Someone commented on a post that Joseph was 95 years old, and Mary 14, when Jesus was born. What do you say?
When there is an older man in the Bible that is going to become a father, the Bible usually reveals that fact.
Abraham is one example. Genesis 17:15-17 says, “And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?”
Boaz is another example. Ruth 3:7-11 says, “And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.”
Zacharias is another example. Luke 1:5-7 says, “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.” Luke 1:13 says, “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.”
When the angel Gabriel is talking to Mary about the birth of the Lord Jesus, he mentions the age factor of Elizabeth – but nothing about that in relation to her and Joseph. Luke 1:30-36 says, “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.”
There is no mention at all in the Bible about there being a big difference in the ages of Joseph and Mary. Matthew 1:18-25 says, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”
Liberal thinkers try to say that young girls were married off at extremely young ages in Bible times (like the age you were told, 14), but we do not see that at all as the general rule in Bible times. God Himself set the age of being accountable for life decisions at 20 years old. Numbers 14:28-30 says, “Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.” Maybe that is why Jacob was willing to work 7 years for Rachel’s hand in marriage, because she had not quite reached 20 years old, yet. We do not know, because it does not say. Genesis 29:18 says, “And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.”
The most important decision of life is salvation and then serving the Lord. The next most important decision would be marriage. It is hard to imagine that God would condone the marrying of girls under the age of 20, when He considers that the age when He holds people accountable for their life decisions. After watching young people grow up and leave home, I would never encourage young people to marry before the age of 20 years old. I have seen some young people greatly change after they graduate from school. It is good to wait a few years and see what direction they are really going to choose in life.
Based upon the fact that God holds young adults accountable from 20 years old and up, God would have never put such an important decision before Mary, as to whether she would be willing to bear the Messiah, unless she was at least 20 years old. God does not violate His own principles. Luke 1:34-38 says, “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”