But as he (Joseph) considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, 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.”
Joseph’s betrothed is pregnant, and he knows it is not his kid. I am sure this had to be a crushing blow to him. Even so, Joseph’s character shines as he will not publicly shame Mary; he will quietly divorce her.
But the angel of the Lord delivers an inconvenient truth to Joseph. Joseph is going to raise somebody else’s kid. But not just anybody’s child, but humanities child. This little one, conceived by the Holy Spirit of God, is the Promised One who will save the people from their sins. Joseph’s character shines brighter as he heeds the messenger’s words and takes Mary to be his bride.
Joseph’s reward for his faithfulness and character is immortality in a worldly and heavenly sense. Salvation comes to him in the child he raises, and God rewards him with a big family to carry on his legacy, including at least four more sons (including Joseph Jr.) and some daughters (Matthew 13:55-56).
You can see Joseph’s legacy of faith was in the early church as his son James would lead the church in Jerusalem, and Jude would become a respected teacher in the church. We don’t know about the other brothers and sisters, but we can’t help but think they were part of that movement called “The Way.”
What will be my faith legacy? Will my kids, including my future son-in-law, become messengers of this faith that believes in second chances? Will they share the good news that God became flesh and dwelt with humanity to save them (us) from sin? Will they teach my grandkids this story of profound love and call to serve?
What will your legacy of faithfulness be? Do you ever ponder this?