“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:20)
The Gospel According to Matthew was written for a Jewish audience. The first half of chapter one is devoted to tracing the linage of Joseph clear back to Abraham, a requisite in the Jewish mind for the expected Messiah. However, while the story names Joseph, a descendant of Abraham, as the husband-to-be of Mary, the actual linage connecting Jesus to Abraham is broken. Jesus is presented, not as the son of Joseph but as the son of God. Mary is portrayed as the vehicle through which the divine son of God is brought into the earthly realm.
The author of Matthew is illustrating the need for a change in Jewish thought. While the Messiah will be raised according to Jewish customs, his origin transcends the past and signals the beginning of a higher order. Jesus said he did not come to break the law but to fulfill it.
We see a parallel in this story to our own spiritual evolvement. It’s important for us to remember that our studies do not develop our spiritual nature. This part of our being is already complete. Our studies bring our thought into alignment with our spiritual nature and prepare the mind for the emergence of this higher dimension.
Joseph represents the intellectual side of the mind while Mary represents the intuitive. Our spiritual nature is experienced, not through study, but through intuitive receptivity. Study prepares us to learn intuitively. That Joseph received the announcement of this mysterious conception in a dream rather than in a wakened state indicates the need to set aside intellectual preconceptions and learn to listen intuitively to the emerging Self. This is indeed a mysterious process to most people, and yet it is one that is occurring in us all.
It is, as Paul wrote, the mystery that has been hidden for the ages but is now revealed: Christ in you, your hope of glory. Christ, the spiritual dimension in you, is coming forth. A new order is emerging through you now.