Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25
Joseph’s first reaction when he found that Mary was pregnant was actually better than most would have had. Rather than get mad at Mary and cause her the hurt that he almost certainly felt Joseph decided to quietly divorce Mary so as not to cause he any more shame. God was not going to let His Son grow up in a single parent home so once again He sent an angel to let Joseph know what the plan was.
Now I guess God could have told Joseph what was going to happen the same time He told Mary but He didn’t. We are not old why but my guess is God wanted to give Joseph the chance to do the right thing. Joseph could had accused Mary of adultery and had her stoned to death. He could have publicly disgraced her. Joseph instead showed his love for Mary and decided to quietly divorce her after they had wed. Joseph decided to do the right thing and take the high ground.
It is easy to do the right thing when we know the outcome. We can all get on board with a plan once we know the entire plan. When we are in the dark it becomes harder to take the high road, especially when we feel hurt or used. Both of these feelings I imagine Joseph felt. But even when Joseph had to have known Mary committed adultery he acted nobly. On after that decision was made did God let Joseph in on who the baby’s father was.
Joseph still could have resisted God’s plan. After all what he was being asked to believe was pretty hard to comprehend. God is the father of this child? That is something none of us has any experience to draw on when trying to make sense of what was happening. I imagine on one hand Joseph was thinking I know Mary and she would never dishonor herself, me or our families. Then it is trying to get one’s head around such a foreign concept that God had fathered a human son. Jews at this time really had no concept for something such as this.
Have you ever felt like Joseph, that God is keeping something from you? If only He would share His entire plan for you then things would make sense and go smoothly. Maybe God is giving you the same chance that He gave Joseph, a chance to do the right thing, to make the correct choice. Then, what is God did decide to share His plan, would you be able to believe it? Would it make sense to you? I am sure none of this made sense to Joseph and Mary but looking back it made perfect sense.
Have a blessed day,