18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ
was on this wise: When as his
mother Mary was espoused to Joseph,
before they came together, she was
found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a
just man, and not willing to make her
a publick example, was minded to
put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these
things, behold, the angel of the Lord
appeared unto him in a dream,
saying, Joseph, thou son of David,
fear not to take unto thee Mary thy
wife: for that which is conceived in
her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son,
and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from
22 Now all this was done, that it
might be fulfilled which was spoken
of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with
child, and shall bring forth a son, and
they shall call his name Emmanuel,
which being interpreted is, God with
My focus today, isn’t going to be on the verse that most people would assume I would focus on, in this passage. I want you to know that I’m not trying to disregard the sacredness of the verses about Christ and His birth, and Mary. But today I want to focus on Joseph, and his experience in Christ’s birth.
I’m going to focus on verse 19, so bear with me while I get this out! This verse stuck out to me the most, 1) because I didn’t really understand it and 2) because it explains Joseph’s feelings the most. After finding out, that Mary was to be the mother of Jesus Christ, I think he became afraid. I get the feeling that he panicked and and didn’t feel like he could fulfill this role as a parent of Jesus or that he could support Mary in giving birth to the Lord.
The Bible dictionary says that, in verse 19, the word ‘was’ means that Joseph ‘desired to release or divorce her secretly.’ The word ‘privily’ also means in secret (I had to look that up too!) It sounds really bad, and it’s heartbreaking to know that Joseph secretly desired to end his marriage with Mary because of this news, but I wonder if it was so much more than that.
I wonder if, like I mentioned above, he was afraid. I wonder if he felt he was qualified for this responsibility in his life, or why the Lord would entrust in him, something so sacred and world/life-changing! It’s a big deal, knowing your wife is about to bear a child that is coming to save every soul. I think I would have a hard time as well.
And then, in verse 20, the fear I believe he must be feeling, is thrown out by the comfort of the Lord. An angel appears to him, telling him to ‘fear not’ because of what the angel is telling him, that is going to happen, is good and of the Holy Ghost. That what he is telling Joseph is true, righteous and meant just for him.
I feel so much peace and strength from these verses. And at times, have felt like Joseph in many different areas in my life. I have had so many experiences where I felt that the Lord could have chosen someone better, and much more qualified for the job. I truly felt afraid and that I wasn’t worthy or ready to take on this responsibility.
I can’t speak for myself only, as I know many other people have felt the same as Joseph and I. Worried, and not ready so much that we just want to throw in the towel and call it quits. That we’re doing such a horrible job, the Lord can’t possibly think we can go on any longer.
Stay with it sisters. Stay with the Lord. Trust Him, and ‘fear not.’ The Lord knows what he is doing, and He knows who He is calling to build His Kingdom.
“We don’t choose what we will do for God; He invites us to join Him where He wants to involve us.” —Henry T. Blackaby