Unquestioning Obedience

Have you ever given much thought to Joseph? I hadn't much until I started the book of Matthew again a few days ago. As I reread the first few chapters, I began to wonder about him. Who was this man who walked with Mary through life, through the conception, birth and life of Jesus? What kind of man was he?

I couldn't imagine being in his shoes: finding out the woman you are betrothed to, the woman you love, is pregnant; presumably by another man. Was he heart-broken? Was he angry? The text doesn't say. How did he even find out? Were there whispers in the town of Mary's condition? Did she pull him aside and tell him? Did she explain that it was through the Holy Spirit that she had conceived? Or did she stay silent on the matter? Again, the text is silent. These are things we might not ever know.

We do know, however, that Joseph was kind to his betrothed because he was, "not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly." (Matthew 1:19). Mary being pregnant outside of marriage was cause for death (Deuteronomy 22:20-21) So not only did Joseph have to deal with his feelings about the pregnancy, now, he had to face what the consequences would be for her.

"But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him...." (Matthew 1:20). "Then Joseph...did as the angel of the Lord commanded him..." (Matthew 1:24).

The more and more I thought about Joseph, the more I thought about how remarkable this man must have had to have been. The Bible never record any questions from Joseph to the angel of the Lord. It doesn't record any doubts or fears even. It just simply states, the Lord spoke to him and he did as he was commanded.

If it were me, my mind would have been racing. I would have more questions, want more of an explanation. I would be thinking of the repercussions for my life. (Especially considering that he had the choice to leave and let Mary face this on her own.) Would I have been like Joseph? Would I unquestioningly obeyed?

Sometimes, the things the Lord asks us to do, don't make much sense to us or anyone else.
Sometimes, the things the Lord has for us, are outside of our plans for our lives, but are perfectly centered in His plan.
Sometimes, the things the Lord asks us to do, will mean looking a bit foolish to those around us.
Sometimes, doing the things the Lord asks us to, will mean we may face losing friendships with those who can't understand the choices we make.
Sometimes, doing the things the Lord asks us to do, means knowing our lives are about to turn upside down, but obeying anyway.                                                                                            

This is the kind of obedience Joseph had; it's the kind of obedience I pray to have: unquestioning.


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