18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.Imagine poor Joseph. You are getting ready to marry a girl and you find out that she is pregnant, with somebody else's baby.
It looked bad for Mary. It looked like she had broken her promises to Joseph. Girl's like her, who broke their marriage promises, they were often killed.
Joseph didn't want anyone to hurt Mary. He didn't want to be her husband anymore either, but he didn't want to tell everyone and see her hurt.
He was trying to find a kind way to deal with this uncomfortable situation that freed him from his promises to Mary, since she hadn't kept her promises to him, and that kept her from getting hurt.
He wanted to act rightly, according to God's law, which is what it means to be righteous.
Then he had a dream, and all that changed.
"Don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife."
Why do you think he would be afraid?
Well, if Mary was already pregnant, before they were properly married, and he married her anyway, everyone would thing that he broke his promises too, and did something dishonorable. they would think he had disrespected her, and himself. He would lose a lot of respect, from his friends, his family, and his community.
Not only that, imagine being the guy who is raising the child who is from God, and who will save his people from their sins. That's a lot of pressure.
But Joseph believed the angel, he trusted God that this child was a sign that God was with his people again, and he took Mary as his wife.
Do you think you could be as brave as Joseph was?