Welcome to Advent.
Advent is the season when people around the world focus their attention on
the astonishing mystery of God being born as a powerless baby. After 2000
years, we might think that every inch of the Christmas story has been
explored. But there’s an extraordinary twist in Matthew’s version that is
repeatedly overlooked. Perhaps its radical mercy is too counter-cultural for us.
Take a fresh look with me this Advent.
“Faithful to the Law”
Joseph was engaged to be married to a young woman named Mary. He was
a devout Jew from the royal line of King David. In fact, Matthew explicitly tells
us that Joseph was “faithful to the Law” (Matthew 1:19). With this important
detail, Matthew wants us to know that Joseph was actively obedient to the
Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament.
But a devastating problem reveals itself.
Joseph’s fiancée Mary was “found to be pregnant,” and Joseph knew that he
and Mary had not had sex (1:18).