Matthew 1:18-21 (NLT)
18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. 20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
This is the beginning of the story of the birth of Jesus. Mary was espoused to Joseph when she conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit. Being a good man Joseph was going to quietly send Mary away so she would not be humiliated or stoned as they would in those days for such a sin. But God appeared to Joseph and told him to go through with the marriage for a son would be born that would be The Savior of the world.
Can you imagine the turmoil Joseph must have felt when he found out Mary was pregnant? We are talking about a time in history where the woman would have been considered a harlot and stoned to death had Joseph rejected her. This was Joseph’s bride to be. This was the woman he was contracted to marry. He had faith and trust in Mary and suddenly that faith and trust were being called into question. Most of the religious people would have been ready to punish Mary. They would have spoken out about her pregnancy, and called her morality into question. And Joseph being one to follow the law could have easily done the same. But Joseph was willing to forgive, have mercy and quietly send Mary away where she would be safe. Joseph had taken the matter as far as he could in his own mind. Then God intervened and spoke to Joseph. Because Joseph had his heart open to doing the right thing, God was able to work in Joseph’s life and direct him on a path to follow. God reminded Joseph he was a descendant of David and gave him hope in a son who would save the people from their sins. Jesus became the “son of a carpenter” and not the son of a harlot because Joseph was willing to listen to God.