This morning we talked about Mary’s obedience now I want to expand on that by examining something of the consequences, the faith and the obedience involved.
Mary’s response is one of consequence, faith, and obedience.
The consequences were numerous in her culture. She was a virgin but what person would honestly believe that claim in a few months time. She would be considered at best to have slept prematurely with Joseph (who himself would be blacklisted as a sinner) and at worst she would be considered unfaithful altogether – endangering her marriage.
Either way the Law allowed for her to be put to death. Fornication is a crime worthy of capital punishment and every soul in town would have considered her worthy of the penalty.
Both of these consequences came to pass. As for the latter situation, this is what happened with Joseph. Joseph thought she had been unfaithful to him and he prepared to separate from her in a divorce. Even though they had not been officially married they were engaged and the engagement in first century Judaism was just as legally binding as marriage so it demanded a divorce certificate.
It was only mercy on Joseph’s part that moved him towards a simple quiet divorce instead of public ridicule, shame and death. He had every right to have her put to death for her apparent crime. Yet he opted for grace and mercy.
As for the former consequence, in which it would be assumed that Mary and Joseph had joined prior to marriage – that also seems to have happened. for in John 8:41 the crowd seems to accuse Jesus of being conceived outside of marriage…
John 8:41 "You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of