Last time, we looked at Gabriel’s visitation to Mary. We pondered the reality of scandal that God’s extension of grace brought to Mary. There is one more person who these events challenged: Joseph.
You find the story in Matthew 1:18-25.
We do not know if Mary told Joseph about the word from Gabriel but if she did, Joseph didn’t believe it.
When Joseph became aware of Mary’s pregnancy, he decided to divorce Mary. The word delivered by Gabriel seemed too fantastic to believe. Can you imagine what was going through Joseph’s mind?
His wife betrayed him. Unless what she told him was true? How could it be! The story she did tell just makes things worse. Why doesn’t she just be honest instead of coming up with some crazy story that implicates God Himself in this. The betrayal isn’t just a physical and relational one but a spiritual one too.
If this story gets out in town, no telling what will happen.
In spite of his frustration, Joseph is a “just” man. The word “just” means godly in behavior but also in attitude. Joseph doesn’t want to take this to the religious authorities. If he does, Mary will not simply be liable for the adultery – which carries the death penalty but liable as a blasphemer as well for saying she carries God’s Son.
The “kind” thing would be to divorce her privately.
As Joseph thinks on this, he has a dream. In the dream, an angel tells him that what Mary has said is true. He reminds Joseph that the Word says a virgin will bear the Son of God.
Would you believe this? Would your parents believe you or would they press you to divorce?
Could you believe that God chose you and your wife to bear the Son of God? Why not a king or rich man or a priest? Could you believe the incredible nature of His choice?
Joseph chose to believe in spite of all these questions.
What type of faith does it take to believe something like this?
Can you believe for what God seeks to do in your life? If you do, get ready for a little “scandal” to be mixed in with the fulfillment!
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 9:33
A little “scandal” but no shame. I’ll take that any day to be used by God!