I admire Joseph. You know, the silent one in the Christmas pageants. Just “there” in so many re-enactments.
But he was a man. A strong but gentle one, I think. An artisan. He didn’t have top-40 hits blaring in his carpenter’s shop (radio came much later) so probably either whistled or hummed to himself as he worked, reviewed the things he learned in the synagogue, and dreamed of the day he’d have enough saved up to bring his betrothed home – to his home.
But then came that horrific moment. “You’re what?!”
From what Matthew says, it was because Joseph was a righteous man and didn’t want to disgrace Mary publicly that he determined to divorce her privately -discretely, in spite of the shattered dreams, the seeming betrayal, the emotional carnage. Sounds like “because he truly loved her” to me!
What class. What quiet determination.
And then the angel came to him in a dream and told him what was really going on. Joseph believed him. Nothing like this had ever happened before, yet he belived him. Only a righteous (God-fearing) man could believe that God would do something He’d never done before. This crisis didn’t make Joseph, it revealled who he already was.
When he awoke he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him. He obeyed. That’s faith! That’s character! That – is strength!
I’m wondering this time through the story (it’s in the last half of Matthew 1) if perhaps Joseph didn’t actually move their wedding date UP. It’s possible they stayed on shedule with the date he had in mind, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he said to her in a quiet moment, “Mary, my Love, this isn’t going to be easy. But the Lord God is in it. You and I know the truth but there will be times when it feels like no one else does. Come; be my wife. We’ll hold off on ‘you-know’ until after the baby is born, but I want us to be together through this. And when he’s born it’ll be God with us. Immanuel. Like the angel said. And just think – we don’t have to quibble over his name.” 😉
How could she not throw her arms around his neck and say “Yes, Joseph! YESS” !?!
I admire Joseph. Sometimes the deep, quiet guys are the heroes.