Welcome to Day 3 in our third and final week of our study ‘He Came from Heaven to Earth’.
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And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
Young Mary was betrothed to a man called Joseph. In Jewish custom, a bethroal was a legal promise to get married. It is like an engagement, but only legally.
Virginity signified purity. A virgin marrying meant that this young woman was pure. But someone who wasn’t a virgin was not pure. Any woman found not to be a virgin was considered and shame and disgrace to her family and would often than not be left without a chance of being married.
With all of the excitement surrounding her upcoming marriage, it must have come as such a shock to her that she would become pregnant out of wedlock.
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
It was an impossibility for her to be pregnancy and a virgin. Yet that thing that was impossible in the human realm, was possible with God.
It must have been such a test of faith for Mary. “What will people say about me? What will Joseph do? Will he divorce me and make me a shame and a disgrace? Will I be forever left to hang my head in shame?”
But, this young girl, whom scholars say was between 10-14 years old, believed and accepted the word of the angel Gabriel. Such tremendous faith. She weighed her reputation and future and chose to suffer all of this to be the mother of of Lord.
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.
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.
But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been [conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife,
but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
Joseph had decided to marry Mary. To his shock, he found out that she was pregnant. Seems like either she had told him about what the angel had said, or some time had passed for her to begin to show signs of being pregnant.
Either way, he found out and decided that he couldn’t marry her. But, he was a good man and wanted to save her and her family from shame, so he decided to secretly divorce her.
But , the angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him all that was happening with Mary.
Sometimes we forget that these are real people who experienced these things. Can you imagine the pressure that Joseph endured.
“Why are you still going to marry her?” “She is pregnant with someone else’s child and you still want to marry her?” “She cheated on you while you were engaged. Who says she wouldn’t do it again?”
Yet, in faith Joseph listened and obeyed the command of God.
To be Mary and Joseph in this situation took tremendous faith in God. They both weighed the cost to themselves and decided that they would accept what Hod had called them to do.
Sometimes we weigh the cost of serving God and think that it is too high a price to leave this world to follow God, to give up money and reputation. Yet, Mary and Joseph thought of nothing as more important than following the will of God.