Would I have acted as Joseph did?

We’re so familiar with the Christmas story that it’s easy to overlook an essential part of that miracle- Joseph’s amazing response to confusing and embarrassing circumstances.

To summarize, the key parts of the story as told in Matt.1:

  • After his fiancée Mary becomes pregnant, Joseph’s first reaction is to avoid embarrassing her publicly. V. 19
  • Rather than accusing her, or raging at her apparent unfaithfulness, he decides to separate from her quietly. V. 19
  • When told by an angel that the child is from the Holy Spirit, he does exactly what the angel commanded, he took her home to be his wife. V. 24
  • Even then, he held off from sex with her until the baby was born. V. 25

I’m not certain that, if the same kind of circumstances happened to me, I would have responded as nobly as Joseph did. In fact, I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t have.

Joseph was:

  • Humble– he accepted the apparent unfaithfulness of his fiancée
  • Loving– his response was to have her best interests in mind, even before he understood the whole story
  • Trusting– he believed what the Lord led him to do, though it probably seemed unbelievably illogical
  • Patient– he waited for understanding to sink in; he let the whole story unfold before jumping to conclusions

We’re familiar with the rest of the Christmas miracle story. In celebrating Jesus’ birth let’s not lose site of the miraculous behavior of this man.

When we face embarrassment, hurt or confusion, may we respond with the same qualities Joseph showed.