Ever you ever wondered about the virgin birth of Jesus Christ? The Bible records that Mary the Mother of Jesus became pregnant by the divine power of the Holy Spirit.
However, no one told Joseph her fiance about this. Nor did God mention this to her whole village. Sure, God told a couple of shepherds and Astrologers from the East found out about the birth through astrology- a banned art, but apart from her cousin Elizabeth, no one else knew.
The Bible records that when Joseph learnt about her pregnancy, he intended to divorce her quietly. Obviously, it must have been some months into the pregnancy- and probably the village gossip machine must have been running overtime.
The Law of Moses, the Word of God, however was very strict about this. It stipulated that the pregnant girl would be brought out and stoned to death for adultery. And Joseph was entitled to some monetary compensation from Mary's father. Read Deuteronomy 22:20 if you care for it. Horrible barbaric times. No matter how many times I read those sorts of passages, I still cringe with revulsion as some of the passages make no sense to me at all.
Thankfully, one of the Angels of God appeared to Joseph to fill him in on the details.
But why did God even want to put the whole issue of Jesus' paternity into doubt? He already had enough obstacles in his way. Take note that throughout the Gospels, the enemies of Jesus taunted him with the words: "Jesus, son of Mary" not the proper title of "son of Joseph" - inferring that he was the product of an illegitimate birth.
Yet, as God's Word states- "God's power is shown in human weakness." And hence, Jesus entered the world the hard way. Not born in a palace on a bed of linen, attended by princesses but in a crappy smelly barn - overcrowded with unwashed animals - on a basket of hay. And with his parentage in controversy. Imagine the taunts he must have got as a child?
The only lesson I can draw from this - is that God wants us to be compassionate and forgiving- and not so quick to judge and condemn. The lesson of virgin birth is perhaps this- that love over law is God's way.