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Daily Reading: 9th May 2016

Matthew 1.25

25 And he had no sexual relationship with her until she gave birth to a son, and he gave Him the name Jesus.

Joseph and Mary, having got married, now have to abstain from the consummating of their marriage until after the birth of Jesus. In John 3:29 we read:

29 The bridegroom is the one who has the bride. However, the friend of the bridegroom, the one standing and hearing him, greatly rejoices, because he hears the bridegrooms’ voice. In this has my joy been fulfilled.

It was the duty of the bridegrooms’ friend to bring the bride and the bridegroom to the bridal chamber, where the consummation of the marriage was to be undertaken. Some say that the friend rejoices when he hears the voice of the bridegroom as he approaches the bridal chamber, so that he can let him in. Others say that the bridegrooms’ voice refers to his exclamation as the consummation is achieved.

In either case this would not have been a part of the marriage ceremony of Joseph and Mary, since they had to refrain from sexual union in order to maintain Mary’s purity. This, would have been quite a denial of their natural instincts, but we may assume it was one for which they would have been given the strength by the Holy Spirit.

When God gives us a task, He also provides us with the strength to see that task through to completion. The apostle John wrote:

For this is the love of God, that we should keep His commandments; and His commandments are not a burden – 1 John 5.3.

The world may think that the requirements of God are a heavy burden. As we look at the situation that Joseph and Mary were in we may consider that they had a difficult time of trying to restrain the passions that God created within us. Yet, God does not lay on us any task that is too heavy or that is a burden.

Jesus said:

[28] “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

[29] Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls.

[30] For My yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light” – Matthew11.28-30 (NLT).

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