“This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”… When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.” Matthew 1:18-21…24
Joseph had life sorted. He had his carpentry business. He had a fiancé. Things were looking good for him. He was going to get settled down and have a happy family. Then Mary comes with earth shattering news.
She was pregnant. Which would have been shameful enough for the couple growing up in the strictly religious Jewish state. But even worse he wasn’t the dad. He knew he hadn’t slept with her. So not only was his future wife pregnant but she had been unfaithful too. Joseph’s head would likely have started to spin as Mary told him. And as she said that it would be God’s Son and the Holy Spirit had enabled her to conceive Joseph would have looked at her with disbelief. Joseph’s happy plans for the future had just crumbled in an instant.
But then an angel comes to him as well and brings a message that what Mary has told him is true. She hasn’t been unfaithful. The baby is indeed the Son of God. He is the Saviour they have been waiting for. He will be the serpent crusher! And so Joseph did as the angel commanded. He took Mary as his wife and raised Jesus as his adopted son.
Joseph took a huge risk here. The law demanded that adulterous women be stoned. Later in Jesus’ life he meets a woman caught in adultery who the religious leaders want to kill. Mary’s life was at risk. Her reputation was at risk. Joseph acts in faith and saves her life, risking his own reputation to save his bride to be. Joseph could have disowned her. He could have dismissed her as a crazy unfaithful liar. But Joseph has faith. He trusts that this is God at work. Though there is great risk he trusts God’s plan. Though it wrecks his comfortable plans and will destroy his reputation he has faith that God knows what He is doing. He places complete faith in God’s plans. May we like Joseph trust God this Christmas and always, trusting God’s plans when they don’t make sense, risking our reputation for the sake of the gospel. May we allow heaven to touch earth through how we place faith in the plans of God.