|"Look at Mary carrying that gourd by herself...|
...wait... that can't be a gourd..." :(
Let's start with what the Bible says in Matthew 1:18-25:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
If we simply take the text at face value and add the historical context, we find a level of breath-taking love in this simple account.
Joseph the Just
In verses 18 and 19, we hear that Joseph was betrothed to Mary. This is far beyond our typical modern engagement. Joseph did not give her a ring. His family and hers had met and made a legally binding agreement. Technically, Joseph and Mary were married before witnesses with money exchanged. A contract was signed, but the wedding proper and consummation would be a year or more afterwards [up to seven years in some cases].
So here's this man, happily looking forward to his bride, waiting for consummation but already making sure she has his name and property if anything happens to him - yes, think on that. It was so binding that if Joseph died, she would be a "widowed virgin" ; it was not unheard of.
And he finds out she is pregnant. There is no way on Earth that did not hurt him. What is remarkable is that he has so much character and mercy, he is going to divorce her "quietly."
This means he won't make a legal issue of it, shame her publicly, or keep her dowry [the money the bride brought to the marriage when the agreement was signed]. In fact, to do it quietly he would have to probably pay the family a "bride price", which was typical in divorces without cause. You see, he would owe the family not one red cent if he proved she'd been unfaithful, but if he accepted the blame and merely paid the bride price, no one would blame Mary. They'd assume he'd changed his mind, most likely. For that, he'd have to pay 50 shekels. Keep in mind a shekel was near a day's wage [or best as I can figure]. Not an insignificant sum of money.
Joseph was going to pay it, just to keep Mary's reputation - knowing she was pregnant from someone else.
That, dear reader, is a righteous man. With far more love and mercy than we initially credit him with.