William Keith firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt. 1:18-21) 1. “On this wise,” This is King James for “it happened this way.”
2. “Espoused,” Espousal was more than an engagement. This was a binding “contract.” There was a year of preparation. The groom prepared a home for them to live in. The bride prepared her wardrobe. At the end of the year, the groom and his friends would “surprise” the bride and the wedding festivities would begin. The bride did not know the exact time of the groom’s return. All she knew was that it would be approximately one year. The Groom would try his best to surprise her.
3. “Before they came together,” This means “before they slept together” as man and wife and had physical relations.
4. “Put her away,” This means to “divorce” her.
5. “Put her away Privately,” Under the Law of Moses, fornication, adultery, and sex outside of marriage were capital offenses. Death by stoning was the common way of execution. Joseph was going to divorce Mary privately. He loved Mary too much to have her stoned.
6. “The angel of the Lord,” Angels were created to minister to the heirs of salvation. Angels always appear as men in the Bible.
7. His Name shall be called Jesus and He shall save his people from their sins. Jesus came to die for the sins of the whole world. The Gospel was first preached to the Jews (His own in John 1), and later to the Gentiles.
SUMMARY Mary and Joseph made the contract. During that waiting period, Mary got pregnant. Joseph knew the baby was not his and he was upset. He didn’t want Mary killed, so he decided to simply call off the contract. The angel of the Lord told Joseph what was going on and Joseph believed him, although it was difficult.