Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Joseph, Husband of Mary

By Odon Bulamba (6 December 2002)

Matthew 1:18-21, 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 20But while he thought on these things, behold, the 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 Ghost. 21And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

It is a joy to read this passage because there is many things it can teach us. It’s not only about Jesus’ birth but it teaches us also about our spiritual lives as Christians. Through these verses we can find our spiritual birth, spiritual frame and the power of the Holy Spirit in Christian life. The life we live on earth doesn’t come in a draft copy because once it is finished you cannot go back to correct your mistakes. It is not a life with pencils and rubbers when you can write whatever you want. You cannot erase life, when you leave it, you leave it forever. You cannot say that tonight you’ll sleep in the same position as last night because what we do today never comes again.

Joseph feared God and tried to live according to God’s will, to the point where he put God first in everything. Joseph became engaged to Mary, which is a normal thing. When you first become engaged the world is centered between you and your partner. When you love your partner you can forget to eat, forget your parents and this is normal for people in love. After this you start planning you future life together.

As Christians today we are the fiancées of Jesus Christ, unfortunately we don’t have any plans for our future because we often forget our lover who is Jesus Christ. Often things we love on earth distract us, so we put Jesus aside. When we love someone as our husband or wife we usually stop to think about that person. You can have 1000 positive ideals about your partner because of the love you have.

Joseph loved Mary but his love was limited to a certain level, but Jesus who loves His church loves it with eternal love. So what kind of love does the church give back to Jesus? What kind of love do you give back to Jesus? How often do we think about Jesus? How many times do you dream about Jesus? If you have a fiancée but don’t think about him or her, then who are you? Will people say that you really love your fiancée? It means that you don’t love because when you love someone you think about that person, which is normal behavior. When Christians today get close to Jesus they don’t know what to say to Him, and when Jesus looks at us we don’t know what to tell Him.

Joseph was disappointed and confused when he knew that Mary was pregnant but what could he do? What kind of attitude do we have when we are disappointed with our brothers or sisters? Do we moan and cry before man? Do we become accusers? Do we lose control? Maybe what your brother did to you was a test that God did through him. For Joseph it was a test and he didn’t know what to do. Joseph wanted to decide something but God told him that it wasn’t up to himself to decide. Joseph wanted to stop everything but God told him it wasn’t the right solution, so God told him that it was through the power of the Holy Spirit that his wife, Mary became pregnant.

So God told him not to flee or leave her, but to carry on respecting her. Imagine living with your fiancée who has disappointed you but you have to keep on living with that person, it is not too easy. When we are tempted we are not called to tell everyone about it, when we are tested we are not called to become angry and frustrated by the situation. Do not complain, keep silent and control your tongue, and when you do these things it will help you to start thinking. We are not to flee the situation at hand, but we are to do what is written in the book of 1 Peter 5:7, cast all your burdens unto the Lord because He loves you. When we have a problem take it to Jesus, and if there is a situation beyond our understanding take it Jesus. Doing this will help us to know whether or not it was a test or a temptation.

Because Joseph accepted to stay with Mary he also accepted the consequences. For some men it is not easy to stay with their wives while they’re pregnant, and some even go away for 9 months. Women can be dangerous while pregnant and some treat their husbands harshly. I know a brother who said he was treated more harshly than the Israelites under Pharaoh. Joseph put up with everything and the Bible says he didn’t talk about Mary being pregnant. Maybe people asked him about his wife but Joseph always had a good answer. He never accused the Holy Spirit or mocked his wife’s pregnancy.

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