The Dilemma of a Just Man - Matt. 1:18-25
In continuation of the events preceding the birth of Jesus, a crisis arose in the heart of Joseph. Joseph was betrothed to Mary and it was a sin punishable by death for such a lady to be pregnant (Deut. 22:21). Joseph was described as a just man. Troubles have no regard when it comes; like any man, naturally, Joseph suspected Mary of infidelity.
With the dilemma, he was quietly considering putting an end to that relationship by divorcing her quietly (Deut. 24:1). However, we also see a man who was willing to temper justice with mercy. One true test of spirituality is the way we treat people when they are wrong or when they wrong us.
There was a divine twist in the dream Joseph had where he was asked to take his wife; that the baby she was carrying was from the Holy Spirit and would be named Jesus - he will save his people from their sins.
Love, pity and divine intervention must have stopped Joseph from pressing on with the application of legal requirements.
As a result of the divine encounter, Joseph was no longer afraid of sticking to his wife, Mary. His fears and dilemma were calmed. One of the things that we find is that prophecy was being fulfilled.
There are times in life when we also go through dilemmas, the dilemma of which road to go, the dilemma of the decisions that will be good and godly in different life situations. In the case of Joseph, the Bible describes him as a just man but even then he was faced with a dilemma. The fact that he was able to listen and understand shows that he was a spiritual person.
As we look at this Christmas story intertwined with the dilemma of a just man, we will need to begin to ask ourselves how we face the dilemmas of life that confront us; how we treat people when they have sinned or done something wrong. Are we as gracious as Joseph or do we just want to have our way even when the spirit of the Lord is speaking to us to take a particular course of action? The response of Joseph in his dilemma showed a man who believes in God and who was ready to obey the Lord.
In celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, we must be willing to be just in our dealings and to be obedient to the Lord. The celebration of Christmas can only be worthwhile as we begin to imbibe the virtues of some of the characters like Joseph who came up in the events leading to the birth of the Messiah.
And the greatest way to imbibe those values is to commit your life to the One who came to save sinners. Make a decision today to be just, and be obedient to the Lord.
Joseph was in a dilemma but God showed up for him. You may also be in a dilemma at this time, the Lord can show up for you if you will call him and trust him to help you.