Our next installment would have been about Joseph. Mary has come home, after being away for almost three months. He has missed her terribly, and is glad to see her – until he learns the reason for her absence.
Now, you’ll notice I said, would have been, because sometimes a story evolves, changes, especially when it’s based on something else, and you have to flow with the changes. To me, the Bible is a living word, and if you study it long enough, you’ll find something you didn’t see before. That’s where I am with the story. Like any jilted lover, when Joseph found out that his fiancee was pregnant, and not by him, he sought to end the relationship. But here’s the thing – if you go by the scripture, it wasn’t because he thought she betrayed him.
Matthew 1:18-20 It was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit.
Did you see it? Because as often as I had read that scripture, I missed it. It was discovered that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit – translation, he believed Mary. He didn’t have a reason not to believe her. Even still, he sought to end the relationship – why? I think we see the answer in the next verse, when the angel tells him, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife. Why would Joseph, after learning that his fiancee didn’t betray him but was in fact chosen by God to bear the Messiah, be afraid of marrying her?
Personally, I think he saw himself as inadequate for the job. After all, he was a simple carpenter, a blue collar worker, a layperson, who had no aspirations for any kind of glory. And here he finds out he is to be the man to raise the Messiah, the savior of his people, the son of the living God. How was he supposed to do that? Think about it – trades were handed down by family. He was a carpenter. He learned it from his father, and had planned to hand it down to his son. But now, he is being told that his son (or rather, stepson) will be the promised Messiah, a revolutionary who would upend Israel’s enemies. How was he supposed to teach Jesus that?
Plus, now, after falling in love and getting ready to marry a young maiden from his hometown, he’s being told that she’s been chosen personally by God. Consider how intimidating that is. Now instead of being just his fiancee, Mary is something else. Like I wrote in the book, something to venerate, something untouchable. So he chose, out of fear, to end the relationship.
But he was a part of the plan. The angel assured him of that and he chose instead not to send Mary away. That brings us back to the book – I included Joseph’s fear, but I think I addressed it too late. And I didn’t include the part where he believed Mary when she said she didn’t betray him. How I have it written doesn’t change the story much but I’m a stickler for accuracy (as much as you can be). And that brings us back to the reason for this post: I’m going to stop posting the story and revise it.
Unfortunately, these revisions are not at the top of the list. My goal is for year end, but it might move up the list as I complete the other projects. I’m making changes to my website and my books, as well as the publishing projects I am taking on. So, stay tuned.