Following Jesus • 12 / Jesus’ Dad

Read This: Matthew 1:18-25

No wound is more painful than treachery — when the one you love violates your trust by secretly loving another. The pain of infidelity is searing and can lead to harm:

For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge (Proverbs 6:34).

Jesus’ dad tasted this pain. Today’s passage reveals that Joseph and Mary were “betrothed.” That means they were legally married, though not yet living together or enjoying physical intimacy. They were legally committed. The knot was tied.

Imagine, then, the blow to Joseph when he discovered Mary was pregnant. He had every right to publicly shame Mary for infidelity, or even to demand her death (Deuteronomy 22:23-27). Yet, we’re told Joseph was a righteous man. It was his way to do the right thing. Rather than nursing his wound or seeking vengeance, Joseph decided to protect Mary. Though custom required him to divorce her for unfaithfulness, he decided to do it quietly. He didn’t want her disgraced.

Joseph was a man who knew how to love.

Why didn’t God tell Joseph about Mary’s pregnancy ahead of time? Perhaps to demonstrate Joseph’s innocence, or to reveal his character. Whatever the reason, God quickly commissioned an angel to explain who the Father was and give the Child a name.

Which is interesting. Back then names held great significance. You were either named in honor of someone or to declare something about your life. So what would you expect God to name His Son?

Jesus means “God will save!”


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