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