Re-examining Familiar Texts: Protect the Other

This morning I had the opportunity to explore a very familiar text with a group of friends as we came together to worship the Lord and pray for one another. The text was not only a familiar text, it is, for most readers, one of those “boring, skip-over texts”. But we took a second look at the Matthew 1.

There is so much glory and wonder tucked into passages like this, but today we saw this simple nugget. Verse 19 . . .

“And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.”

Joseph is called a “righteous man” and then we are given an example of his righteous conduct, he did “not want to disgrace her.” This is before the angel has been dispatched to him to tell that Mary has not been unfaithful. She has conceived supernaturally in fulfillment of prophecy (Isaiah 7:14). We are told that in the time between hearing of Mary’s pregnancy and the angel’s revelation, Joseph’s preeminent moral dilemma was how to respond in a way that would not bring disgrace to Mary.

A righteous man or woman seeks to keep others from public disgrace.

There is probably a better way to phrase it but it is enough to get us to reflect a bit on the word of the God through Joseph.

Let’s be a people who works hard to keep from exposing people to public disgrace. Protect the other, even when it means we might experience public ridicule. A righteous man or woman seeks to do what is honorable even when it might mean dishonor or pain for them. Ironic but, that is what a righteous man or woman does. They protect the other. Let us be that kind of people for the glory of God and honor of others.

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