Matthew 1 : 18 – 25
It is hard to believe that it has taken seven days before I got to read about Joseph. That just shows how many details there are in this story! I also find it interesting how different Joseph’s angelic encounter was from Zechariah’s and Mary’s encounters. But, now I am getting ahead of myself and I need to back up a little.
Verses 18 and 19 give us just enough information about Joseph that it seems he was a man of great integrity. Verse 19 says, “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.” Keep in mind that adultery was considered absolutely horrible and Mary could have been stoned. It is amazing to think that Joseph has all the earthly evidence that Mary had cheated on him and he could have been very angry and demanded that justice was made. Instead, he decided to let the matter go quietly and let Mary have her privacy. To me, this speaks so much of Joseph’s personality and his ability to forgive.
I have seen how much adultery can tear a family apart. For the other spouse, it seems to be such a tremendous loss of trust and hurt and anger that is experienced. I just think of how Joseph chose to let Mary go and am amazed that he didn’t act on his hurt and anger. I talked about the circumcision of the heart a few days ago, and I think this is faith expressing itself in love. He knew that Mary receiving her punishment may not have been what was best or helpful. Either way, when the angel visited him in his dream, he understood that this was a work of God.
It is very challenging to think about not acting out of hurt or anger. Where can I allow God rather than my emotions to make my decisions?