This passage has challenged me in a major way for many years. Joseph embodies the kind of character that I want to be part of my own. Before the angel comes to him in the dream, Joseph is certain that Mary is pregnant by another man. All the evidence points to her having been unfaithful to him since they hadn’t been together sexually; and he is rightly hurt and angry. Joseph could rightfully file charges against Mary for this, exact revenge, and clear his name. This would be a normal reaction. In today’s world, the options would include suing Mary and her family, Facebook posts slamming her, and quickly hitting the dating scene to show he is a survivor. But Joseph doesn’t give into his emotions or become reactionary. Instead, he makes the humble and kind route of protecting Mary’s reputation (as much as possible) by planning to divorce her quietly. [In that culture to break the engagement required a divorce decree]. Instead of asserting his “rights,” Joseph chooses a very different path. Wow! This choice was very counter-culture then as it would be now. I am blown away by Joseph choosing to be kind, gracious and honorable. It is only after he makes this decision that the angel comes and verifies Mary’s story. This gives us a clue as to why God chose him to be Jesus’ earthly father. Joseph was a man of integrity, honestly, humility, and righteousness. God please help me to be more like him!