What does it mean to be righteous? This morning, we looked at Joseph’s story together (Matthew 1:18-25). We are told that Matthew was a righteous man and so rather than publically shaming Mary, he plans to cut off his engagement quietly.
There has been some discussion about whether Joseph does this ” because” he is righteous or “although” he is righteous. Is it thst he is a righteous man and wants to do right by Mary or he is a righteous man who wants to do right by the Law? You see, all he has to go on at this stage is the fact that Mary is pregnant, her story of how it happened and what the Law says about doing right. Part of the jigsaw is missing.
Then an angel appears to Joseph in a dream. There are several vital pieces of information here.
1. He calls Joseph a “son of David “- a reminder that God has promised a king who will reign for ever, a descendent of David.
2. He says that it is God’s Spirit who is at work.
3. He says that the child is coming to bring salvation from sin.
4. He reminds Joseph that the promise was made long ago through the prophet Isaiah.
Note that the promise was of a virgin’s son, Immanuel. His name means God with us. Here is another reminder of our advent theme #HomeForChristmas – God has made his home with us so we can one day have an eternal home with him.
We saw that for Joseph to be truly righteous, he needed not just the Law but also the promise. It is in Jesus, the saviour that we are made righteous because we are justified by faith. We are reconciled to God because he has come to us.
This is good news and timid great to be reminded that this is the source of our faith. It is good news that turns shame to grace. It is good news to share this Christmas time,