Jesus before he was born on earth – Part Three

Matthew 1:18 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.19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 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.21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

We must remember that Joseph had no way of knowing it was the Holy Spirit who had made Mary pregnant. Mary had received a message from the Lord, via an angel before she fell pregnant with Jesus (see Luke 1:28). So she anticipated the pregnancy. However, how do you explain to your husband to be that you will soon be pregnant with God’s baby? It is not something someone is going to believe. So perhaps she said nothing, or perhaps she told Joseph and he thought she was using this to cover up some other activity. But look at Joseph’s reaction – he was faithful to the law and did not want to publicly disgrace her. Joseph was a religious man – a man of integrity and goodness. He did not understand initially that Mary was expecting a child by the Holy Spirit. How can anyone understand that? It may sound easy when you read it now in  hindsight, but if this was happening to you in real time, you would never believe it!

From the time of his conception, Jesus already caused controversy. Joseph was thinking about divorcing Mary, when the angel appears to him in a dream. The greatest act of human history was busy playing out in the lives of two young Jewish people. A young Mary (some people estimate she was about 14) and a young man Joseph, parents to the Son of God. They were entrusted with the physical upbringing of Jesus, but we have been entrusted with the spiritual force that lives within us by the Holy Spirit. Let us also do what is right in the sight of the Lord.