#4142 – Joseph’s Example

Good morning people who honour God and honour people

I have just seen something in the life of Joseph, Jesus’ step-father, which is an incredible example to every one of us today.

Matthew 1:18-19 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with Child 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 (break off the engagement). 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.”

Now Joseph didn’t hear the angel when he came to Mary and told her she would conceive a son by the Holy Spirit. He was taking Mary at her word, but I would have to guess that even the most godly of us would struggle if our fiancé came to us and told us she was pregnant but had not slept with a man; she was pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, and in light of this scripture mentioning that the angel confirmed it was true after the event, it’s fair to say there probably was an element of doubt or at least uncertainty in Joseph about the validity of Mary’s claim.

It’s in this context I want to mention Joseph’s example to us. He was considering what he should do with his fiancé (remember this was before the angel confirmed the truth) who it appeared had committed sexual sin. His decision in this seemingly devastating situation was to deal with it quietly and in a way that was honouring of Mary. When he was in turmoil, he treated others with respect.

How do we deal with the tough issues of life? How do we treat people that have done, or appear to have done the wrong thing to us and others?

It’s a challenging thought and one I pray we all consider today. May we be as honourable as Joseph and follow his example.

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