Providentially

The incident in Matthew -19 is clear evidence that the pregnancy of Mary was not a "public" scandal, and in order to keep it that way Joseph, until Gabriel revealed to him the miraculous conception in a dream, was minded to quietly hide her away somewhere. Apart from Joseph, who would have known anyway? The text does not mention any other who might have been aware, and the Angel appeared only to him very privately in a dream. Then what was by the Spirit known to Elisabeth and Zacharias, the parents of John the Baptist, was revealed to those who were in the intimate family circle, and like the shepherds, and Simeon and Anna, very localised in the general Jerusalem area. Anna’s report to the small Messianic group in Jerusalem was likewise restricted locally (Lk ). Mary evidently told no one, not even her other children seemingly (Jn ), but pondered all the events and sayings relating to her Messiah Son, "in her heart" (Lk ,51). So the inhabitants of Nazareth knew nothing whatsoever about the matter, seeing only that Joseph had taken Mary, and was living with her as his wife (Mt ). It certainly was not known to them that Joseph, "knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son". Thus her condition would have seemed perfectly natural to them. This non-reaction, and so lack of gossip locally, when it became evident Mary had conceived, and the recorded statements of the local Nazarenes when Jesus was grown to manhood, confirm this. The events surrounding Jesus’ conception in this very ordinary artisan family would have had no wider significance beyond the family home in Nazareth, and had faded with time and had providentially been lost to memory. Thus we find no credible grounds for viewing John as a personal accusation levelled at the Lord.

Providentially

providentially

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