Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Some Thoughts on the Betrothal of Mary and Joseph (Part 2 of 2)

Following on from yesterday’s post, here are the betrothal references in Joseph’s story:

Matthew 1:18-25: "When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly.

"But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

"All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and His name shall be called Emmanuel”
(which means, God with us).

"When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son #; and he called His name Jesus.”

# I ought to include the footnote that appears in my Bible : “This means only that Joseph had nothing to do with the conception of Jesus. It implies nothing as to what happened afterward.”

Finally, here is a telling word from Luke 2:5. At the time of Jesus’s birth, the evangelist continues to describe Mary and Joseph as “betrothed”, yet Joseph had by this time clearly taken her to their married home. It appears to have been done quietly, without celebration; perhaps for the sake of discretion, since the pregnancy would naturally have led their family and neighbours to believe that they were already living as man and wife.

Which gives rise to another speculation or two. More to come tomorrow.

Picture from thesacredpage.com via Google Images

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