God rightly chose Joseph, who listened to the angel, honoured God’s plan, and loved Jesus as the Son of God. I also love that Joseph had a heart and mind of grace before the angel spoke to him. In his love for her, he was committed to this infidel, Mary. What grace…
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah. 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. 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. 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.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
We start with the listing of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Matthew is careful to position Jesus as the son of David and Abraham to indicate to us that Jesus is the next chapter in God’s amazing story of promise to his people. Notice that they have been waiting for the rescue and reconciliation of God for fourteen generations since the exile. When the exile was over, the promise of the return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city was a promise of restoration. It hearkened back to his saying to Israel before, “If you will just kneel down before me in humility and surrender to me, I will heal your land. I will bring restoration,” (2Chronicles 7:14).
But God’s people kept sinning against him. That’s what we do. Even though we don’t want to, we have a hard time stopping ourselves. It’s ingrained in us. It’s in our natures. And so God continued to promise his rescue, yet Israel kept pushing him away. Again, how many times do we push back and away the rescue of God in our lives? For fourteen generations they waited.
And then Joseph, who was pledged to marry Mary, found out that she was with child. Not his. Oh no. It’s another example of the sin of mankind – infidelity. He knew what he could do under the law of Moses. He knew his next step. But Joseph did not want to publicly disgrace Mary, and he was going to put her away quietly. Her exile, as it happened, would be somewhat quiet and gracious.
I love that Joseph had a heart and mind of grace before the angel spoke to him. In his own heart of love for Mary, he was committed to her saving face. He was committed to this for the infidel, Mary. What grace.
I firmly believe Joseph was chosen by God as much as Mary was. God didn’t choose a hard-hearted man to father Jesus. He chose a gracious man who would need to know how to handle the ongoing insults and innuendo about his illegitimate child. Joseph was the man for the job.
Mary would not be exiled. No. Because the rescue of God is the rescue of Mary. The rescue of God is the One who removes the need to ever be exiled. The angel spoke of God’s rescue to Joseph in his dream and he obeyed God
I’m not sure if I would have. I’m not sure I’m as much of a gracious man as Joseph. Would you? We often want more grace than we can dish. Again, it’s human nature. And God rightly chose Joseph, who listened to the angel, honoured God’s plan, and loved Jesus as the Son of God.
The world had waited long enough. God’s rescue was on his way…