When Mary turned up pregnant, everyone assumed that she was guilty of adultery. We all know now that this assumption was a false one, but it was nevertheless what folks thought. It’s precisely why Joseph sought to divorce her. Until an angel appeared to tell him otherwise, he assumed that Mary’s pregnancy came about by the usual means and that she had been unfaithful. But a most unusual messenger showed up to disabuse Joseph of his error. The angel also told Joseph that he must marry Mary and adopt her son as his own. Joseph believed God’s word against appearances, and Joseph obeyed. As a result, Jesus was adopted into the royal line of David as the legal heir of the messianic kingdom. All the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ Jesus in part because Joseph believed and obeyed God.
The story of Matthew 1:18-25 is not really a story about alleged adultery on Mary’s part. It’s the story of noble Joseph and the godly line. It’s the story of Christmas.
I gave my full exposition of this text as one of our advent sermons at Kenwood Baptist Church, and you can download it here or listen below.[audio:http://www.dennyburk.com/Audio/2013.12.15_DennyBurk_Matthew_1_18_25.mp3]