Quick recap: Josh’s Mom (Mary) just dropped a pretty big bomb on her fiancé, Joseph: She’s pregnant (with Josh) and Joseph’s not the biological father.
We don’t know a ton of stuff about Mary’s background, but it is safe to assume that she was a forthright gal. After all, God had chosen her out of all of the women throughout history to be the mother of Josh.
Click here to read the amazing words of thanksgiving she gave to God for the high honor of becoming an unwed mom…
However, although Josh’s Mom was on board with this pregnancy, Joseph was still pretty upset when he headed for bed that night. And, truly that would probably be natural reaction for any dude–even in today’s loosie-goosey culture! But, the culture of Josh’s era frowned even a little deeper with out-of-wedlock pregnancies. And, because Joseph knew he hadn’t been with Mary, there was only one natural conclusion… She’d been with another man.
Arrgggghhhh! The wedding is off!
Well, actually, it was more like, “I want a divorce!”
In the culture of Josh’s day, engagement was a pretty binding contract. During engagement, although, the marriage papers had been drawn, signed and sealed, the ‘wife’ remained in her parents house and waited for her groom to come receive her to their new home. (Sometimes it would be months until that happened.) When he came for her, there would be a huge celebration (Dude, these mega-parties often lasted an entire week!) But finally, when the last sparkle of glitter and nugget of confetti had swept from the streets and Uncle so-and-so finally relinquished his wine glass, the husband and wife would go to their new home, to ‘be’ together.
I picture Mary sharing the news of her pregnancy with Joseph.. tears of joy in her eyes as she tells her devout husband-to-be that the Holy Spirit has placed a baby in her womb. Did Joseph square his shoulders and point to the door? Did he pace the room ranting while she cowered in the corner? Did he simply shake his head in disapproval and turn his back? Feel free to use your own imagination to fill in the gaps. What we DO know is that when he went to sleep that night, it was Joseph’s turn to be visited by angel.
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
I’m figuring Joseph must have been a pretty devout man of God. Otherwise, he may have simply dismissed the dream as nothing more than a too few many pickled fish before bed.
So, ya. Joseph was a good guy.
But there’s more!
You see, the cool thing is that because Josh is actually son of God AND son of a human being, he has more than one set of parents for us to consider. And knowing his parents’ stories, helps us to start to put together a picture of Josh.
- He has his human parents, Mary and (adopted by) Joseph.
- He has his heavenly parent… God the Father.
- His human parents were committed to one another and to God.
- His human parents paid heed to God’s messages.
- He was divinely fashioned by God in a way that had never been done before (or has been done since!
Next Friday… the birthday boy makes his appearance.
If you’d like to follow along in the Gospel of Matthew, here are the verse we covered today.