A Just Man
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. Matthew 1:19
Joseph was a righteous and compassionate man. Although he was within his rights according to the law of Moses to have Mary arrested, he did not want to disgrace or humiliate her when he found out she was pregnant. He made the decision to call off the marriage, but before he could do it, God sent an angel to him to give him the message that Mary was carrying the God’s child, the Messiah. Even though Mary probably told him what had happened, it was too farfetched to believe. What a relief it must have been for Mary when Joseph came and told her the message the angel brought to him and that he would be there to help and protect her and the baby.
I can’t even imagine how great of a step of faith this was for Joseph. We can look back now and see that it all worked out. However, as it was happening, they didn’t know how it was going to be. Even though God had sent His messengers to both of them, I know there was still plenty of opportunity to be anxious, worried and even afraid about being responsible for God’s Son. Joseph, accepting the news of Mary’s condition, was only step number one in a long nine-month period of faith and trust in what God was doing. Mary and Joseph submitted their lives to God and allowed Him to complete all that was in His heart to do.
I want to make note of Joseph’s response and reaction to the news Mary brought to him. She had been gone for three months to visit her relative Elizabeth and when she returned, she came back with the news that she was carrying the Son of God. Joseph didn’t freak out at the news (although I’m sure the thought crossed his mind) he carefully considered the best way to proceed. When he finally decided to handle things in a way that wouldn’t shame Mary, that’s when God’s angel showed up. He never had to make that tough choice of breaking the engagement with Mary. They were able to be married and Joseph provided for and protected his new family. He was a man full of God’s grace and love. God knew exactly what He was doing when He placed His Son in the care of this faith filled couple.
Today I want to encourage you when making tough decisions or when you are under pressure to choose a path, to wait on God. God will show up and help you to step out in the right direction. If you are unclear what the next step might be, don’t move until you are sure you are moving in the direction that God has planned for you to go. God will always make the way plain and clear, it’s up to us to wait for the plan and not rush into anything. Put away a life full of regrets by waiting on God’s Spirit to lead the way.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 1:18-25
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,
25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.