I believe Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary

I believe Jesus born of the Virgin Mary

Matthew 1:18-5        Isaiah 9:1-7    Galatians 4:1-7         June 23, 2013

Some have said that the virgin birth of Jesus is not necessary for salvation.  Yet we never know what people will say about the virgin birth of Jesus.  ‘Larry King, the CNN talk show host, was once asked who he would most want to interview if he could choose anyone form all of history.  He said, ‘Jesus Christ.’  The questioner said, ‘And what would you like to ask him?’  King replied, ‘I would ask him if he was indeed virgin-born.  The answer to that question would define history for me.’”[1]

 

If the virgin birth of Jesus is not necessary for salvation, then at least it does help us understand how salvation came to this world.  If like Larry King we are looking for defining moments in history, then surely this is one major defining moment.  Why is this a defining moment in history?  Because stating that Jesus was born of a virgin is scandalous, we are either crazy for believing it, or we right in believing.  From before 100 AD the Church has been stating this belief in Jesus.  And people have been baptized with this belief ever since!

 

As we look back into the Old Testament, we find very little about a virgin birth, but it is there!  Then as we review the New Testament, we see the virgin birth of Jesus is there.  Since the Apostles’ Creed is like a summation of the beliefs of the Church as found in the Old and New Testaments, it is important to examine.

 

  1. What does the Old Testament say?
    1. Genesis 3:15 
      1. the woman’s offspring would strike the serpent’s offspring
      2. Eve was a virgin at this time (Gen. 4:1 – Adam knew Eve)
  2. Isaiah 7:14
    1. Isaiah is speaking to the house of David
    2. The virgin will have a son named Immanuel!
  3. Jeremiah 31:1-21
    1. “Virgin Israel” – like one who has not sinned
    2. God brings redemption to his people
  4. A woman who has not had relations with a man will give birth.  That child will be God amongst us!  By the virgin believing God’s word, the rest of humanity receives salvation.  One of the Early Church fathers, Tertullian, wrote this about the virgin birth:  “What had been reduced to ruin by this sex, might by the selfsame sex be recovered to salvation.   As Eve believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other by believing effaced.” [2]  Isn’t that what we find in the New Testament?

 

  1. What do find in the New Testament about the virgin birth?
    1. Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit (Mt. 1:20)
    2. Jesus will save his people from their sins (Mt. 1:21)
    3. Joseph listened to the angel and did not have relations with Mary until after Jesus was born

–          Joseph is curiously called, “the husband of Mary” (Mt. 1:16)

  1. Luke records the virgin birth – most likely directly from Mary’s family! (Luke was precise in his records)
    1. Mary is not a blessed virgin, but a blessed woman
    2. Mary had revealed the truth about her being a virgin to Gabriel, after the blessing!
  2. John 6:41 – The Jews thought Jesus was Joseph’s son
  3. It is there in the New Testament.  Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary.  Why would Jesus’ birth be illegitimate if he was naturally born?  By being naturally born of a woman, Jesus could redeem all of humanity.  That’s right; a male son redeemed all of humanity.  How did God get women and men both away from sin?  By the birth of His son by being born of a woman.  A woman was the willing vessel for God to send his Son.  Is that what we celebrate at Christmas?  This helps us understand how the church has treated the Virgin Birth.

 

  1. How has the Church treated the Virgin Birth?
    1. The church realized that Jesus came willingly, so the church works willingly as the body of Christ

–          “He [Jesus] was not born without his will.  None of us is born because he will, and none of us dies when he will: He, when He would, was born; when He would, He died: how He would, He was born of a Virgin; how He would, He died on the cross.” –  Augustine[3]

  1. The Church is glad that Jesus came, we celebrate it!

–          “In adoring the birth of Our Savior, we find ourselves celebrating our own nativity; for the birth of Christ is the birth of the Christian people, and the Christmas of the Head is the Christmas of the Body.”  – Leo[4]

  1. The Church reminds us of our opportunity to be obedient, like Mary was

–          “As destruction of the old humanity occurred through the disobedience of a virgin, so the redemption of the world occurred through the obedience of a virgin.”  – Documents of Vatican II[5]

 

Jesus’ death on the cross saved humanity from sin.  The resurrection of Jesus shows us that there is life after death.  It is the miracle of Jesus being born to a virgin woman that gets our attention.

 

Ridicule will come to those who speak the truth.  People will question whether Jesus was born to a virgin woman.  Again, this is not something we admit, unless it was true.

 

When we are baptized, we are saying that we believe God has come to earth to save us from our sins.  The virgin birth is how God chose to send His Son.  Is the virgin birth of Jesus a defining moment in history to you?


[2] Thomas C. Oden, The Word of Life,, (HarperSanFrancisco: 1989, p. 149

[3] Ibid, p. 101

[4] Ibid, p. 163

[5] Ibid, p. 149

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