Joseph rubbed his face. How? What? When? Where? His mind was a swirling whirlwind of questions. There were no answers. Only more questions.
And pain. Unmistakable pain in his heart.
"How did this happen?"
She wasn't there anymore. She had left hours ago. Joseph could still see Mary's broken face as she tried to explain that she was pregnant. She didn't stay long. Just basically dumped the news and left.
Joseph picked himself up off the floor where he had collapsed at some point. He started pacing.
What did he do?
He would have to divorce her.
The thought literally pained him, but what else could he do? She hadn't remained faithful to him, to their oath. He cringed thinking of how she would be treated by the people once word got around.
He genuinely cared for Mary. Maybe even loved her. He couldn't stand the idea of how she would be treated.
Maybe he could divorce her quietly. Yes, that's what he would do. Joseph stopped pacing and stared at the wall. She didn't deserve it, but he couldn't bare the idea of shaming her.
Despite the way she had brought shame to him.
Based on Matthew 1:18-19
"And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly." Matthew 1:19
I just want to start off by saying how cool this is.
Did I confuse anyone? Stay with me.
Let's think about this logically. Joseph didn't know that Mary had indeed remained faithful to him, and that the Child (Jesus) was supernaturally God's. So. If a man found out his betrothed, which in Bible days basically meant you were legally married in all ways except the physical, had cheated on him, there are some typical responses.
1. Pretend it never happened.
3. Yell/scream and divorce the person in a very loud, awful way.
You don't see a person who is willing/wants to divorce the other person quietly because they don't want to shame them. You just don't see that. Joseph was concerned about what people would do and how they would view Mary. He cared about her reputation, not his own reputation.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Joseph. He was a cool guy. A good guy. Joseph didn't know at this point that Mary was pregnant with Jesus, the Son of God. Based on that, he had to be upset by anyone's standards.
Can people say about you, "Willey, a just man who is unwilling to put someone to shame."? It doesn't matter if the person deserves what you want to dish out. Your reputation is determined by how you treat another's reputation.
"Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation." 1 Peter 2:12
How you treat the people who treat you like dog poo is important. It makes or breaks your reputation. I want to have the kind of reputation that points back to God. That shows compassion and care. Unwilling to shame others.
V. Joy Palmer