Joseph, One of the Worthy


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When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him

and took Mary home as his wife.

Matthew 1:24

Before Christmas, my pastor used Matthew 1:18-25 to focus on Joseph.  She said that sometimes obedience to God would come at great cost to us; but we would be blessed in ways we could not imagine.  Our act(s) of obedience would have a far-reaching impact on the lives of other people.

Pastor explained that back then, a betrothal was a marriage that hadn’t yet been consummated.  It was serious.  Becoming pregnant before the wedding ceremony was a major scandal that would ruin Mary’s reputation.   In his decision to divorce her “quietly”, Joseph was refusing to add insult to injury.  He wasn’t going to do anything to humiliate her publicly.  People would realize she was pregnant, and that would be enough destroy her.  Joseph was also willing to allow Mary to keep her dowry, which means she would have some money to sustain her.

Having made those decisions, Joseph went to sleep, and heard from the angel of the Lord.  Pastor stressed the importance of Joseph waking up, and choosing to believe that this visit was real.  Considering the shame and sacrifice involved in marrying Mary, it would have been easier for him to believe he had a nightmare or ate something that disagreed with him.

Essentially, in marrying Mary, Joseph also took on her shame.  When people realized she was pregnant, they would think Joseph had no control over himself.   He would be looked at as a hypocrite who said one thing in public, and did the opposite in private.  In fact, Joseph did not even consummate the marriage until after Jesus was born.

My Pastor didn’t mention the end of Joseph’s life, so I’m just speculating.  I’ve always assumed that Joseph died before the crucifixion and resurrection of his son.  Otherwise, I assume he would have been mentioned as one of the witnesses.  If I’m right, then I think it’s sad that Joseph never lived to see Jesus “save his people from their sins” (v. 21).  I’m thinking that Joseph is one of the faithful, that the world is not worthy of, mentioned in Hebrews 11.

 These were all commended for their faith,

yet none of them received what had been promised.

v. 39


BOW is my first experience in blogging, and my writing has undergone an evolution since I started. I use If I Knew Then What I Know Now to think aloud about my Christian walk. When you read it, my hope is that WE (the BOW community & friends) then discuss how to apply God's word into our everyday lives in a practical manner. As Christian lay-theologians, we'll talk about our world, and how we can be in it but not of it. So whatever your thoughts are about what you read, PLEASE share.
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