Joseph Discovers Mary’s News
The time had come for Mary to return home after her visit with Elisabeth. One can only imagine how she must have felt. After all she was going to have to tell her parents and Joseph about her present condition. This was a situation that could not be hid for long.
However, we know that from the beginning Mary had faith. We can be sure from her song, The Magnificent, she trusted that God would see her through this time. We can be assured that she prayed about the situation.
How would she have told them her news? I recently went through a difficult situation with a job loss. I was in shock and had trouble telling those closest to me in the beginning. However, God gave me the strength and saw me through the situation.
My circumstances doesn’t compare anywhere close with Mary’s, but I know he also gave her strength and saw her through it.
Yet, how do you find the words to try and explain such a situation to those you love. Did they look at like as if she’d grown two heads?
Matthew 1:19 (ASV)
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
So Mary has told Joseph that she is going to have a child. He must have been completely shocked by this news.
Did he have any suspicions before she told him? Could he see a weight gain? Or was this a complete shock to him?
Yet, he was a “righteous man”. The law of the day said that she could be stoned for her indiscretion. Joseph clearly didn’t want to bring any harm or shame to her because he decided to “put her away privily.”
Maybe he went to bed that evening praying about where to put her.
Matthew 1:20-21 (ASV)
But when he thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins.
Then in your dreams an angel appears to you and says that the child is “conceived of the Holy Spirit.” Was this the way Joseph envisioned the Messiah would come to the world? Given the beliefs of the day, most likely not. But, the angel tells him that the child will be named Jesus.
The angel repeats the well-known prophecy found in the book of Isaiah.
Matthew 1:23 (ASV)
Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us.
So what did Joseph do? How did he react to this vision?
Matthew 1:24-25 (ASV)
And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took unto him his wife; and knew her not till she had brought forth a son: and he called his name JESUS.
Joseph gets up and does just as the Lord commanded him. After a brief time of doubt, he has faith and obeys God. He took Mary as his wife. Still were the townspeople aware of the reason? Were there whispers and snickers as the couple walked past? We don’t know from scripture, but knowing what
human behavior is like we can imagine there was.
Joseph cared for Mary but did not know her in a carnal manner until after she gave birth to Jesus.
How often does God ask us to step out in faith and do something for him? Yet, we back pedal, lack the faith, offer up excuses or struggle with this decision.
We can all take a lesson from Mary and Joseph in being faithful to God’s call and trusting Him.
Pictures 1 & 4 courtesy of MorgueFile
Pictures 2 & 3 courtesy of FreeBibleImages.org