READ THIS FIRST: Matthew 1:18-25
Wow. Is it just me, or is Joseph a total pro?
We know that Mary had to be super brave and faithful in order to take on the task of bearing the Son of God unto the world. God chose an amazing young woman who He knew would be right for the job. But it’s pretty easy to forget about her husband in all this. After all, he didn’t have to give birth to the baby. But let’s take a second to look at just what was going through Joe’s head when he found out his betrothed was with child.
In the passage above, it says that he was “faithful to the law”- meaning he didn’t want to divorce her once they had already been wed and consummated their marriage. It also says he didn’t want to expose her to public disgrace, and intended to divorce her quietly. Back in Mary and Joseph’s day, it would have probably been the easiest thing for him to call off the wedding. He could have gone ahead and accused her of adultery, left her on her own and moved on with his life. And, as far as I can tell, this is probably what he was thinking of doing. And rightfully so- even today, in a much less traditional society than theirs, finding out that your fiancée is pregnant with a baby that you definitely didn’t conceive is grounds for a pretty messy break-up. So Joe could have totally just said “Look, I’m done with this, the wedding’s off.”
But he doesn’t do it.
I mean, he definitely considers it. But that same night, an angel appears to him in a dream, telling him to have faith, and know that Mary is faithful and the baby belongs to God.
That’s pretty heavy. Joseph wakes up in the morning and does what the angel says and takes Mary as his wife. Just like that. He is so faithful that He trusts this dream and is willing to risk it all for God and for Mary. He knows that people will talk about them. He knows that they’ll speculate and spread rumors and wonder where the baby came from and assume the worst. But he trusts God, and he trusts Mary, and he knows that this is what he has to do, because it’s aligned with the scriptures.
Joseph is amazing.
God knew that it had to be Mary who bore His son. And He knew that it had to be Joseph who raised Him. I think the thing that impresses me the most about this passage is that last verse. “He did not consummate their marriage until Mary had given birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” Now THAT’s faith.
So here’s my challenge to you! If you feel like God has been calling you to practice incredible faith recently, follow Joe’s example and do it! That’s it, just be more radical in your faith 🙂