Thoughts Story 3

* Joseph showed considerable faith to choose to continue with the engagement. He also was a man of faith.

1: An alternative possibility:

In mid-July of 6 BC, Joseph, a skilled worker in Nazareth, learned that his “wife-to-be” was pregnant. How dare she? She had seemed to be such a good girl. Mary had told him that she had been visited by an angel and had not had sex. ‘Yea, right,’ he thought. ‘This really puts me in an awkward position. There will be talk that I could not wait, or that she had a lover.’

Joseph saw only two choices. He could bring her in front of the religious authorities, where they would make a public example of her. Or he could issue a “writ of divorce”, given to her in front of two witnesses, and quietly end the engagement. Either way justice would be served (the law would be obeyed).

After weighing the consequences, and in order not to hurt her more than was necessary, Joseph decided to quietly divorce her by giving her a writ. But that night Joseph had a dream. In the dream he received a message from the Lord. ‘The child is the result of the movement of the Holy Spirit. The child will be a boy, and you shall name him Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus). You need not take her to the authorities nor divorce her. There is an alternative. You should strongly consider follow the movement of God’s Spirit and take her as your wife and be his father. Remember the prophecy of Isaiah and be assured that this boy is special.

When Joseph woke up he neither reported Mary nor divorced her. Instead, Joseph and Mary had a long talk. They decided that Mary would leave for a time. They agreed that she should visit Elizabeth (who was supposed to be pregnant through the action of the Holy Spirit. This provided a “reason” for her sudden departure). Then, as Elizabeth approached the time of birth, in about six months, and things began to get more hectic in the household, Mary would leave. Mary would then return to Nazareth before the early rains began [but since they were not married, Joseph would have to live with the rumor that he had sex with her before she left, and Mary would have to face the scorn and accusations that she was a “loose woman”. But since the law was primarily concerned with adultry she would not face any legal penalities]. They would then announce the wedding plans.

So Mary immediately prepared to leave, and her escort was arranged.

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