The Virgin Birth

Posted: 6 August, 2009 in Ponderings
Tags: , , , , ,

There was a comment on one of my previous post, offering an “unusual angle” on the virgin birth of  Jesus Christ, see here. On closer inspection, this “unusual angle” is actually an attempt to dislodge the divinity off the virgin birth, claiming that Jesus was borned a normal man, chosen from among his fellows by God. Their “supporting claim” is that none of the authorities quoted by the churches make any reference to virgin birth at all, with references made to the Book of Isaiah, Matthew and Luke.  All I can say is that, God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom (1Cor 1:21). Such subtle deviation from the Truth is often the most stumbling.

The Virgin Birth, A very pregnant Joan

All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).   Isaiah 7:14

The biggest contention or controversy on the debate about the virgin birth where even the book of Matthew also make reference to is from Isaiah 7:14.  You see, in most modern English translations, the word virgin is used. However in the original Hebrew where book of Isaiah is written, the word עלמה (almah) is used refering to a young maiden woman. And because the modern Hebrew usage for the word virgin is בתולה (bethulah), people assumed that almah does not imply a virgin or sexual purity but age.

On the other hand, if we use the Bible to interpret the Bible, then its a different story altogether; the word bethulah does not necessarily indicate virginity and that almah does mean a virgin. While in modern Hebrew usage bethulah is used to mean a virgin, in Biblical Hebrew however, a young woman almah certainly refers to a virgin, for example: when seeking a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24:43). In short, we simply have to see if from the ancient biblical perspective not from our modern perception.

In addition, the context of Isaiah 7:14 is to look for the sign! Something extraordinary -> Look! A young virgin maiden is to conceive a child and she will give birth to a son and He is called Immanuel, God (Himself) is with us. If Jesus’s birth is natural through human sexual behaviour, then what extraordinary sign is there to look for and get so excited about?

With everything being presented so far, nothing is more important still than to open our eyes to other clear indications from the Bible that confirm and endorse the fact that Jesus had came down from divinity and not from a wriggling sperm!

  • In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.     So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.   John 1:1-2; 1:14
  • For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.   – Jesus Christ, John 6:38
  • Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!”   – Jesus Christ, John 8:58
  • But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.   Galatians 4:4

It is also interesting to note in Luke 3:23, in NLT, “Jesus was known as the son of Joseph.” and in NIV, “Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph”. Luke is obviously trying very hard to point out that Jesus is only somewhat known to be the earthly son of Joseph but in fact, does not have any flesh and blood relations.

The above are just some few examples from the Bible that also supports what is very clearly written in the accounts of Matthew and Luke that Jesus is not just any normal fellow and His birth was extraordinary. He is God’s own Son sent from heaven through the virgin birth of Mary. It is not so difficult to believe the virgin birth which is through the work of the Holy Spirit, if we believe already that God in spirit forming whole entire creation in material form.

Jesus declared Himself to be from heaven! He declared Himself to be the Son of heavenly Father, God Almighty! You can certainty believe that He is either a liar, a lunatic or He is what He really claims to be, but there is no other options here that does make sense otherwise. It is pure stupidity to call and believe in someone who declares himself something else.

Supernaturally, there is also a physical connection between Mary and Jesus, between human and God; which render Jesus truly human too. Baby Jesus probably came into this earth screaming like any baby would. Scripture teaches that Jesus was fully human, with a physical body like ours. This He received from Mary. At the same time, Jesus was fully God, with an eternal, sinless nature.

Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. Hebrews 2:14-15

The very reason why the virgin birth of Jesus Christ has to be clearly comprehended is because we must understand that Jesus was not born  in sin; that is, He had no sin nature. The blind cannot lead the blind; a sinner cannot save himself much less others. To save us, God cannot send any Tom, Dick or Harry; God has to send His very own Son who is perfect, sinless and nothing less; and for our Saviour to save us from hell, bondage and death, He first has to be from heaven, free and alive.

And because we are in flesh and blood, this God also came down in flesh and blood, for only a flesh and blood can die and by dying for our sake, can He break the chains of death and defeat the devil. And by this, He can set us free!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is our God!

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