Photo by Shannon Henriksen
When we read the Christmas story, humble Joseph is not a central character by many accounts.
If we prayerfully sit with this passage of Scripture,
- we see what a man of honor looks like.
- We see what a godly man looks like.
- We see what obedience looks like.
“BEING A RIGHTEOUS MAN AND UNWILLING TO EXPOSE HER TO PUBLIC DISGRACE, HE PLANNED TO DISMISS HER QUIETLY.” MATTHEW 1:19
Mary’s extramarital pregnancy was complicated…
Jewish civil law was very clear about the process of divorce during engagements.
The pregnancy tarnished both of their reputations regardless of how he handled it.
Then an angel of the LORD appears in a dream, and tells Joseph to take his righteousness a step further by following through with the engagement and marrying young Mary.
- Knowing Mary’s pregnancy tainted her with sin…
- Knowing it would taint his reputation as well…
- Knowing their marriage would long be whispered about and their families would be impacted by the public humiliation…
“JOSEPH, SON OF DAVID, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TAKE MARY AS YOUR WIFE, FOR THE CHILD CONCEIVED IN HER IS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT. SHE WILL BEAR A SON AND YOU WILL CALL HIS NAME JESUS FOR HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.” MATTHEW 1: 20-21
But Joseph, being the righteous man God chose for the task, was obedient.
- He said yes…
- He said yes to the public disgrace.
- He said yes to the questioning stares and whispers.
- He said to this holy task…
Embracing and raising Jesus… the Savior…
He didn’t allow fear to overrule him.
Instead, he let compassion and love motivate him and his decision.
By being willing to unite himself to Mary, he was opening himself to a wonderful role in the story.
Rather than being the one who left… the one who quit… the one who walked away to redeem public opinion…
- He said yes to God.
- He said yes to being the earthly father to the Savior of the world…
- He said yes to teaching the Creator of the world how to use his human hands to fashion tools and simple furniture.
- He said yes to holding the crying baby who would one day heal the broken hearted, the blind, and the deaf.
- He said yes.
How can we say yes to him today?
How might we set aside our fears and follow Him?
How might we take our righteousness a step further and embrace the risk of following fast and hard after the Heavenly Father’s lead?
You so marvelously invited Joseph into your story. Thank you for the example he sets for us. Where in my life, in my heart, am I resisting to follow you in obedience because I am worried about how people will see me? Is there some good I am doing that I could take it up to the next level of radical obedience?
Give me courage to say yes to you.