- I am sure by now you have heard the story of Jesus being born in Bethlehem to the virgin Mary and her husband Joseph. The part of the story I want to focus your attention on today is the virgin birth. The question I want to pose to you is why did Jesus need to be born of a virgin? I know there are probably answers swirling around in your head. Maybe however, it’s a question you have never really thought about.
- Whether you have or haven’t, let’s think about it today. I want to simply give you three reasons why Jesus needed to be born of a virgin. If you think about it long enough maybe you can come up with more than three, but let me give you these to get you started.
- 1. It Identified Who the Messiah Was
- Many years before the birth of Jesus there was a prophecy given to Isaiah.
- “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
- For us to know who would be the Messiah, there had to be some form of indication – some very specific, detailed marker that would make it abundantly clear. That sign was the virgin birth. Without that, how would we be able to identify him? Thankfully, God used the uniqueness of his birth as a way of setting him apart.
- If you go back to Genesis, God predicted that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent.
- “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” (Genesis 3:15).
- For thousands of years after this prophecy was made, the wait was on to see who this person would be. When would he be born? How would he get here? How would we know it was him?
- This would require something more than just the casual announcement. Without some miraculous entryway into humanity and without that clear delineation, what would prevent anyone from claiming to be the Messiah? Therefore, his birth not only had to be amazing, it had to be miraculous as well. Jesus had to come to earth in such a way that no one else would be able to claim a similar path. Thus, we get the necessity of the virgin birth and a fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah.
- Jesus is the only one in all human history who can lay hold to the claim of being born of a virgin. No other person can say this. This was simply the first in a long line of things in Jesus’ life that defined who he was. This one event however separated Jesus from the rest of humanity. Jesus being born of a virgin was a sign that he would be Immanuel, which is God with us. Without this sign and the virgin birth, Jesus is just like the rest of us. If that were true, then there would be no way he could ever truly be our Savior.
- Photo credit: ©Getty Images/lukbar
- 2. It Confirms Christ’s Divine Nature
- The second important reason why Jesus needed to be born of a virgin is that it was evidence of his divine origin. Remember what the angel told Joseph.
- “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit’” (Matthew 1:20).
- Think about it. How could someone claim to be of divine origin if their conception is from regular parents like you and I have? One of the proofs of Jesus’ divinity is not just the manner of how he was conceived but the one who is responsible for the conception. That of course is the Holy Spirit. This is also clear evidence of the power of God. Only God could make it possible for a woman who is a virgin to be able to give birth.
- In case you were wondering, the reality of this happening was not only shocking to Joseph but even to Mary. After she first heard what the angel told her, she wondered how this all would happen (I mean you would be wondering the same thing). Here is that discourse:
- “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’” (Luke 1:30-35).
- You see, Mary wondered and she got her answer. The beautiful part of the story is Mary’s eventual reaction to what the angel told her.
- “’I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her” (Luke 1:38).
- If there is a side lesson to this story of the virgin birth here it is. Sometimes you just have to take God at his word. There will be times you won’t be able to figure out exactly how God is going to do something. I am sure Mary really didn’t quite understand how this was all going to work and I don’t know if she spent time trying to figure it out. She simply took God at his word and let him worry about the details.
- That’s a great lesson for you and me to learn. (I know that’s not part of the question why did Jesus need to be born of a virgin, I just thought it was a good point to make).
- ©Getty Images/sofiaworld
- 3. It Bypassed the Curse of Sin Placed on Us by Adam
- The final reason to consider for why Jesus needed to be born of a virgin is that it bypassed the curse of sin placed on all of us. David reminds us of the sinful nature we are all born with.
- “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5).
- The reality of this statement hits home when you think about who we really are. David said this about himself, but this can be said of every one of us. You and I were sinful at birth, but not just at birth; we were sinful from the time of conception. From the moment we were conceived the sinful nature given to us because of Adam’s sin was put on us. (In case you were wondering, this explains why your kids act the way they do).
- To be clear about your sinful nature, you didn’t get it after you came out the womb, this happened the moment you were conceived. Along with your conception came the curse of sin passed down to us from Adam. Since this is true, Jesus had to be able to bypass this form of conception. If his birth was the byproduct of Mary and Joseph, then he too would have born under the curse of Adam. That means he would have been just like you and me. This would have disqualified him from being the Messiah and that’s why Jesus needed to be born of a virgin.
- Final Thought
- As you can see, there were some very important reasons requiring Jesus to be born of a virgin. Simply put, for him to fulfill his mission of being the spotless, perfect lamb of God, he had to have an origin that was different than ours. Thankfully he did.
- This holiday season as you remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior, focus on this wonderful point. His life required a different introduction so your life and mine could have a different ending. Thank God for the virgin birth.
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