24 “When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:24-25 ESV)
Faith, or to believe, means to trust in, commit to, depend upon and honor God. The evidence of such faith and belief is obedience. Joseph displays his sincere faith and belief in God, and His Word, by his obedience. Joseph does what God commands him to do.
Immediately after the angel’s message in his dream, Joseph rose from sleeping and “did” (ποιέω poieō) as the angel of the Lord commanded him. Joseph obeyed with a complete compliance to the will of God. There were no heal-hearted measures in this man. He was totally committed. While the circumstances had not changed, his perspective had. His obedience involved not only what he would do, but also what he would not do.
First, he took Mary as his wife. The two of them officially became husband and wife. They participated in the wedding ceremony. “His submission to God was as powerful and complete as that of Mary, who also offered herself as the servant of the Lord (Luke 1:38). Joseph refused to be led by shame or anger. He laid aside the plausible plan of divorce (Matthew 1:19) and took Mary as his wife,” states commentator Daniel M. Doriani.
Second, Joseph did not have sexual relations with Mary until after she had given birth to Jesus. In every aspect, and in every way, Mary remained a virgin.
Third, Joseph named the child Jesus. He did so just as the angel instructed him (Matthew 1:21).
“What a picture of living faith! Mary and Joseph listened to God. They silenced their emotions of fear and shame and obeyed the Lord. Why? Because they understood that God is with His people to save. They show us how to listen and how to obey the voice of God rather than our impulses,” explains Doriani.
May we as believers in Christ receive, submit, and give all of our dreams, plans and hearts to Him. May we trust in, commit to, depend upon and honor the One, True God. This is the essence of saving faith.
Soli deo Gloria!