This month's Series is The Gospel According to Matthew. Here is the summary from Matthew 1:1-17...
Matthew clearly showed Jesus was a continuation of the lineage of several prominent people in the Old Testament.
Joseph was a stand-in for God. We will see this in today's post...
"18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit."
("betrothed" is Strong's #3423 mnesteuo - "to give a souvenir")
(After the genealogy that established Jesus' Jewish heritage in the first seventeen verses, Matthew specifically explained the birth of Jesus. The timing was EVERYTHING in this verse.)
(Matthew explained that Mary and Joseph were married (through exchange of tokens), but had not consummated the marriage. Matthew SPECIFICALLY stated that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit (which is the Spirit of God) BEGAT Jesus. This occurred ONLY after Mary and Joseph were married. So Joseph was occupying an office on behalf of God. If God had gotten Mary pregnant BEFORE Joseph became Mary's husband, it would make Mary married to God through the Holy Spirit. Modeling God's Wills deals with God's Doctrine of Marriage...and we can see from this one verse that it was COMPLETELY different than today's man-made doctrine of marriage!)
"19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily."
(Joseph was SPECIFICALLY called Mary's husband. Joseph was stated to be a righteous man. In other versions he was stated to be a just man. Joseph occupied the office for God because he was recognized by God as righteous and just! The fact that Joseph did not want to make a public example is why he wanted to put her away privately. Some commentaries state this was the practice. ACTUALLY, putting away was done publicly to make sure the person was put out of community.)
(Again, Modeling God's Wills deals extensively with God's Doctrine of Divorce and Putting Away...and we can see from this one verse it was COMPLETELY different than today's man-made doctrine of divorce! WOW! Two verses in the FIRST chapter of the NEW TESTAMENT, and we already see that the Traditional Church is NOT following God's Doctrines on Marriage, Divorce, and Putting Away!)
(As we all know from Modeling God's Wills, Joseph was going to put her away, not divorce her. He wanted to remove her from community, which was right and just to do. He did not have sex with her because he was righteous and just. He would not divorce her because in his eyes she must be still married to someone else, otherwise she would have a bill of divorcement.)
(Perhaps, one of the reasons God chose Joseph was because he would do this privately. Someone who would do this publicly may have done it immediately. Joseph doing this privately allowed God time to do what was in the next verse...)
"20 But when he thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit."
(Joseph must have been a THINKING (cortex) man who was lead by the Spirit. If he had reacted by his flesh (amygdala), he would have made this public. It was AWESOME how the angel appeared in a dream WHILE Joesph was thinking. God intervened (through the angel) quickly because God knew Joseph was right and just and would have put Mary away (which would have been right in ANY OTHER marriage).)
"21 And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us."
(Notice, Joseph was thinking on these things when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. There are three types of dreams: rehearsal, understanding/closure, and prophetic. Clearly this was prophetic. In fact, the angel quoted the sign from Isaiah 7 that Joseph's ancestor Ahaz refused to ask God for!)
(Joseph was told the child will be a boy and was told what to name Him. The name JESUS was Yeshuia in Hebrew which meant SALVATION. Joseph was told not to fear from taking Mary as wife BECAUSE that which was conceived was of the Holy Spirit! Taking Mary as wife meant DON'T PUT HER AWAY.)
"24 And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took unto him his wife;
25 and knew her not till she had brought forth a son: and he called his name JESUS."
(The chapter ended with Joseph NOT PUTTING HER AWAY and NOT consummating the marriage until the child was born AND they named Him JESUS.)
Joseph was a right and just man who fulifilled the office of Jesus' earthly father through his decision on how to handle Mary AND how God responded to Joseph through Angels!