18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Today’s Devotional Reading
Joseph is one of the many people in history who thought his life was going in one direction, and then one moment changed absolutely everything for him.
This has probably happened to you too, hasn’t it? In Joseph’s day, finding out that the woman betrothed to be your wife was pregnant, especially if you are not the father, typically resulted in extreme social ostracization and in many cases death to the adulterous woman (see John 7:53-8:11 for proof). So when Joseph heard that Mary was pregnant, this was the type of news that shatters you to your core, the type of news you know is going to leave you changed forever.
We are told that Joseph is a righteous man, and we see that he truly was when his concern immediately becomes how to get Mary off the hook in the most gracious way possible.This was truly an unusual act of grace at the time, and you can see why God chooses Joseph to be such an important earthly influence on Jesus.
Jesus lived that same way in His earthly life, offering grace to people who in no way deserved it. In fact, you and I are recipients of that grace.
As you go out into your day, how can you be more like Joseph? Who is in your life right now that you have every right to justly condemn for the way they have treated you and others, but instead you offer them grace that they do not deserve?
That is what gospel living looks like at it’s core. God gave you grace that you don’t deserve, how can you not offer grace to others?