03 – Joseph’s Vision
Where: Nazareth, Galilee
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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, 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 following 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 decided to marry her immediately and then to send her away until the baby was born. So the marriage was quickly arranged, celebrated, and they spent the wedding night together, but did not have sex.
After the marriage, Mary would leave to visit her relative Elizabeth (who was supposed to be pregnant through the action of the Holy Spirit) in order to be with Elizabeth for her pregnancy (this provided a “reason” for her sudden departure).
Then, as Elizabeth approached the time of birth and things began to get more hectic in the household, Mary would leave. Mary would go to live with Joseph’s family until the baby was born (thus eliminating any precise calculation back in Nazareth as to the timing of the conception).
Joseph would plan to join Mary for Passover in March, around the time when she should deliver.
Mary immediately prepared to leave, and her escort was arranged.
No questions have been asked yet.