Ok, in part one, we covered what is generally covered regarding Joseph in the Christmas story. If you read between the lines though, you can piece together some really interesting stuff.
When reading about a particular event in scripture, I try to put myself right in middle of the event. If I can do this, I can more imagine why so-and-so said this…or why would so-and-so react like that?
Now, Joseph had to have a lot of faith to make the decision he did. Usually the story goes, “he did as the angle instructed and was a good boy, the end.” But it was so much more than that.
First, he had decided to ‘put her away’ quietly (Matthew 1:19) without making a scene and causing Mary as little embarrassment as possible. The stigma attached to a single woman who’s betrothal had been nullified was not inconsequential…then add, what society would consider, an illegitimate child and it gets worse. Joseph didn’t wanna add insult to injury by making a big deal out of it in public. Compassion is what Joseph had.
So joseph already knew about the baby, and the fact that he hadn’t been with her established that it wasn’t his. If he thought it was someone else’s, he probably would not have been as nice about it and put her away quietly. I mean, how would YOU feel if you were engaged to a girl and you found out she was pregnant? I would be kinda miffed to say the least.
Seems to me like Mary had let him know about the Angel visiting her and that the child was conceived of the Holy Spirit. Here is where Mary’s character enters into it. If a woman you were gonna marry said she was pregnant and it was God’s baby, what about her character would convince you that, one: she hadn’t completely lost her mind. Or two: she wasn’t trying to consciously deceive you in some way?
Mary had evidently had a reputation for always being a straight shooter. Even the angel mentioned it in Luke 1:28 where he called her ‘you who are highly favored’ but then, in verse 30, stated that she had found favor with God. I take this to mean that the angel was referring to her reputation among people in the first statement.
Ladies, how would YOU like to explain that to your fiancé?, “um, yeah…I’m pregnant. But it’s totally cool ’cause it’s God’s baby.”
Anyway, once he had made the decision to put her away quietly, he thought, “imma gon’ sleep on it.” and went to bed where the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.
The appearance of an angel seems to be a pretty intense thing. I can only imagine what it would be like. They probably have a very intimidating aura around them and their voices probably carry a tone that makes folks pay attention.
The angel told Joseph to go ahead and take Mary as his wife and that the baby was of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:20)
As is told in the story, Joseph makes the decision to do as the Lord commanded…and that’s really all that is usually said about it…but what did it really mean to him?
As Billy Mays would say, “and THAT’S not ALL!”…more in part three…