Summary: #1 of 2-part series "Why a Virgin?" This speaks of the Virgin Birth as part of prophecy - Gen.3:15, Is.7:14, and Jer.22:28-30.
Luke 1:26-38 – Offspring of the Virgin’s Womb, Part 1
The little girl was sitting with her grandmother, who had presented her with her first little children’s Bible, in an easy-to-read translation, when she was very young.
Now, a decade or so later, the old lady was ready to spend a few sweet moments handing down the big old Family Bible, in the time-honored King James Version, to her only grandchild.
Understandably excited, the youngster was asking a number of questions, both about the family members whose births and deaths were recorded therein, and about various aspects of the Scriptures themselves.
Her grandmother was endeavoring to answer all the child’s questions in terms she could understand; but the one that stopped her cold was this sincere inquiry:
"Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus? Was it the Virgin Mary, or the King James Virgin?"
Tonight we are looking at the topic of the virgin birth: that part of Christian doctrine that insists that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived inside her body. Tonight we are actually starting a 2-part series on the topic. Tonite we will look at one reason why God chose a virgin to bring about His Son into the world. Next week, we will look at what it means for us. Why does it matter? Why is it important that Mary was a virgin? The 2 may overlap a little, but I’ll try to keep each message distinct from the other.
Now, to start off, the virgin birth is fairly disputed. In fact, Millard Erickson says, “Next to the resurrection, the most debated and controversial event of Jesus’ life is the virgin birth.” Some people really stumble over this issue. Matthew mentions it, and Luke mentions it. The other NT writers don’t mention it right out, but they don’t detract from it, and they certainly don’t contradict it, either. The Gospel writers include it as history, even if the other NT writers don’t elaborate on it.
The doctrine of the virgin birth has been around in the church since the beginning. The church has always believed it. It wasn’t a later addition to our theology. It’s been around since the beginning. Ignatius, a church leader who lived at the end of the 1st century, wrote about Jesus being born of Mary and also of the Holy Spirit.
Many people today reject the Virgin Birth because they say it is impossible to believe in an age of modern science and think that the early Christians believed in it simply because they were ignorant. CS Lewis comments on this attitude in his book, Miracles:
“Thus you will hear people say, ‘The early Christians believed that Christ was the son of a virgin, but we know that this is a scientific impossibility.’ Such people seem to have an idea that belief in miracles arose at a period when men were so ignorant of the course of nature that they did not perceive a miracle to be contrary to it.
“A moment’s thought shows this to be foolish, with the story of the virgin birth as a particularly striking example. When Joseph discovered that his fiancée was going to have a baby, he naturally decided to repudiate her. Why? Because he knew just as well as any modern gynecologist that in the ordinary course of nature women do not have babies unless they have lain with men.
“No doubt the modern gynecologist knows several things about birth and begetting that Joseph did not know. But those things do not concern the main point – that a virgin birth is contrary to the course of nature. And Joseph obviously knew that.”
The early church believed in the Virgin Birth, not because they were stupid or un-enlightened, but because they believed that a miracle happened. Now, we can’t prove it. But if we believe that Jesus walked on water or fed 5000 with scarcely anything, then we should be able to believe in the miracle of the Virgin Birth.
So, why did it happen this way? Why did God pick a virgin to bear His Son? Well, as I said, I’m going to touch on one issue tonight, but I still want to leave room for next week, too. You may think of other things when I’m done, but I still want to address some things next week too.
The reason I’m looking at tonight about why God chose a virgin to bring His Son into the world was the fulfillment of prophecy. There are several areas in the OT that speak of this. The topic can be found way back in Genesis 3:15, which describes God’s curse upon Satan. It says: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."