Everyone loves a scandal and that is why we have the scandalous things all through the news and many times when there are real things that are affecting us and we hear little about them. You can hear all about the various Hollywood stars and their exploits on various televisions new shows – why – because we love scandals. The story of Joseph is a story of a scandal at the outset. It would be a real scandalous story if it were happening today just as it was a scandalous story back then.
Here is a scandal Matthew 1:18-19: 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.
It is a scandal that you have I am sure heard before – Mary was pregnant and Joseph was not the father and to go even further Mary was saying the father was God. Matthew tells us quite plainly and without any detail that Mary was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. Matthew gives us the straight truth and that is the virginal conception and birth of Jesus. Understand this, the virgin birth was difficult for people to believe back then and it is difficult for people to believe now. There are people today who deny that Jesus was conceived by Mary and the Holy Spirit.
Speaking of scandal, the enemies of Jesus knew there were scandalous circumstances surrounding His parents and make reference to it in passages like John 8:19 which says, So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” Lies spread that Mary had become pregnant from a Roman soldier. I have a Pastor friend whose father believed that Mary got pregnant to a Roman soldier – that story is still around to this very day. Here, Matthew sets the story straight regarding Mary and the birth – both for then and now with the truth which was she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. We can trust the Word of God and know that Jesus’ Holy Spirit fathered Him.
So in the middle of this scandal Joseph is going to just point out that he is not the father and make sure there is no blame on him at all and have a big news conference pointing out all of Mary’s flaws and tell everyone that his going to divorce her. Not at all – we see that the Bible says he is A just man, and not wanting to make her a public example: Considering it impossible to go through with marriage to someone who has been unfaithful to him, Joseph makes what we would say would be the “logical” decision to seek a quiet divorce. He wants to put her away secretly: which is breaking an engagement by divorce. Keep in mind that betrothal or in other words, engagement was binding in Jewish culture, and one needed a divorce to break an engagement. We see that the Bible says, Joseph her husband, which shows us that even though they were not formally married at this point, Joseph legally at the time was still considered Mary’s husband by engagement.
What I want you to see here is that even in the middle of the scandal Joseph is doing what is right. Imagine at this point how hard this all would have been on Joseph, He wants to do the right thing. He was not about to disgrace Mary at all. Even though it appears to the human eye at this point that Mary was unfaithful to him, he does not want to disgrace her. He wants to do the right thing!
What about you, do you work to do what is right even when it is hard? Even with it is scandalous?
What do you think about this?