In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:26-45 NIV)
I am not in any way ashamed to say that I unequivocally believe every word of the above story to be true and historical in nature. It is not myth or fairytale. But how can this be? How can a virgin become pregnant?
The exact biomechanics behind how Mary became pregnant via the Holy Spirit is beyond my ability to explain in any scientific manner, but then that, in itself, is a characteristic of what we call a supernatural event. We can be certain that the conception of Jesus was a creative act of the Holy Spirit and not any sort of divine-human consummation as might be observed in pagan mythology. The Bible is clear about the virgin birth and the nature of Jesus’ birth testifies of both His deity and His sinlessness.
In another blog I spoke of eyewitnesses (to read it, click here). The story of Jesus’ birth is full of eyewitness testimony. We have Mary, who relates her encounter with the angel, Gabriel. Gabriel relates to Mary that Elizabeth is in the six month of her pregnancy, which prompts Mary to visit her relative, Elizabeth, who is, in fact, pregnant. We have John (the Baptist) who, still in Elizabeth’s womb, leaps for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice (because he knows she’s pregnant with the Savior). Elizabeth is then filled with the Holy Spirit and verbalizes a great expression of praise over God’s good works. And let us not forget that both Matthew, who personally spent a lot of time with Jesus and Mary; and Luke, a physician and historian (a very well-educated man) both recorded the virgin birth, creating corroborating accounts. And the Bible accounts we read today were written and circulated when many of those involved were still alive to substantiate the story.
So all of this is a relatively long way of saying that, as Christmas approaches, we have very valid reasons for believing the Bible account. These were real people involved in real events and we really are celebrating Jesus’ birthday. And that means we can have every confidence in the saving grace afforded to us by Jesus Christ. Have you availed yourself of God’s forgiveness?
We’re happy to help you to understand more about Jesus. Please drop us a note at: ReignDropsBlog@gmail.com. And may you have a very Merry Christmas!
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