“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”
After a long genealogy presenting the idea that someone was the father of someone else, we now come to a passage that shows someone became someone without a human father.
Joseph is the central figure in Matthew’s genealogy in order to show the legal right of Jesus to Messiahship.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
In New Testament times, marriages were arranged by parents, who negotiated contracts after the initial commitment to marry. Even though the couple did not yet live together, they were considered to be married. There was a waiting period of one year to determine whether or not the woman was pregnant. After this period of “engagement” and a formal ceremony, the couple moved in together. The engagement period was much more binding on the couple than engagement is today.
Mary was in the one-year waiting period when she became pregnant. This must have shocked Joseph.
A birth without a human father is a complete break in the pattern of the genealogy of “this person begot that person.” The momentum of the genealogy completely changes.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
Joseph did not want to make Mary a “public example,” so he decided to divorce her “secretly.” He did not want a public scandal. Mary could have been stoned to death had he made it a public issue. He had the right of divorce since they had not come together sexually.
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
An angel appeared to Joseph, while he brooded over his situation, to inform him that the Holy Spirit caused Mary’s pregnancy. The Holy Spirit did not have sexual intercourse with Mary but was the agent of her conception.
Note the phrase “son of David.” Joseph was an ancestor of David. He was in the royal line of David. This puts Jesus in the royal line of David legally.
“Do not be afraid” shows that Joseph needed to make his decision independent from the emotion of fear. Emotion gets in the way of clear decision making.
We can translate the phrase “of the Holy Spirit” with “by the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit was the agent of Jesus’ conception. The Holy Spirit formed the embryo in the womb of Mary. This marks Jesus’ birth as unique.
A man who loves his wife protects her.
A man who loves his wife protects her in public. This is the nobility of the husband. A noble husband rises above circumstances to do what is right for his wife. He does not care what others think in this situation.
A noble person does not make a decision by fear but by objective understanding of the facts. He does not allow negative emotion to pressure his decision.
Showers, eternal truth is exciting. Thanks for your comment.
I like the principle in noble husbands protecting their wives. I this this applies to us all. We need to protect one another in love. Bearing with one another in speech, in deed, and thought. Example: It does no good to slander or speak someone’s secret. What do you think?
Tis true, Busingye
Joseph was very thoughtful wasn’t he? And why would the Bible give so much detail to the genealogy of Jesus Christ?
Thanks for your comment Andy. The reason for the genealogy in Matthew is that he wrote to the Jews (that is why there are more quotes from the Old Testament than other synoptic gospels). Matthew was trying to prove that Jesus was the Messiah by the genealogy and by the quotes.
I love commentry of this portion, the priciple, and its application too.
Jesus being put into a manger what is the meaning of that?
Mark, the purpose of Jesus becoming a human being was to die with a body in order to pay for the sins of the world. He was true humanity and true God. The reason He was placed in a manager is that was the only place available while His family traveled from north to south.
Grant thanks for your quick response one more question in Luke 2:12 it talks about a sign to the shepherds they will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths laying in a manger can u please explain this
Mark, the shepherds will determine the truth of the message they heard by a “sign.” Many children could have been born in Bethlehem at that time, but the uniqueness of being born in an animal trough was identifiable; it helped them determine that they found the right baby. A manager was an unusual bed for a baby. It was a confirmation of the sign.
Joseph’s noble attitude shows us that he was not chosen by chance to star in this sublime clipping of Jesus’ trajectory.