Joseph did have a reputation. Joseph was considered a righteous man. He did the right things the right way in the eyes of God. And into the midst of his life came this "unrighteous situation." His betrothed wife had become pregnant, and it wasn't through him. (I imagine it was Mary who told him, but maybe not. I imagine she told him what the angel said to her, but maybe not.) What was he to do? How should he respond? What would a righteous person do in such a situation? He decided to divorce her without any fuss or muss. Technically, he could have angrily responded and trumpeted the Jewish law and have her stoned. But Joseph was a righteous man seeking God in his ordinary humdrum life, and so he determined the right thing to do in the eyes of God was to quietly cut the ties with her. That was his plan before God stepped in by sending to him an angel in a dream. Joseph was told to take Mary as his wife, for Mary had conceived through the Holy Spirit. Joseph was to name the child Jesus, because he will save people from their sins. Wow! What a large assignment! How would you like to be the step father of the Son of God?
What was Joseph's response? "When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son." Joseph obeyed. Joseph did what God desired. And as the story of Christmas continues with the visit of the Magi, over and over we see Joseph obey God's guidance.
Why did God choose Joseph? Because he had a history of obedience to God in the small things of life. He was already a righteous person before this event occurred. Thus,he was just the person for this grand assignment.
This story illustrates a life principle we should remember, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with very much, (Luke 16:10)" or, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. (Matthew 25:23)" People with big dreams don't often like the small things. But God wants you and I to be faithful in the small things, and that leads us to big tasks and responsibilities, even things we never dreamed about. So, maybe as we begin this year, we should have a new motto, "Think Small!"
Peace be with you!