In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.
Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favoured woman! The Lord is with you! [Blessed are you among women.]” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favour with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!”
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God. ”
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.Luke 1:26-38
I think I will give you a lighter Gem today so you have time to do some study or sleuthing for yourself. There are two issues that are foundational to Christian teaching: The virgin birth and the resurrection of Christ. Either these two elements are true or Christianity is a myth. Many have come to faith because of these two issues.
- Was Mary a virgin?
- What does the word “parthenos“, translated virgin actually mean?
How can it be possible for someone to be born by virgin birth? We all know what it takes to make a baby. I don’t have to spell out the details for you.
- So how can a virgin birth even be possible?
- Are the witnesses reliable?
- What is betrothal in the Jewish culture all about?
I intend to give you another day to find out. If I rush on now to deal with the elements before us you will miss out on the chance to find out for yourself.
In the first instance examine the text and the credibility of the witnesses. There are four of them with more behind the scene. The prime four are Mary, Joseph, Luke and Gabriel. Then there is Matthew as well as Isaiah and the immediate family. Examine their testimony and see what you said. I am glad it was Luke giving us this testimony. His accuracy and attention to detail is important and furthermore he is a doctor. One would think if Luke unequivocally says it was a virgin birth, then it was a virgin birth. When a doctor adds his credibility to something so unique it adds credence, even if it does stretch the realm of credibility. Take some time to examine the witnesses.
Larry King, the CNN talk show host, was once asked who he would most want to interview if he could choose anyone from all of history. He said, ‘Jesus Christ.’
Interviewer: ‘And what would you like to ask Him?’
King replied, “I would like to ask Him if He was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me’.”Larry King
Larry King is so right – the answer to that question defines history for all of us.Ian Vail
Your answer to that question defines history for you and it also defines your future.Ian Vail
Take the time needed to research and think about it. “Ponder these things in your heart” ( á la Luke 2:19)Ian Vail