A Good Man
02 January 2018
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
Young Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they were married, after the angel’s visit, Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. When Joseph found out she was pregnant he was faced with quite a dilemma! It would have been humiliating for Joseph to take Mary into his home as his wife. I wonder how many other people in their hometown knew about the pregnancy?
Joseph had two apparent options: 1) He could expose Mary to public shame and to death by stoning if the local Jewish leaders decided on that punishment; 2) He could find a way to quietly break the engagement, allowing Mary to leave their small town and go away to relatives in another part of the country. Joseph, who is referred to in various translations of this verse as a just man, a good man, a righteous man, and a noble man, decided on the kinder approach. He would quietly break the engagement.
But there was a third option! An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him the baby in Mary’s womb was the Son of God. To Joseph’s eternal credit, he believed the angel’s message, accepted the shame and disgrace and carried it with Mary, and he became protector and provider and the foster-father of the innocent and helpless child who would one day reign on Heaven’s throne!
It’s really easy to be quick to judge, to rush to a conclusion, to act out of hurt, anger, or disappointment when faced with a tough situation and few apparent options! Perhaps you and I could be like Joseph and ask God if there’s another option. Perhaps instead of getting mad or getting even, we could be kind and gracious and self-sacrificing and put others before ourselves.
I wouldn’t mind being remembered, like Joseph, as good and righteous and just and noble! How about you?
Father, I’m so glad you chose a good man named Joseph to care for Mary and her child! I’m glad kind and gracious Joseph became the protector and provider and foster-father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please help me look for the Grace and Mercy option when I have a tough decision to make. Please help me be sensitive and open and responsive to your Holy Spirit’s promptings. I’d love to be remembered as good and kind and noble! Amen.