Men, imagine for a moment that you’ve found the love of your life, proposed to her, and she said yes!
Now imagine that she shows up pregnant, and you know you are not the baby’s father.
All the emotions build up inside you – anger, betrayal, hurt, fear, sadness, along with a thousand questions.
What do you do?
Yesterday, we looked at the announcement of Messiah’s birth to Mary, Jesus’s mother.
Today, we’ll take a look at the announcement to Joseph, Mary’s fiancé, and Jesus’s adopted earthly father.
Here’s the announcement to Joseph:
18 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. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 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. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:(Matthew 1:18-25, English Standard Version)
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
Joseph likely had all the above emotions swirling around inside him as he learned of Mary’s pregnancy.
Today’s passage tells us the Joseph was a just man, a man of integrity and kindness. While this was shocking news, Joseph still loved Mary, and did not want to publicly disgrace her. Going to bed that night, Joseph planned to quietly break off the engagement and they would go their separate ways.
But God had other plans.
The Lord sent an angel to speak to Joseph in a dream. The angel assured him that this baby growing inside Mary was a gift from God; Joseph need not fear following through with the engagement and marriage.
Yes, there would be love and joy. And there would also be public shame, social scorn, and assumptions about both Joseph’s and Mary’s choices that would follow them the rest of their lives. And through no fault of his, this baby would be tagged with those same labels by those in the community.
Matthew reminds his readers (and us) that this birth was not a random event – this was foretold hundreds of years before (Isaiah 7:14).
And what was to be this baby’s name?
God with us.
The greatest gift of Love our Heavenly Father could give the world – His one and only Son.
The choice is ours – to accept and receive God’s gift of His Son Jesus, or to go our own way.
Thankful for God’s gift of Jesus,