Mary’s Crazy Family, as told by Joseph ben Jacob

Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem
Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem

My dear mystical friends, this is Brother Thomas from the Seventh Ray.  Even though I no longer live upon the earth as you do, I remember Christmas fondly! But more importantly, all of us on this side remember the great avatar that visited your planet some two thousand years ago. This is the man you called Jesus! We love Jesus too–though we see his life and work differently from this side of the veil. In future lessons, we will thoroughly discuss this importance of all this.  But for now, as you near the time of Christmas, let us share a funny story we have for you that discusses Joseph–Jesus’ earthly father.

The biblical text does not say much about this marvelous man; however, we on this side have a few things to tell you. The man you call Joseph was, in reality, an accomplished spiritual being who accepted a special earthly assignment to be the earthly father for Jesus. He was to create a home environment for the God-Man that would shape him for his future work. Mary, Jesus mother, was a specially appointed angel who came to earth to be his mother. Her present work as Mother Mary is only a rather recent continuation of her work with humankind. More about her in future lessons.

The story I have written for you follows a more traditional understanding of Joseph and Jesus–and is not the metaphysical view we will probably teach you about later. Even so, it is always good to hear the traditional stories of our brothers Jesus and Joseph–as well as our sister Mary. If you are totally unfamiliar with these stories, I might suggest you read a few short Biblical texts.  Don’t worry. They are easily understood. Mary’s Story. Joseph’s Story. Now, let’s read this unusual and funny story about how Joseph met Mary.


Friends, I ask you to join me as we travel back into time. It’s been a long journey for Mary, Joseph, and their old faithful donkey Jedidiah. They have traveled about 100 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem in order to pay their taxes to Rome and enroll in the census. Will you join us now in the stable at Bethlehem? In your mind’s eye, look around and see the farm animals and other families, like Mary and Joseph, who could not find a place to stay in town on this cold winter’s night. Mary has just given birth to a son and is resting as best she can. Joseph is too restless to sleep, and so he decides to tell his story.

Mary’s Crazy Family, as told by Joseph ben Jacob

My name is Joseph ben Jacob (or Joseph son of Jacob). This beautiful new baby boy I’m holding is named Jesus. Pay attention! You are going to hear more about my son Jesus. Just to clear the air and so you’ll know, Jesus is my son, but he’s not my son. It’s complicated. We carpenters don’t like complicated. We lose money on complicated—but that’s another story.

That’s my mom over there. According to her, our family actually comes from Bethlehem. None of us have lived here in a while—but we still know of a lot of people from around here.

Mary and I came here from Nazareth to pay our taxes and enroll in Rome’s census. We thought we could get here before the baby arrived. But I think all this traveling must have caused the little guy to come early.

I am over the moon with excitement. I have something fantastic to tell you—though I don’t expect any of you to believe me. I doubt I would. But ask me if I care? I’m beyond that now. Anyway, what have you got to lose? The night is cold, so let’s share some wine as you listen to my story. Let’s begin a little more than a year and a half ago.

If you talk to my mom, and I wouldn’t advise you to do that, she will talk your ears off about how my family is a direct descendant of King David. She doesn’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s what she says! It’s a great story.

But a big whoop-te-doo to king David—cause now days we’re all lousy carpenters!

I can fix anything! Is your chair broke—I can fix that. You need a table—how big? You need some stones cut for your summertime cottage, I highly recommend the Jerusalem Limestone, the same as my great, great, great, great, great, granddaddy Solomon used to build the Temple. I tell you, that stuff lasts forever! Did I tell you that I can get it at a great price? I know the guys who quarry it and we have a special arrangement!

But I digress! About a year and a half ago, I was still living with my mom and dad. Business was kind of slow. One day my dad Jacob and I got into it. He said, “Joe, you got to get out on your own. I can’t keep taking care of you. It’s time to take your tools and make a life of your own! Now Go!”

So, I said “Yeah?!

And he said, “Yeah!”

And I said, “Yeah?”

And he said, “Yeah!”

And I said, “You really mean this, you’re kicking me out!”

