The virgin birth is questioned

Published 9:53 pm Friday, December 12, 2008

Is it wrong to raise a question about the Virgin Birth? I suppose it is not wrong, at least when you do not have all the facts. Mary, a virgin who was only pledged to be married to Joseph, had her questions about a virgin birth.

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to Nazareth in Galilee to an unworthy virgin maiden named Mary. His message was one of grace, the undeserved favor of God. She would conceive in her womb and bring forth a son whom she would name Jesus. This son would be the Savior from sin and the Eternal King of God’s people.

Mary’s question immediately was, “How can a birth happen to me, being a virgin and not married to a husband?” She was seeking more information concerning what seemed to be impossible. Gabriel explained the process. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon you and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore the holy one to be born shall be called the Son of God.”

The Angel told Mary three things to encourage her faith for a miraculous virgin birth. First, “The Lord is with you”. Second, “Your elderly barren cousin, Elizabeth, has conceived a son by her elderly husband, Zacharias, and is in her sixth month.” Third, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

Now bring any question or doubt you may have about the virgin birth to Gabriel for answers. The Lord was with Mary. The Lord had already performed the miracle of giving life to the elderly couple, Zacharias and Elizabeth, in order that a son, John the Baptist, might be born to them three months hence. But the primary answer is in the statement, “For with God, nothing shall be impossible.”

With this encouragement to her faith, Mary was prepared to make the commitment: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” What had settled the doubt and question about the Virgin Birth for Mary should be adequate to settle them for you and me.

But let’s not stop here. Mary’s elderly cousin, Elizabeth, had the insight to see that Mary’s faith in God’s word and way and works became the human part of moving from the normal to the miraculous in the virgin birth. Elizabeth said concerning Mary, “Blessed is she that believed” (Luke 1:45).

In our life and work God desires to move us from the normal to the miraculous. Most of us only experience the normal, yet the miraculous is possible. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ was a unique, once in all eternity, miraculous experience. But lesser miracles of faith are God’s plan for all believers. The three-point message brought by Gabriel to Mary is the same message God has for you today.

You can move from the normal to the miraculous because God is with you.

This has always been the motivation for God’s people. He is always saying to His people, “You can do it because I am with you. You cannot, but I will do it through you.”

You can move from the normal to the miraculous because you know of someone, like Elizabeth, in whose life God is miraculously at work. God is no respecter of persons. What He’s done for others, he can do for you, in your and his own unique way. Whom do you know? Allow someone to be an inspiration to your faith. If you cannot think of someone, read the list of the persons of faith in Hebrews 11 and God will lift your faith.

You can move from the normal to the miraculous because, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) God said to Abraham and Sara who faced the impossibility of child bearing, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14) The Disciples asked Jesus, “Who then can be saved?” His answer: “With man it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:26-27). Paul and Barnabas reported “What God had done with them” (Acts 14:27).

So, let’s bring ourselves to say to God what the Virgin Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant; be it unto me according to your word.”