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Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly (v.19).
The opening line of the 1984 song “Holding Out for a Hero” asks, “Where have all the good men gone?” That’s a fair question in a world that has seen more than its share of passive or violent males. Fortunately, “good men” are not as rare as some think. Consider Joseph, the husband of Mary and stepfather of Jesus. What he did after learning that his bride-to-be was pregnant was truly admirable.
At first, Joseph didn’t buy Mary’s explanation. I can’t blame him. Being told that your virgin fiancée was pregnant with God’s child would be enough to stun anyone. After hearing Mary’s explanation, I can imagine Joseph thinking, Come on, Mary. Is that the best you can do?
Even though Joseph had his doubts, the Bible tells us he was a “good man.” He could have made a huge scene and publicly disgraced Mary. But instead of thinking only of himself, his initial thought was to protect her by divorcing her “quietly” (Matthew 1:19).
While Joseph was thinking things over, an angel told him in a dream that Mary’s story, as far-fetched as it sounded, was true. The baby in her womb was truly the promised Savior of the world (vv.20-21)! And again, at great risk to his own reputation, Joseph intervened on Mary’s behalf and married her. Keep in mind that he was the only one in town— besides Mary—who knewthat he wasn’t the father, but he was willing to take the heat for her sake (v.24).
It was a courageous and selfless move on Joseph’s part. And it shows that men are at their best when they intercede on behalf of others. Imitating the selfless Savior, Jesus, is being a true man.
Lord, may more men rise up and be a Joseph. Help them see what You’ve called them to be.
Read Proverbs 30:18 to see the type of love that made Solomon marvel.
Where is God calling you to step up for the good of someone else? Why is being selfless for the cause of Christ such a beautiful thing?
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