This year we are covering the four Gospel Accounts together in chronological order.
Last month, we looked at John 1:1-5, Matthew 1:1-15, and Luke 1:1-79 which covered the events prior to Jesus' conception.
This month, we will cover the events from Jesus' conception through childhood.
"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")
(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.)
(According to the Bible, the Marriage Covenant is begun by one of three ways:
1. exchange of tokens
2. exchange of vows
3. covenantal sexual intercourse
According to the Bible, the Marriage Covenant is completed ("cut") by covenantal sexual intercourse. Today, we have a man-made doctrine of Marriage that is according to the government and church...and has only existed for around 250 years! If you have any questions concerning the Biblical Doctrine of Marriage, begin at the following link: Doctrine of Marriage.)
(Mary and Joseph were married through exchange of tokens, however, they had not completed their Marriage Covenant.)
"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! Remember, Elisabeth and Zacharias (John the Baptist's parents) were also both stated as being righteous.)
(The fact that Joseph did not want to make a public example was 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.)
(According to the Bible, Divorce was the ending of the Marriage Covenant between two believers...with both believers remaining in the greater community and able to marry again. According to the Bible, Putting Away was the ending of the Marriage Covenant between a believer and an unbeliever...with the unbeliever being put out of community and unable to marry again within community.)
(Joseph was going to put Mary 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. If you want more details on Joseph and Mary relative to these verses, click the following link: Joseph and Mary.)
(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...)
The circumstances surrounding Jesus' birth were: Joseph and Mary were married through an exchange of tokens but had not yet completed their Marriage Covenant. Joseph found out Mary was pregnant and chose to put her away privately...