Good Life Journal - Matthew 1
“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. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 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. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” “(Matthew 1:18-21 ESV) …and….”When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him…”(Matthew 1:24 ESV)
I didn’t notice this before—Right before this section of scripture describing Joseph, Jesus’ step-father, God makes sure that the genealogy concerning Jesus through the lineage of Joseph was presented—perhaps to show the responsibility that he had? Perhaps to show us that Jesus was born in a line that was far from perfect? Perhaps to show He was born in a scandalous line, in a scandalous situation, destined for a scandalous death by sinful men?
Trying to put myself in Joe’s situation, I can imagine the following: I am a Just man (and perhaps sinfully aware of it). I am trying to walk purely before God and the Law. Here’s this cutie, Mary. I am going to do this right: I am going to be betrothed, I am going to keep the situation between us pure, etc. And I might have a little pride about it as well. Mary comes to me, eyes red and puffy, obviously been crying and yet strangely determined and peaceful; resigned to a fate but quietly joyful. She explains what she knows. My reaction? Not compassion, not belief—but a determination to get myself out of this before I get a bad reputation. My compassion extends to the point of not making a scene but not standing by Mary either—let her deal with this on her own. Fortunately, I dream. And, like Samuel did hundreds of years earlier I respond “Yes, Lord?” I listen, I obey in Faith, and I go forward to be the father of the Savior of the World.
Father God, how often do I respond in self-righteousness instead of Your righteousness? Joseph seemed to have and was oblivious to it until You intervened. I want my heart to be soft and my ears attuned to hear Your Whisper so that I can do what You want me to. I may not have the Savior of the World to attend to but You have appointed me to do things that I do not want to miss on….I need to hear You. Open the eyes of my Heart, Open the ears of my Heart. Amen.