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.
Thoughts: Joseph's dilemna was a dilemna of faith. Many of our big decisions in life are decisions of faith. Joseph may have thought that his only decision was divorce (Dt 24:1) or allowing her to be stoned (Dt. 22:22). It seemed like a lose-lose proposition. But Joseph was told this was not a natural problem with a normal solution. Joseph in respect for his fiancee wanted to divorce her quietly but faith had another solution. God provided a way out for Joseph and Mary. For those who seek to obey God, we are called to trust Him, and seek His will.
Prayer: Lord, as Joseph sought your will, help me to seek your will and find it.
John Calvin Abridged: Matthew does not relate the place and manner of Christ's birth, but how it was made known to Joseph. "Before they came together" means before they lived in the same home together. Joseph condemned the crime of unchastity while his gentleness kept him from going to the utmost rigor of the law. Mary was "with child by the Holy Spirit" meaning she was restrained not by her own choice but by the Holy Spirit. It is not absurd to think that God puts the faith of His people on trial.