Try to imagine the situation of Joseph. He is about to marry the woman he loves then he has found out that she is pregnant and he is sure that he is not the father. If the situation leaks to other people, they would accuse Mary of committing adultery and they could stone her to death. Following the Jewish custom, their betrothal vows bind them both and only a writ of divorce can set either of them free. It could have been a very painful experience. What will he do? Perhaps, any normal man would be enraged thinking that his fiancée has been unfaithful. However, in Matthew’s account, Joseph has decided in his heart to save Mary’s honor by releasing her from her vow by secretly filing a divorce.
Suddenly, an angel appears to him in a dream and tells him that the baby Mary bears in her womb is of the Holy Spirit; that she will give birth to the long-expected Messiah. It could have been the biggest shock of his life. He, being an ordinary Jewish carpenter would have the great task of taking care of the Savior child as his foster father.
Awaking from sleep, he has shown an extra-ordinary step in faith. He has done as the angel has bid him. He has modeled the kind of obedience a true believer ought to show. He has done exactly what God has told him to do: he took Mary to be his wife.
Joseph is a model of obedience for all Christians today. It is unconditional and without any hesitation. He has not even asked any question. He has received the message from the angel of the Lord in faith and has acted bravely, fully trusting the wisdom of God’s purpose.
However, how was he able to act with such a level of selfless obedience? Where did he draw his strength to trust and obey?
Image borrowed from: iamthewordthecomforter.blogspot.com