Daily Devotions


Day 5

A Candid Approach in the Proclamation of Truth

Text: Matthew 1:18 - 25

Matthew chose a very straightforward and candid approach as he broached the subject of the Birth of Jesus. He wrote,

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows:
after His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
before they came together, she was found with
Child of the Holy Spirit.”
Matthew 1:18

As far as the author was concerned, he had no qualms making this bold and startling statement! Mary’s conception of Jesus was nothing less than a miracle! The Holy Spirit of God caused Jesus to be conceived in the womb of Mary!

Matthew must have been aware of the fact that this statement could be read and received in a number of negative ways.

1. Some could cast aspersions as to the birth of Jesus.

2. Others could pour scorn and dispute on the validity of this claim.

Truth however cannot be written with a sense of fear as to how people may respond to it. Truth is simply truth, and must be stated plainly, even though people may end up questioning it or rejecting it. No attempt must ever be made to manipulate or disguise the truth.


It would be “strange” if not altogether suspicious if Matthew did not note that Joseph was deeply troubled when he discovered that his fiancée was pregnant. Life in those days was governed by strict moral codes. Joseph had to face up to the options that were before him. Matthew noted his struggles.

“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man,
and not wanting to make her a public example,
was minded to put her away secretly.”
Matthew 1:19

Joseph was well within his rights to consider this option. He was well described as “a just man”. He did not over-react when he heard news that Mary was with child! The text addressed Joseph as Mary’s “husband” in accordance with the social customs. The fiancé is regarded as the husband, even though they had yet to go through the customary marriage rites!

How should he respond to this new and disturbing situation that had developed?

1. Death by stoning
The ancient law of Moses even provided the possibility of Mary being stoned to death, if found guilty of immorality! (Cf. Deuteronomy 22:20-21)

2. Divorce
A gentler alternative was allowed. Joseph could put away Mary, as if he was suing her for divorce (Cf. Deuteronomy 24:1-4. The application of divorce included those who were engaged to be married in those days).

A divorce could be done publicly; in which case, Mary would be shamed for life! A divorce could also be done quietly, so that Mary would be spared from any unnecessary public humiliation that would attend the matter.


A wonderful third alternative was provided by God. However, Joseph would have to exercise great personal faith in God, and a deep love for Mary if he were to choose the Divine Alternative.

“But while he thought about these things, behold,
an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream,
saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to
take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived
in her is of the Holy Spirit.’ ”
Matthew 1:20

It would take nothing less than an angelic being to convince Joseph about the Third Alternative. Joseph would have to exercise great personal faith in what the angel said to him.


Joseph would have to take many steps of faith before the end of the day.

1. Discard Wrong Thoughts and Feelings
He would have to discard all his pent-up feelings concerning the character of Mary. He had to believe that she was not immoral. Ultimately, he would have to face Mary and apologize to her for having wrong thoughts about her!

2. Exercise Faith in God
He would have to exercise great faith in what the angel said! What is the alternative of believing in the angel of God? He would have to end up questioning his personal faith in God if he were to reject the words of the Angelic Being! The words of the angel were staggering.

He would have to deal with his personal fears and misgivings! He must cast aside all negative thoughts and hold fast to the awe-inspiring words of the angel!

3. Wed Mary over and against Social Norms
This would be the most practical expression of faith on Joseph’s part! He would have to overcome what his family members might say against his personal decision to wed Mary. Who would believe what he said about having a dream from God, advising him what to do? Joseph knew that the exercising of personal faith would involve a Choice and a Decision! He chose and decided that he would believe and obey God.