Summary: Long ago there happened a wonderful love story. The kind you read about in story books. A look at Joseph’s perspective of Christmas
Long ago there happened a wonderful love story.
The kind you read about in story books.
And it had all the traditional clichés that we all know about.
These two grew up in the same small town, have known each other their whole lives.
He has always liked her, and just knew he would marry her one day.
He even said so to his teacher on the first day of kindergarten.
And the thing was back in those days people still participated in arranged marriages
And he had already paid her family some of the bride price, so she really had no choice.
If you think about it, maybe she didn’t want to marry him,
I mean he’s just that same ole boy she has known all her life.
What’s so special about him? Well, the day came for them to make it official.
They were going to get married, but the ceremony would not happen for a while.
Their relationship was more official than modern day engagements.
Legally they were considered married, even though they would not be together for usually a full year.
Separation makes the heart grow fonder
And she did in fact go away for a while.
All he could do was think about her and when she would return.
What does she think? How does she feel?
Is she as excited about this marriage as I am?
She must love me as well?
He couldn’t wait for her to return.
Three long months went by, and finally she made her way back into their small village.
But something was different. She looked different.
Wait…is that what I think it is? Oh no!
His longtime love, the love of his life, has gone off and become pregnant.
And the child is not his. What has she done?
This is such a disgrace.
What shame she will bring to this village, to his family. He can not have this.
She is his responsibility now.
Sure they are not married yet, but she is still in his care.
He must take care of the situation. But how?
I do not want to make a mockery of her.
I love her to much, but I am a just man
I must do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
She deserves to be stoned
But I can not do that. I will put her away privately.
The Jewish Law states that I should obtain a legal divorce in order to dissolve our betrothal.
Joseph found himself in a difficult dilemma. But he was a just man
I. Joseph a just man (Matthew 1:18-19)
Mt 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Mt 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
The previous chapter in Matthew gives us the genealogy of Joseph all the way back to Abraham
Jesus was the 41st generation of the Abrahamic Faith-line
And in verse 18 here begins the explanation of the genealogy which verse 16 states “Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ”
This shows that Jesus was the legitimate legal son of Joseph and heir to David’s throne.
And this verse states that Joseph was a just man
A righteous man
This phrase is saying that he was a true believer in God and therefore had been declared righteous, and who carefully obeyed the law.
He was a just man
A fair, discreet, charitable. Or upright man of moral and ethical integrity
Joseph was in a hard circumstance
He could not overlook an apparent fault in Mary
Yet loving her in spite of her seeming moral infidelity
He did not want to expose her
But wanted to deal tenderly in becoming legally released from his engagement to her.
Was not at all willing to hold her up as a public example.
Not at all resentful of her visible child-expectancy to any point of wanting to humiliate her by bringing public moral charges against her.
A husband could have presented the certificate of divorce in a very public manner
Designed to cause the greatest degree of shame and embarrassment to the woman.
Or quietly cancel the engagement.
In affection he settled on the latter course.
This is all evidence of his righteousness
Of Joseph being a just man
The Greek word Matthew used is Dikaios (dik’-ah-yos)
Which is translated just, righteous or upright
He was a man who wanted to do right
Toward other people and toward God
He wanted to treat Mary in a way that was acceptable to God