As we draw closer to the holiday season, I’m sure our minds are all reflecting on Christmas and other festive related affairs. Almost every Christmas story starts with an emphasis on Mary, the mother of Jesus and how she was conceived by the Holy Spirit and so on but as I read the scripture my attention was drawn towards a ‘word’ that was used to describe Joseph.
We read in Matthew 1:18, 19
“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 a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.”
Righteous! We often link that word to people who attend church regularly, a good father, faithful employee, or perhaps someone who lives a fairly ‘good’ and ‘decent’ life. But here is something that I got to learn more from the scriptures.
Joseph did not want others to know that Mary, who was betrothed to him was pregnant and not by him. Betrothals or marriage engagements in those ancient times were binding and could only be terminated by an official divorce decree. And so Joseph was thinking of divorcing Mary silently. According to the law, this was seen equivalent to adultery and Mary could have been stoned to death, if not for the intervention of the Holy Spirit.
The reality is that we live in a day and age where people’s faults are highlighted and put under the spot light so much that it almost destroys the person. It can strangle the life out of someone. Gossip, exaggerations are so common. The Bible clearly denounces such behavior. “He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone….” By judging others, we declare ourselves self-righteous! Joseph was a righteous man and so he did not want Mary to be insulted before public. Let the life of Joseph be an example for us to follow. Let us strive not to expose others to public disgrace by our words or deeds, but focus on re-examining our lives and living righteous before God’s eyes.
Later, we read in Matthew 1:20,
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.
‘After he had considered this’ … God gave him a divine revelation – a revelation about the birth of the Savior of all mankind. When we act righteously, it touches the heart of God and God reveals His plans for us at the right time.
Acts of righteousness leads to divine revelation
Let us strive for more righteousness in our lives and in turn receive revelations from God for His glory!
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, Be acceptable in Thy sight O Lord”