The Unrecognized "Royal" Couple
In our culture dominated by media and popular opinion, celebrities and royalty are lifted up and idolized. I remember a few years ago when every magazine was covering the wedding of William and Kate—the royal couple of England. Our world is obsessed with individuals and couples of fame and fortune, super stars and royals; however, there was one royal couple that the world completely missed. They were not pictured on the front page of The Bethlehem Times nor interviewed on national news; they were not welcomed with a parade or put up in a five star hotel; instead, they were turned out of the only inn available and sent to live in a dirty, cold, smelly, stable. They were royal not by right of birth nor surge of fame and popularity, but because of whom they raised—the King of kings.
Can you guess the couple I am referring to?
Joseph and Mary were both descendants of David, so you could argue that they did have a bit of blue blood, however, they were far from royal. Joseph was a carpenter wanting to start a family, while Mary was a teenager preparing for her role as wife and future mother. Neither were expecting the future God had in store for them.
Last time we looked closely at Mary—her life, her heart, and her humility—but let’s put ourselves in her shoes once again. Did she ever fear that she would lose her betrothed, Joseph, and consequently her dreams and hopes for the future? With a child born outside of wedlock, Mary would never regain social acceptance or be considered for marriage, so what went through her mind as she contemplated these things? Ladies, what would go through your mind if you were in her place?
And what about Joseph? His life was looking good. He had a steady job and a beautiful, godly girl he was going to marry and start a family with. Then the next thing he knows is that Mary leaves for a three month trip and then comes back pregnant! What kinds of thoughts would have filled his mind when he found out? Was he angry, hurt, devastated, confused? Brothers, why don’t you put yourself in Joseph’s shoes? What would your knee jerk reaction be if you learned that the girl you were planning to spend the rest of your life with was carrying a child that obviously wasn’t yours? You would probably want to break off the engagement as fast as you could! However, would you have been like Joseph who decided to divorce her quietly without any drama or public exhibition?
Back in biblical times marriages were arranged by fathers and the betrothed couple did not spend time getting to know each other and falling in love. So give the cultural background and due to the fact the Scripture does not tell us, we do not know how Joseph and Mary felt about each other. However, I believe based on his intentions to divorce quietly that Joseph loved Mary, or at least cared about her. Otherwise, why would he go out of his way to try and preserve some of Mary’s reputation at the expense of his own? For by not publicly announcing his divorce, he was also not declaring Mary’s unborn child as someone else’s. Could you imagine the angst and restless nights he had thinking about these things? But before Joseph could act upon his decision, an angel visited him saying:
“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Wow, change of plans! Joseph was probably thinking, “That option wasn’t even on the table for consideration!” Not only would he be continuing on with the marriage as planned, but he would also be socially acknowledging the unborn child as his own. Definitely a change of plans, however, Joseph obeyed the word of the Lord and took Mary into his home as his wife.
God sometimes calls us to do unexpected, socially awkward, and self-less things, and He expects us to obey. We can be confident that when God calls us to something, He always provides the way. Mary was probably wondering how she would raise a child on her own, but God provided by changing Joseph’s heart. From the story of this couple we see three things:
Let’s be like Joseph and Mary, who unquestioningly followed God’s call and were raised from ordinary to royalty because of who HE is!
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The Unrecognized "Royal" Couple
Our world is obsessed with individuals and couples of fame and fortune, super stars and royals; however, there was one royal couple that the world completely missed. Read more