1. Exposition

What does this abstinence demonstrate?

Matthew 1:25 (ESV)

25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

What a tender picture of living faith! This course that Joseph, and Mary, chose would by no means have been easy for this young couple. This is a sacrifice. If Mary was some two or three months pregnant when they married, it meant they would have abstained for at least eight or nine months. Joseph sacrifices his normal desires, in obedience to the Lord, by faith. He was willing to follow the Lord, no matter what people might think or say. This is a case of obeying the voice of the Lord, respecting the work of the Lord, rather than following or respecting bodily impulses.

For the work of God must first be completed. Joseph sees that he must step back, in recognition of the Spirit’s power, and in reverence toward the holiness of the baby in Mary’s womb.1