Joseph was a carpenter.  Most people liked
him.  But there was also something about him
that people made fun of:  He actually
believed everything people told him!

Sometimes people would tell him make-believe
stories and he would believe them.  Then
they'd tell him the truth and just laugh at
him.  They told him he was gullible.

Joseph and Mary loved each other.  So they
had an engagement ceremony which is like
today's wedding ceremony.  It was a promise
to be married some day forever.

Before they started their home together, the
angel told Mary she was going to have a baby
who would be God's very own son.

Then Mary left for three months to visit her
elderly cousin, Elizabeth, down near
Jerusalem far away.

When Mary came back home, Joseph found
out she was going to have a baby.  He did
not understand her baby was the son of God.  
He thought Mary had decided not to set up a
home with him.

Even though Joseph was a big man, when he
was alone he cried.  He loved Mary and
wanted to be married to her forever.

Joseph was so upset that he went out into his
workshop and cut a lot of wood with his saw,
and pounded a lot of nails with his hammer
for a very long time.

Finally he was so tired that he went to bed
and fell asleep.  God talked to him in his
dream and told him to go back to Mary and
bring her home with him to be married

God also told Joseph that Mary's baby was
really God's son.  Even though God was
Jesus' father in heaven, God wanted Joseph
to be Jesus' step-father on earth.

Joseph believed God.  So, when he woke up,
he went to Mary's house, and brought her
home with him so they could be married

This story is in the second half of the Bible,
God's Word, called the New Testament.  It
is in a section called "Matthew," chapter one,
sentences 18-25.

Will you read it for yourself or have a
grownup read it for you?  Then can you
believe it, just like Joseph did?  It will make
you happy.  It will make Jesus happy too.

If you have a step-father or know someone
with a step-father, would you tell him about
Joseph?  He was the most famous
step-father to ever live because he believed