And he said, “Go on kid, beat it, it’s time for you to go!”

So, I picked up my tools, and took Jedediah, (Jed was an old donkey Dad acquired in the year of BCE -10) For the record, dad kept the newer Ezekiel model for himself. So, Jed and I left for fame and fortune.

We headed to the big city of Jerusalem. There is always work there–especially if you have a little ambition–and I had some friends that I knew would put me up. Ahhh, that was a crazy time.

I wasn’t making it big, but I had enough money for a little fish, bread, wine and seeing the sights. It wasn’t easy, but I kinda enjoyed being on my own and all. One day, I got a message. It was my big break! They said I should stop by the big temple in Jerusalem. It seemed there was some work that needed to be done—so I headed that way.

While I was there, I met an old priestly man named Zechariah. Well, we got to visiting and the next thing you know he said, “Young man, you ought to meet my niece! Her name is Mary and she is the cutest and sweetest little thing you’ve ever seen!”

Well, I was in the market—so to speak, and I thought I might take him up on that–being it had been sometime since I had been in the company of pretty women. So I finished my work at the temple and went back to my room.

The next day I came to finish the job and discovered that something very odd had happened to Zechariah. The old man could not talk! It was as if he was struck dumb! He would move his lips and try to talk but nothing would come out. He was acting strange.

I asked, “What Happened to Zech?” and was told an amazing story!

According to the other people in the temple, that crazy old coot said he had been visited by an angel who told him his old wife Elizabeth was gonna have a baby! Zech said he laughed out loud and said something like, “Yeah right!”

And the Angel said, “Yeah, Right! Shut-up!” And suddenly, Zech couldn’t speak any more!

He must have made that Angel pretty mad because he couldn’t say nothing! According to the angel, Zech was told that he wouldn’t be able to speak until the kid was born because of his mouthing off!

Well, I have to tell you, at the time, I didn’t know if any of that could possibly be true! Zech seemed pretty old to me, and those priests are crazy–always prophesying about a messiah and stuff like that. Oy, Vey! It’s hard being a Jew!

But, I have heard of stranger things. What harm is it if the old man thinks his wife is gonna have a baby and all? I guess it wouldn’t hurt to slap the old man on the back a time or two and say congratulations! I mean, if he believes it, Okay!

Zech saw me talking and came right up to me. He began using sign language. He made the figure of a beautiful woman and walked his two fingers up his arm like they were walking up the road to Nazareth. He nodded his head up and down. I nodded my head up and down to agree. And then I left to see Mary—the old man’s niece. I had no idea about the crazy family I was about to become a part of.

Well, well, well! I saw her. Old Zech might be crazy, but he knew a pretty woman when he saw one. Of course, Mary was distraught to hear that Zech couldn’t speak, but she was excited that Elizabeth would have a baby. Me, I didn’t believe a word of any of it—but all the same, I hung around to ensure that she was properly consoled. It was all on the up and up because that’s how I roll!

I would have to say I was smitten. She was beautiful to look at, and beautiful on the inside as well. I enjoyed being around her. Mary is a fantastic cook, but there’s only one problem–she is always running low on wine!

I did as many odd jobs in Nazareth as I could find. Naz is a small town and it wasn’t long before I got to know all the people there. This town got to feel a lot like home.

I asked Mary to be my wife. She said yes! And that was the happiest day of my life. Thank you, Daddy, for kicking me out! There wasn’t any dowry. Her family was poor. That didn’t matter to me. I had strong hand arms and strong hands. I would care for her.

Then one day, she told me something I could not believe. It took the air right out of me. She said an angel visited her. What is it with this family and their crazy angels! Then, she broke my heart! She said she was pregnant!

My world stopped. Then, she started talking crazy! Crazy I tell you! She said that God’s angel had come to talk with her. The angel said God asked her to carry the Son of God—the messiah!

What? I was quiet. I tried to listen. Mary said she had not known a man. Her friends had told me that she had never been with another man but me. We had never been together. Yet, here she was—pregnant and trying to telling me that it was some kind of a miracle!

