What Do You Mean Your Pregnant?
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
Matthew 1:18-20 ESV
Of all the characters in the Christmas, Joseph is one of the most intriguing and inspirational. As a young man, steeped in a cultural and tradition of religious rightness, he made a purposeful decision of faith, setting aside promising dreams for a future which could turn into a potentially disastrous failure.
In a seemingly hopeless turn of events, Joseph finds Hope in trusting the Eternal.
Joseph Was A Man Of Integrity. Joseph’s destiny seemed to be determined. He was a “son of David” . . . from the line of a king. Most likely his marriage to Mary was arranged and his livelihood accepted. When his fiancé was found pregnant, Joseph possibly faced his worst fear . . . his promised bride had betrayed him. He wanted to do the right thing in the right way. Instead of doing what he could, Joseph did what he should. Eugene Peterson, in The Message shares, “Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced”. (Matt 1:18-19 MSG) His character and compassion overruled convenience and comfort.
Joseph Was A Man Of Intention. Matthew tells us, “When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.” (Matt 1:24 NLT). Robert Leroe writes, Joseph “accepted the humbling circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth. He trusted the providential care of God every step of the way.” Joseph set aside the embarrassment of society and embraced the Sovereign His fear gave way to faith. He accepted a providential solution in an impossible situation. The author of Hebrews reminds us, “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” (Heb 11:6 NLT)
Joseph Was A Man Of Influence. Not a single word is quoted of Joseph in the Gospels. We know he asked the innkeeper if there was any available room. We can assume he instructed Jesus in the trade of carpentry. Yet his influence was not so much in his words, as in his walk. His influence in life was impacting through love . . . for his stepson, Jesus . . . and, his sweetheart, Mary. Peter reminds us, “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” (1 Pet 3:7 NLT). Paul gives us insight into to this legacy leaving love, “Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always ‘me first’, Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.” (1 Cor 13:4-7 MSG)
The carpenter was defined by his decision of faith. Joseph raised another’s son to be everyone’s Savior.
What integrity . . . what intention . . . what influence.
‘Tis the season . . .