This article was published in the following newspapers:
Ridgway News – Thursday, December 27, 2007
Gallatin County Democrat – Thursday, December 27, 2007
Virgin Birth? Yeah, Right.
Imagine your neighbor is engaged to be married. She is a teenager, and her boyfriend is not much older. Before the wedding, you find out she is pregnant. You get after her for “messing around”, but she replies, “I didn’t mess around! This child was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit. I am still a virgin!”
Would you believe her?
Christians talk about the virgin birth so much that we forget how shocking the whole idea really is. We all know where babies normally come from. But with Jesus, God did something special. He had no human father, because God Himself was the father.
Most likely, hardly anyone believed Mary. “You are still a virgin? Yeah, right.” Even Joseph himself was a righteous man, and considered divorcing Mary because of her supposed unfaithfulness (Matthew 1:19).
Just think of the humiliation. Even before Jesus was born, people thought he was an illegitimate child. They thought his mother was an unclean woman. In fact, according to God’s law, Mary could have been put to death for being impure (Deuteronomy 22:21). In the eyes of the world, Jesus was a baby that should not exist.
But God had other plans. Mary herself knew that a miracle had taken place. She knew her son was a holy child. An angel of the Lord said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
“You . . . shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:31-33)
“You shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
No matter what anyone else thought, God had worked a wondrous miracle. The Holy Spirit overshadowed the virgin Mary, and she conceived Jesus, who came both to save and to rule His people. The ancient prophecy had finally been fulfilled: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
“Immanuel” means “God with us”. And that name describes Jesus perfectly. He is God, and He is with us, even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).
~ Joseph M. Gleason