Look, I’m not educated. I’m no rabbi, and nobody has ever said that Joseph ben Jacob is a smart man. But I know, what I know. I’m a good carpenter and I’m a hard worker. I did not get this woman pregnant. And I’m sorry, I can’t accept this crazy story that she hasn’t slept with another man. I love her—but if she can’t be truthful with me, we’ve got no future together. Life’s too short to spend it with a crazy woman!

Mary was hurt that I didn’t believe her. I didn’t like hurting her—but I was hurting too! What did she expect? I went to my room and stayed away for a while. I knew that the child she was carrying would be showing very soon. I continued to do odd jobs and come home to my room. I didn’t know what I should do. My friends were asking, “Hey, where have you been? Aren’t you guys engaged? We haven’t seen you together for a while.”

Mary was heartbroken too. She tried to send for me—but I rejected all of her friends. “What would be the point of it all?” I asked.

I decided to finish up my projects and put Mary away quietly. She may be crazy, but I don’t want to humiliate her. I’ll just move back to Bethlehem and start over.

It was settled. I would get away from this crazy family with their angels and visions. No harm, no foul. I felt at peace for arriving at this decision. The work and all this mental stress had taken a lot out of me. I was exhausted, so, I lay down to sleep.

Oh, my, I’m going crazy! Am I asleep? Am I awake? Did I drink too much? Did I eat bad fish? Do I have a fever? No, I feel fine! Whatever it is, I see an angel! Oh no! This crazy family is getting to me! I’m seeing an angel. It’s real! Whoa boy, take it easy!

Yup! Joseph ben Jacob, I’m an angel—and I’m here to talk with you! Pay attention and listen up! And whatever you do, don’t mouth off like Zech did! I hate that!

Yes, that angel and I had a long talk. It was much longer than what the Bible says. But let’s just say, that the angel told me that I should not be afraid to take Mary to be my wife. The angel told me that, as strange as it may be, my dear Mary had told me the truth!

He told me other amazing things. He said I would have a son named Jesus who would save people from their sins. He said Jesus was a holy child. I listened respectfully. Then, I told the angel, I love Mary, but I don’t think I’m your guy! Look at me! I’m a carpenter. I’m not a rabbi, I’m poor, I have friends in low places…and I started to go on…but the angel raised a finger to shush me!

I stopped. I didn’t want to have that Zech thing happen to me!

The angel said, “Yes, Joseph, you are all of those things, and the Most High loves you anyway!”

The angel continued, “Did you know that you are a noble descendant from the house of King David?”

“Who knew? I thought to myself, “I guess mom was right after all.”

“Of course I am,” Mom yelled from the back corner.

The angel continued, “Don’t worry about being a Rabbi, for a while, we want the Son of God as far away from those people as possible! Anyway, your new crazy Uncle Zechariah, and his son John, will teach your son about all of that anyway.

What’s more important is that you raise your son to be a man. We want him to be fully man—as well as fully God! Teach him what you know about carpentry. Teach him how to fish from the sea of Galilee. Teach him how to get away from it all and live in the desert! Teach him how to pray—as you do. Teach him to be skeptical of the Sadducees and Pharisees and show him how to love God from his heart—like you do. Teach him to love the poor and the outcast. Teach him to love all men and women—and especially those friends of yours in low places you were talking about. Joseph ben Jacob, we want you to teach your young son Jesus how to roll–just like you do!

“Seriously?” I said?

“Seriously.” The angel replied.

And then the angel asked me the same question that Mary said he asked of her. He said that the Most High God was humbly asking me, “Will you help me raise my son?”

I said “Yes”, and I never looked back. I saw Mary the next day and told her everything.She was clearly showing now. We knew what other people were thinking. Some of them shook their heads at us and gave judgmental sighs! Others gave a knowing look and winked at us. Most didn’t notice or care. It didn’t matter.

I’m proud to say, that I am now a member of crazy Mary’s family—the ones that see angels and has visions. Something tells me that my new baby boy is just like us!


Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem Picture use by permission of Creative Commons

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