Please Pray for: Simon & Andrea, Rebecca & Joseph, Jenni & Emma
19 Now Joseph, her husband, was a righteous man and he did not want to expose her publicly, so he determined to divorce her privately.
Many will have been on training courses where you may have been asked to describe the kind of person that you are, or to list your strengths and weaknesses. Some will be good at this, whereas others find it quite difficult to analyse themselves.
All of us have a reputation, which we may have worked hard on for a number of years. Other people will have their own opinions of the reputation that we have.
When we meet someone for the first time we form an opinion of them, which we may have to alter as we get to know them better.
Joseph had a reputation of being a righteous man. He would only have been a young man, probably a teenager, yet he was known as a righteous man.
He was a man who wanted to do the right things, that is, he wanted to live his life in line with the will and law of God.
What does it mean to be righteous? God’s word tells us that: “No one is good—not even one” – Romans 3.10 (NLT) and this is a quote from Psalm 14.1-3. From this it is clear that there are different meanings as to what righteous means. Joseph, like the rest of humanity was not totally righteous before God; like the rest of us he was a sinner in need of the salvation of God; like the rest of us he could not stand before God and profess to be righteous enough to have the right to be accepted by God. He was as guilty of sin as we all are.
Therefore, when Matthew described him as being a righteous man the meaning of the word was different. In this instance the word righteous means to be a just man, a man who would deal impartially with others. Joseph was a man who was virtuous and who sought to keep the commands of God.
He was a man who tried to live his life in conformity to God.
It is in this manner that we should seek to live our life.
At Christmas time there is a tremendous amount of pressure on us to conform to the ways of this world (which is to be unrighteous). Let us resist this pressure and seek to be conformed to the will of Jesus.