“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18).

Mary, the mother of our Lord, was pledged to Joseph; a purpose of marriage had been solemnly declared in words that regarded the future and a promise of it made if God permits. She appeared to be with child before the time came for solemnizing the marriage, though she was pledged before she conceived. It was probably after her return from her cousin Elizabeth that she was perceived to be with child, and she did not deny it. Now we may well imagine how perplexing and difficult this situation was to Mary. She herself knew the divine origin of this conception, but how could she prove it? She would be dealt with as a harlot. Never was a daughter of Eve so dignified as the Virgin Mary was, yet in danger of falling under the charge of one of the worst crimes. Even so, we do not find that she tormented herself about it; but being conscious of her own innocence, she kept her mind calm and committed her predicament to Him who judges righteously. From Mary, let us learn what she learned. Although she was highly favored by God with the most awesome responsibility of giving birth to the Messiah, the reproach she would bear and its potential consequences were daunting.

After great and high spiritual experiences, we too must expect something or other to humble us from becoming proud or puffed up with ourselves. If that happens, we may rest in a good conscience and cheerfully trust God with the keeping of our good names, having every reason to hope that He will clear up not only our integrity but also our honor, as the sun at noonday.

Adapted from “In His Presence”