Text: Matthew 1:18-19 (NIV) "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly."
In the beautiful story of the miracle birth of Christ, One of the key characters,Joseph is often over looked and Mary seems to be the one in the spotlight. Not that I want to remove anything from Mary, but I think Joseph equally did a lot of things and we can learn some things from his character.
From the text we find Joseph in a very difficult situation that required him to make a painful and tough decision.
- The first option he had was to expose Mary and according to the law (Deuteronomy 22:23-24) she would be stoned to death. That was lawful.
- The second option that was less drastic was to divorce her secretly,that was also allowed. He would then start his life afresh without Mary.
- But he did neither!
The action that Joseph took revealed among other things 3 character traits that we can learn from.
- The first one is that, Joseph exhibited righteousness by his desire to please God rather than do what was legally allowed. He yielded to higher calling, and we too must at all times consider what God's will is even when we are legally allowed to take a certain course of action.
- The second is that he showed a deep compassion and sensitivity toward Mary. In spite of the eminent humiliation he would have been exposed to if the community discovered that Mary was pregnant with someone's child, he had concern for Mary. He empathized with her situation and chose not disgrace her publicly.
- The third is his obedience to God. When was instructed by angel of God, he obeyed without question. He supported her all the way even when it appears he did not have a lot of wealth, he put in his all.
I think we should emulate this wonderful example set by Joseph when we are face with situations that don't go according to plan in our families and lives.
I pray that God can give us wisdom and power to achieve this!