The account of Christ’s birth in the book of Luke seems to focus on the story from Mary’s perspective. However, the account of Christ’s birth in the book of Matthew seems to tell the story from Joseph’s perspective. My desire is to blend the two so we can have a full picture of what happened.
Based on the accounts, here’s what I believed occurred. Mary was visited by an angel let her know she was going to conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38). The angel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth is miraculously pregnant so Mary knew if anyone would believe her, it would be Elizabeth and she went to visit her cousin (Luke 1:39-45). The bible is silent about anyone else knowing other than Joseph, Mary’s fiance’ (Matt 1:18-19). Here parents and his parents may have known but we have no record of it.
What we do have record of is that Joseph found out his fiancé was pregnant and it wasn’t from him. As a Middle Eastern man, I’m sure he felt betrayed, enraged, disrespected, and disregarded. He had every right to expose her shame and make her pay for her sin, especially since she humiliated him in front of others by getting pregnant from another man. He knew that if he exposed her, it would mean she would be killed (Duet 20).
That is exactly what she deserved for getting pregnant for shaming him….
Most men would’ve exposed her. They probably would’ve spat in her face and taken her out in public to expose her sin. Most men would’ve done that….
BUT NOT JOSEPH.
Joseph, being an honorable man, was willing to take the blow. In the midst of his pain, he wanted to protect her. Matthew tells us he had planned on marrying her and then divorcing her secretly (Matt. 1:19). You see, you can’t divorce someone that you do not marry. You dissolve the engagement agreement but you divorce the person you marry. If he dissolved the engagement, she would still be exposed to public shame in the Middle East. She would still look like she was a loose woman even if she slept with Joseph, her fiance’.
So Joseph decided to marry her so people in the community would think she was pregnant by him. And then he would later divorce her, but do it secretly so people won’t question her integrity. That was his decision.
However, Joseph changed his mind when the Angel of the Lord spoke to him and told him she was pure (Matt. 1:20-22). Joseph was a man who heard from God and followed Him.
What a guy!
And if that wasn’t enough, he had so much self control and self-restraint that he would not have sex with her, even though she was his wife. He waited until she gave birth to her Son, Jesus. We don’t know if he waited 3 months or 6 months while he was married to her. But here is a red blooded Jewish man who has so much self control that waited for his wife to have the baby. Wow!
Joseph, a man that was willing to protect his fiancé even when he thought she did the unthinkable to him. A man who was willing to take the blow for his fiancé even though he thought she betrayed him. A young red blooded man who waited months before sleeping with his own wife. A man that heard God and obeyed Him.
Ladies, does the guy you are dating possess these qualities? Does he possess ANY of these qualities? Is he willing to protect you even when he’s angry at you, or does he expose your shortcomings? Does he demonstrate self-control and self-restraint or does he try to pressure you to compromise your purity? Does he hear and obey God or does he follow his desires and will? If he doesn’t possess these qualities, my advice is RUN…run as fast as you can!! And WAIT for God to bring a guy that loves God first, that respects your purity and a man who demonstrates self-control.
THAT is a guy worth marrying!!