Matthew 1:18-25 (NIV)
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
How would you feel in Joseph’s if you were in Joseph’s place?
Lord, You have a plan and You work that plan through the lives of meager human beings. Mary and Joseph were part of Your plan to bring the Messiah to the earth to conquer sin and death and to bring forgiveness and Your love to all people. As limited humans, it is hard for us to see what You are doing through pain and sorrow. Joseph must have felt deeply betrayed and devastated after learning that Mary was pregnant. All his plans for their upcoming wedding and his dreams to live happily ever after went up in smoke. The girl that he planned to spend the rest of his life with was subject to death by stoning. It is unsettling when the plans we are comfortable with are wiped away and we are faced with a new reality. The visitation of an angel that proclaimed Mary’s innocence in some ways would have been a relief to know that she was not unfaithful supported by the prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 that states a virgin shall conceive a son. In the darkest night for Joseph, he knew that You were still with Him. Joseph was obedient to Your instruction at the risk of shame and scandal by taking Mary as his wife and adopting Jesus as his own. How I want to hear Your voice tell me what You want me to do in the face of disappointment, betrayal, and the upheaval of my plans for the future. But You gave me free will and faith. I do have Your direction through Your Word. Your Holy Spirit does speak to me when I am quiet enough to listen. I can rest assured that my plans are not Your plans and that my life will have times of upheaval. But my trust in You cannot fail even during the darkest of nights because You are still with me. Keep my heart open to Your Spirit who can redirect my life at any moment. Help me not hold so tightly onto my plans that I miss Your mighty power in my life. Help me to give You my pain and sorrow and trust in You even when I feel betrayed or devastated knowing that You are in control of the ultimate plan for my life. Help me to risk all in order to be obedient to You. Lord thank you for the example of obedience and righteousness of Joseph. Thank You for Jesus. Amen