Daily Archives: April 27, 2010

Joseph’s Decision

I want to look at Joseph for a minute. In Matthew 1:18-25 we read the story of Joseph learning about the birth of Jesus. Joseph and Mary were betrothed which means that an arrangement for marriage has been made and they would be married after the set time was up. This betrothal process was just as binding as marriage and would require a divorce to get out of.

So let’s put ourselves in the mind of Joseph. He loves Mary and is awaiting the day that they will be married. Then one day she comes up and tells him she is pregnant. To top it off she has come up with a crazy and blasphemous story involving angels and being impregnated by the Holy Spirit.

So Joseph is trying to figure out what to do. The law (Deuteronomy 22:23-24) says he is to take her to the priest, make an example of her, and carry her out to be stoned. He also has the option to quietly go and divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1) her without publicly making an example of her. Neither of these options is pleasing to Joseph, because his heart aches for Mary.

He can not stand the idea of stoning her, yet if he divorces her he will be shamed. Think about this. If he divorces her quietly, when the town realizes she is pregnant they will assume that Joseph and Mary had sex before marriage. That would put shame on them both. Joseph has a hard choice to make.

Joseph drifts off to sleep with these thoughts on his mind. He dreams and an angel appears to him telling him, Mary’s story is true. She is pregnant with a child by the Holy Spirit. This is the promised Messiah you have been waiting on (Isaiah 7:14).

Joseph awakes the next morning with a whole new dilemma. God has confirmed Mary is telling the truth and he should go on and marry her. Yet if he does this he will be shamed forever for having sex before marriage (John 8:41). Joseph being a righteous man and putting his trust in God married Mary.

So my question today is if you knew God wanted you to do something and knew that it would bring public embarrassment to you, would you do it? Are you willing to be embarrassed for Jesus?