Joseph, the Righteous
Last week, we were introduced to Joseph, the husband of Mary.
We know that Joseph was betrothed to Mary when the spirit came upon her and she was
Matthew 1:18-25 tells us the story of Mary, Joseph and the conception of Jesus.
So, what are we told?
18 When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
Mary and Joseph are betrothed or in our modern day language they were engaged to be married. This was a contract for marriage which was a binding as the marriage itself.
Before they came together tells us that they had not been married yet, Mary had not moved in with Joseph and they had not known one another in a sexual manner.
Mary was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit. We are not told how Joseph discovered her condition. Did Mary tell him? Did her father tell him? Did a townsperson publicly call her out?
We do not know. We can guess that Joseph was shocked, stunned and I dare say even hurt. After all, naturally he would assume that she had been unfaithful to him with another manner.
But, we are told she was with the child of the Holy Spirit. But even if Mary told Joseph this news did he believe her right away?
19 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 we are told that Joseph is a righteous man. Righteous is defined as “acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous.”
The next sentence proves what a good man Joseph is. He does not want to make a public example of Mary. A public example would most likely mean she would be put on trial and sentenced to death, which meant being stoned.
He decided he would put her away privately. He would not bring her to public humiliation but put her away.
Even though they were only betrothed, a divorce was required to severe the ties of their relationship.
So Joseph was a righteous man and wanted to do right by Mary.
However, God was about to change Joseph’s course of action.
What would you have done if you were in Joseph’s position?
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