Dear Christian Sisters,
In my post, What about Mary’s Parents, we considered how Mary’s parents might have reacted to her news. Today, let’s talk about Joseph.
Mary was looked upon with favor by the Lord and considered herself a bondslave of God. I would expect someone with that much integrity would tell her fiancé her news before traveling a long distance to visit Elizabeth.
Joseph must have been upset both at her news and that she left town before their wedding. We know that Mary told Joseph that she was carrying the Messiah, for Matthew says:
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.
How much of these three verses happened before Mary left for Judah?
- Perhaps Mary told Joseph just as she was leaving.
- Perhaps Joseph took the whole 3 months Mary was gone to consider this.
- Perhaps, while Mary was gone, Joseph met with his rabbi to discuss what to do.
- Perhaps Joseph thought it was best for Mary to stay in Judah so that she would be safe, protected from stoning.
- Perhaps the angel visited Joseph while Mary was in Judah.
- Perhaps Mary returned to Nazareth shortly after Joseph had the dream.
But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
And Joseph awoke from his sleep…
Knock. Knock. Knock.
“Mary, you’re back! You wouldn’t believe the dream I just had. Well, maybe you would! I believe that you are carrying the Messiah! I will marry you. We will raise the Messiah together.”
And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
Then shortly after,
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
And they looked at each other in shared understanding. Scripture said that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). They knew that the decree was part of God’s plan, and they went.
Lord, may our Christian men be as brave as Joseph, saying “yes” to Jesus by loving Christian women and raising our children with us for God’s glory. Amen!