Our Christmas story now switches to the book of Matthew for more details about Mary’s engagement to Joseph. The author Matthew was originally a tax collector (considered to be one of the lowest class of sinners in those days). Yet after Jesus dines with him and his rebellious friends in his home (also considered improper to associate with such sinners), Matthew gives up everything to follow Jesus and becomes one of his twelve disciples.
In the beginning of the book, Matthew lists the genealogy from Abraham to King David, and from David to the Babylonian exile, and from the exile to Joseph, the husband of Mary. Joseph was a legal heir to the throne through King David’s son Solomon but neither he or his children could be the physical heir because of his ancestor Jehoiakim’s curse from God, which states that none of Jehoiakim’s descendants would ever sit on the throne. In addition, Joseph is now told the news that Mary is carrying a holy child. Joseph’s story is no small detail.
We are not told exactly how Mary told Joseph (can you imagine that conversation?), but Matthew does give us an account.
“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. 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.”
Joseph could have had Mary stoned, and saved his own reputation by making a public example of her. Joseph was a carpenter by trade, and this might possibly have affected his business too. Mary, knowing the possibilities that awaited her, still continued on. Joseph must have been a man of great restraint, mercy and humility. He was chosen by God to be Jesus’ earthly father – to provide for him and protect him. That was no insignificant thing.
I pray that you will reach out to our Heavenly Father, who shows us the way for mercy, love and unending forgiveness.
* Merry Christmas *