Joseph the carpenter: thought Vs reaction

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly” (Matthew 1:18-19).

Even a just man finds his mind besieged by dark thoughts.
The scriptures suggest that Joseph intended to leave Mary out of concern but was it really?
Joseph was a man, and men (even the most righteous ones) often have accusatory thoughts (when not reactions) when it comes to women and their affairs.

Mary had not been loved by the carpenter yet when she approached him with the news that she’s bearing a seed.
Joseph’s possible thought: “Blimey! I have been cheated upon! Is it possible that I fell into the palatable trap of a wench?”
Joseph’s official reaction: “Dear God, bestow upon me the strength to leave her lest I ruin this woman’s reputation!”

Mary explains that an Angel called upon her to announce that despite being a virgin she’d conceive a child fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Joseph’s possible thought: “Say what? Come now…women are devious, this much I know; however this plot is devilish! Whom does she take me for: a shmuck?!”
Joseph’s official reaction: “I see…everything will be quite all right, Mary.”

Joseph dreams of scurrying off the house in the middle of the night, while sweet Mary lies in her angelical sleep. Notwithstanding, an Angel interferes with his dream saying “Oy Judd, boyo! What do you think you’re plotting? You are going nowhere for Mary is not a wench you can disgrace; she has been touched by the Hand of God: you shall stay!”
Joseph’s possible thought: “Bloody Hell: I am hallucinating!! Reason is telling me to leave, but Satan is telling me to stay: it’s an entrapment...I can feel it!”
Joseph’s official reaction: “Yeah, you’re right! The Lord’s Will not mine...!”

Immediate thoughts may mirror our first impulse.
Final reactions may reflect a product of either Free Will or Destiny...

What do you reckon?

Image: The Visitation by El Greco


  1. It was very humble of Joseph to marry Mary in spite of the predicament. If he "put her away privily", people would know that he wasn't the father. But if he married her, people would assume he was the father, and he would be implicated the same as her. But once God spoke to him and told him to marry her, Joseph was humble and obedient.

  2. Hey D! :D

    Yes, Joseph was humble and obedient at the end...but I wonder if he was immediately humble and obedient in his mind? Knowing human nature, I doubt it.

    But in the end it all worked out.

    "If he "put her away privily", people would know that he wasn't the father."

    But he wasn't the father, God was. And if this were not to be known how come we know it?

    D, fantastic comment for which I thank you :D!


  3. A dalliance with the Scriptures finds Maximus embedded firmly in the New Testament seeking squabbling between Mary and Joseph…

    A delectable morsel my dear….

    Firstly I must say I support the official story…inspiration is inspiration….

    …Now let me turn the tide here…what you suggest is the opposite of what I would say if not allowing that this is Scripture and thus accurate…

    If I was Joseph I would not be thinking those thoughts of Mary but of the acts of men….

    ….but as I said…I buy the official story…the virgin pregnancy…

    That El Greco could sure paint!

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  5. A love story made in heaven don't you think?

    Joseph being so madly in love with Mary from the word go, cast away the obstacles to fulfil his dream of marrying her.

    The pregnancy sanctioned by an Angel would have cleared his mind of any lingering doubts and paved the way to one of the greatest love stories ever told.

    Believe it or not!

    Take Care,

  6. Hi Max,

    Joseph's reactions was human, he may have felt like any other man, but in considering the bigger picture, he did what he felt was right.

    I think it all happed so Andrew Lloyd Weber could produce the musical; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. There is also a chance that LS tampered with the Scriptures. (He's very clever.)

    Destiny Cheers!

  7. Max:

    So, so true, I love it. Yes, we all have two faces, our personal face, resting deep in our minds, but always there and ready to judge, blame, criticize and accuse. And then we have our stated face, our good side, that which we present to the world at large. We show sympathy for the unfortunate and we are not judgmental, but thoughtful, helpful and as pious as a newly ordained priest.

    Our all knowing maker, the Lord himself, bestowed these mental states upon us for a reason. For it takes conflict and controversary to make the world go round. How else would we be able to accurately assess our enemies? How would we perceive a friend from foe? It's precisely our critical nature that gives us these powers.

    So maybe Joseph was only exercising his God given power of analysis when he thought so critical of Mary. He wondered, he knew in his heart, that Mary was a flusy who had besmirched her precious chastity with foul play. After all, Joseph would have to hold the bag for that one. But upon deeper reflection, again with his God given powers, he presents a softer view point to the world, forgiving, non-judgmental, saintly. After all, Mary was only a mere human being.

    So maybe, just maybe, with Joseph's acceptance of the way things were, he showed unusual grace and wisdom. LOL.

  8. Very interesting. Maybe the difference between acting from ego and acting from spirit.

  9. LOL LOL LOL! If Joseph had stopped to really make use of his grey cells, maybe his destiny wouldn't have been tainted with anguish.

  10. Thoughts (a miscellaneous of self-cautioned fears) feed a reaction caused by the very first impulse, as a response to a feeling which might influence one's free will; thus shape one's destiny.
    As you can see, Joseph's behaviour was motivated by emotions and not by reasoning.


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