Luke records Mary’s story. This makes perfect sense because he was a physician. He was fascinated by the miraculous birth. Matthew, or Levi as he is also called, records Joseph’s story. Matthew was a tax collector, a publican. He was concerned with helping others connect the dots to see Jesus as the Promised Messiah. He was a Jew appealing to his countrymen to see Jesus for who He really was: Not a good man, but as the Long expected Savior.
Matthew 1:18-25 and Matthew 2:12-21
Joseph is of the house of David just like Mary. He is a good man: gentle, respectful, kind, considerate, honorable, and a man of faith. He is legally married to a young maid and is in the process of preparing their home. Until he gets his house ready, he cannot go get his bride to bring her home and before God and man, consummate the union.
Mary has returned from cousin Elizabeth’s and shared her experience. Pregnant by a light, going to have a son, told to call this baby Jesus. Who on earth would believe this? She is visibly pregnant. What is a man to do? Joseph has the first of three encounters with an angel as he sleeps. Mary saw her angel and was wide awake. Joseph is visited in his dreams. The first dream occurs as Joseph is trying to figure out how to dissolve the marriage without getting Mary stoned to death. He is good and kind but he has his pride and it is wounded.
The angel gives Joseph four, not one but FOUR confirmations Mary is telling him the truth:
- She is pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
- She will have a son and His name is to be JESUS
- This child will be the Savior of the World
- The angel quotes Isaiah’s prophecy of a virgin shall conceive…..
This is exactly what Mary told him as she recounted her experience. (Luke 1:28-38)
Joseph realizes he has been asked by God Himself to watch over His Son and the mother of His Son, this woman Joseph loves. Joseph gets up in the middle of the night and goes to get Mary and take her home. His protection of her begins IMMEDIATELY! He covers her “shame” in the eyes of the law by claiming this child as his very own. Going in the middle of the night to get your bride was not unusual in Jewish culture! (Matthew 25:1-13, Luke 12:35-38)
Joseph is visited a second time as Herod prepares to have all baby boys under the age of two in Bethlehem killed because he will tolerate not even a baby “king.” Joseph is directed by God through the visitation of the angel in his dreams to get up again, in the middle of the night and go immediately under the cover of darkness to Egypt.
In Joseph’s third dream, God once more directs him through the angel to return to Israel. Everything is to add weight to Joseph’s knowledge and understanding, this child is indeed the long expected Messiah. Jesus. Immanuel, God with us.
Do we need to take time out to dream? We are told, “AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS.” (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17 NAS) God was pouring out His Spirit on Joseph to direct the care and provide protection for His Son! We too are His Sons and Daughters and this is His Word to us. Do we not dream because we are so wrapped up and bogged down in fear and anxiety? I see NOTHING but calm and peace in Joseph. Do you find this as amazing as I do? One more time, Proverbs 3:5-6 should be our mantra: Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and HE SHALL DIRECT YOUR PATHS!
Jesus was not Joseph’s child and Mary could not have known all they would face. Neither do we. Whatever is going on in your life right now, could you ponder this lesson and lay down the burden of responsibility of how it will all work out? It really is not our job! Lay it down and rest. You just might see God. He is still on the throne! He is still dispatching angels to deliver His Word and direct us. We need only trust and obey!
Phil Vasser and Julianne Hough It Wasn’t His Child/Mary Did You Know
Treading in awe of such faith,