This is how the birth of Jesus came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. Matthew 1:18-19
I know so little about Joseph. He’s only mentioned in the birth and childhood stories of Jesus. He was named after a famous patriarch, but this Joseph was merely a carpenter who lived in the small town of Nazareth. His ancestors were from Bethlehem. Therefore when Caesar called for a census, Joseph had to take his pregnant wife and return to Bethlehem.
The most important thing I know about Joseph is that when the time called for it, he displayed great faith and grace. He found out that his fiancée’ was pregnant. Granted, Mary had the benefit of an angel to help explain her unique conception, but Joseph hadn’t been visited yet. All he had was Mary’s word. Can you imagine that talk? “Joseph, I need to talk to you. An angel told me I would get pregnant by an act of God and that I’ll carry the savior of the world.” Why would Joseph even believe her? Why did he change his initial plan to break off the relationship? What would you have done?
This Christmas think of Joseph. Think of him looking into Mary’s eyes, hearing her shocking news, knowing in his heart of hearts it’s true, and having the courage to act on that faith even though he probably had doubts. As crazy as it seemed, he believed it. As much as the idea goes against all logic and science, Joseph knew it was possible with God. Even as risky as it was to stay with Mary and be branded by others as the dupe of an immoral woman, Joseph decided to take that leap of faith.
That’s true faith in action. It wasn’t just that he trusted Mary. Joseph trusted that God could, that God might, and that God would do what He promised.
I want to share Joseph’s courage and iron-strong faith to believe that at the birth of Jesus, God really did enter this world and is still working powerfully in it.