Ok, now to the nuts and bolts of why Joseph deserves a place with those hailed for their faith.
He decided to take Mary as his wife as the angel instructed. Let’s discuss what came with this decision to find out how following the Lord in faith is not always a bed of roses. Keep this straight in your mind though: God’s plan in your life is ALWAYS a blessing. Even hardships are blessings, they just may not seem to us like a blessings as we are going through them. Giving glory to God as you go through them is what makes them blessings.
You may be thinking, “what hardships are you referring to in regards to Joseph?” Well, let’s see.
First, it was mentioned in Matthew 1:19 how Joseph was faithful to the law. Yet he disregarded the law when he chose not to ‘put Mary away’. If you are one to do the right thing all the time, folks are waiting for you to screw up. And when you do, they are on you like a pack of wolves.
They may also have been jealous of him also because he was betrothed to Mary. She was probably the prime example of a girl you wanted to take home to momma. As said before, she was ‘highly favored’. They figured they were out of luck getting a girl like that because she was already with Joseph who was known to be a stand-up guy.
Secondly, Matthew 1:25 says he did not consummate their marriage until after the baby was born. If I am not mistaken, the consummation of the traditional marriage was part of the schedule at a wedding (not that they did it in front of everybody, but.) And Luke 2:5 states that they still weren’t married when they went from Nazareth to Bethlehem and she had yet to have the baby.
Joseph had to explain why he wasn’t putting Mary away. How would he have explained this? I think he probably just told them he was still marrying her and let them think what they were going to think. If he were to tell them anything it could only be one of three things:
- Telling them that Mary was pregnant with his baby would mean admitting to committing sin that they didn’t commit.
- Telling them that Mary was pregnant by another man wouldn’t work either as then they would think he was dumb for marrying a girl who’d cheated on him.
- Telling them that the baby was conceived of the Holy Spirit would make him sound like he had completely lost his marbles.
No matter what he said, it probably would not have changed what they were thinking, so why even try?
You know that all of these scenarios had to go through Joseph’s head once he woke up and went to take Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:24.) Yet he still made the decision to follow the Lord’s commands given him by the angel.
Then the decree came down from Caesar Augustus that a census be taken of the entire Roman world…
I did not realize this would be as lengthy as it is. I will see about wrapping it up in part 4…lol.