“Her husband, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.”
Joseph was righteous, meaning he obeyed the laws of scripture. But this verse reveals that righteousness is not enough. He still intended to thwart God’s plan of salvation for the world because of his commitment to be righteous. Sure, he tried to find a middle ground, choosing not to expose her publicly, but his plan was still to abandon her to bear her child alone. Righteousness is not enough if it only means following the rules. Righteousness has to be more, it has be about doing what is right and good for all people at all times with a good heart. That kind of righteousness is impossible for us, but not for Jesus. He alone is righteous and his righteousness is a gift to us.