Matthew's Gospel does more than just tell the story of Jesus. The Gospel also provides Christians with the way to live as a follower of Christ. This is the first in a series of articles which will focus on the lessons in Matthew's Gospel. The articles will be entitled "Mondays with Matthew" and will be published on Monday mornings. Christians are called to live the Gospel message. Matthew teaches the followers of Jesus how to do that.
In Matthew's first chapter, Joseph is deeply troubled. He finds out that Mary, the virgin who is to be his wife, is already pregnant. Matthew says that Joseph is a good man, but he is torn. If he does what is legally correct, Mary will suffer a severe punishment. Perhaps there is way to end the relationship quietly and somehow save Mary from the consequences of an illegitimate pregnancy. One can only imagine the range of emotions Joseph felt: anger, betrayal, confusion, doubt, perhaps mixed with some sympathy and compassion.
Joseph has a dream in which he is told by an angel that Mary's child is God's Child. Joseph must trust in a dream. Trust that he really received a message from God. Trust that Mary was not unfaithful to him. Trust in her again because surely when he discovered she is pregnant, his trust must have been broken. This is the first and one of the more difficult lessons: trust in God and trust in others.