Being a “just man” is the first description of Joseph as found in Matthew 1:19. This description was written just following Joseph’s discovery that Mary was with child. This was not a good situation, but Joseph’s initial response to Mary was uncommon for that day and life–giving in attitude and intention.
While he must have been deeply shaken by this news, he chose not to expose her to public disgrace. He would deal with this matter in private.
For Mary, this must have been a tremendous relief; even though Joseph was intending to divorce her quietly, he was clearly showing his love for her. His heart was righteous before the Lord, but he was confused and unsettled.
Though divorce was Joseph’s intention, the Lord saw this and sent an Angel to communicate to Joseph, “do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife. What is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
What we read next is that Joseph obeyed the Lord and never doubted his role in caring for Mary. When this miracle baby was born, he carried out his instruction and named him Jesus.
What are the life giving parts to this abbreviated story that are important for us to apply to our lives.
- Being close to the Lord; this gives us His perspective on tough issues.
- Putting pride and self aside to consider the well–being of another.
- Follow the Lord humbly, regardless of personal cost.
- Do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
- Act justly towards others, regardless of how things appear.
Each of these seem to be part of Joseph’s character. Joseph set a great model for us as to what a life–giving person lives like. Just imagine what this meant to Mary. God knew what was needed and He empowered Joseph to meet Mary’s needs at this very pivotal moment in history.
Let’s pray that we can grow in these life–giving characteristics just like Joseph. If we do, just imagine the impact on those we come in contact with in our daily going.