Published February 19, 2015
Bible Studies for Life, March 8
Larry King, the former 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.”
The questioner said, “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.” (from Just Thinking RZIM, Winter 1998)
Larry King is not the only one who has wrestled with the question of the virgin birth. The virgin birth is an oft-debated doctrine. However, the virgin birth of Jesus is necessary doctrine to understand the very nature of Jesus as being both God and man. The virgin birth of Jesus is an essential doctrine to the purpose and person of Jesus.
Matthew and Luke each begin their gospel by stating the fact of the virgin birth. The physician Luke doesn’t seek to explain the miraculous, but rather accepted the miraculous as the powerful activity of our omnipotent God.
We spend too much time attempting to explain the miracles. Miracles are the work of God doing what only He can do. Miracles are not proven scientifically. There are “scholars” who reject the miraculous and seek to explain miracles by human knowledge or write them off as legendary or suspicious.
Matthew and Luke accepted the virgin birth as fact. Our God is so big, so powerful, and so wise that the impossible only takes a word for Him to accomplish.
Luke 1:26-31- Jesus was born of a virgin!
Mary provided the human vessel for the birth of Jesus. The infinite God of all creation choose to experience the finiteness of humanity and Jesus began to experience the growth of the unborn, delivery through the birth canal and life as you and I know it. He could have arrived as a child, or a man. If God can make man from mud He could have made a body for Jesus from the riverbanks.
However, God chose to be like us in every way, except for sin, in order to substitute for us as our redeemer.
The sinless nature of Jesus required the virgin birth if He was to be born into the world through the birth canal and experience our life’s journey. He was not simply a good man who became the Messiah. He is God who became man in order to give us the gift of forgiveness and eternal life (John 3:16).
Mary is told to not be afraid. Wow! She is called on to do an amazing task. Can you imagine the challenges, rejections, and pain that her obedience would require? She was a godly young girl, a “favored one.” When you and I think our obedience to the will of God is challenging, think about the challenge presented to Mary.
However, Jesus was not God because of Mary. Mary is obedient and willing. She is to be honored, but she was not divine; she was in need of a Savior. My favorite line from that great song “Mary Did You Know” states it well, “the child that you delivered would soon deliver you.”
Luke 1:32-33 - Jesus was born to reign
Concerning the purpose of Jesus, the Apostle Paul said, “… Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). His purpose was to “save,” however His position is to reign and His personhood is that of God and man, “Son of the Most High,” and the throne of “His father David.”
As “Son of the Most High” His Kingdom is eternal. His kingdom will come on earth as it is in Heaven. He is King and one day, “… every knee will bow, … and every tongue will confess that He is Lord” (Phi. 2:10-11). He will sit on the earthly throne of “His father David.” Jesus’ earthly linage from David is established in his virgin birth through Mary.
The prophet of the Messiah had said, “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom” (Is. 9:7). The messenger was echoing the prophetic reality that Jesus was the Messiah.
Luke 1:34-35 - Jesus was born of God
Mary asked the big question, “How?” She knew that she was a virgin and that it was impossible for her to impregnate herself. The answer she received establishes an essential doctrine of the very nature of Jesus.
The conception would be an act of the Holy Spirit. Mary would provide the human and the Holy Spirit would provide the divinity. Mary would be the vessel; God would provide the miracle. Jesus would be fully man and fully God.
Jesus could not be born in sin (Heb. 7:26). Scripture teaches that the sin nature is passed through the male parent (Rom. 5:12-19). The virgin birth is therefore an essential doctrine to understand the sinless nature of Jesus.
Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, but He did not begin in the Virgin Mary. The Bible is clear about the eternal existence of Jesus (John 1). He took on humanity through the virgin birth, yet His deity was established in eternity.
Living out The Word
The Virgin Birth is a barrier for many people. How would you explain the Virgin Birth to someone who is struggling with the issue of following Jesus?
Jesus was fully man and fully God. Write a biblical explanation of what this truth means and why it is important to understand.
The messenger of God told Mary that Jesus would “reign.” Search the scripture to discover the meaning and method of His reigning.
Who do you need to talk with about the miraculous, virgin birth of Jesus?
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