Text: Luke 1:26-38
- I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of
the virgin Mary. (The Apostles’ Creed)
- In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin
Mary. (Baptist Faith and Message 2000)
The problem of exalting Mary than of God’s work, the Immaculate Conception. The thought that Mary was born without sin, which makes her a sinless human being. If that is the case, Jesus is not the only One who was sinless.
Another challenge happened in the late 19th century and early 20th century, describing the evolution/ secularism/ science (liberals). That it is incomprehensible for someone to be born without physical intercourse—rejecting the virgin birth.
Our goal today is to restore and be reminded of the significance of the wonderful story of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
The transforming story of the virgin birth actually starts way behind the New Testament. It started from a prophecy stated by the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin (young woman) will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Christ was born out of a virgin and made entire Israel and even the whole world victorious against the real enemies, evil, sin, and fleshly desires. Yet, remember that the prophecy was about a virgin birth however, in Isaiah 7, the birth of the maiden here that Isaiah prophesied was not an actual virgin birth. Read Isaiah 8:1-4.
So, Isaiah prophesied that Judah will be saved, sustained, and preserved because of the child “Immanuel” but named “Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz”. And yes, God was faithful to His word that all these things were fulfilled.
What makes the story of the nativity, the birth of Christ soooooo wonderful is because it goes beyond the expected fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah. The actual Virgin Birth happened at the birth of Christ. Isaiah 7 alludes to the Greater fulfillment of the prophecy which is Jesus’ birth. That makes the Christmas story not just amazing, but powerful, captivating, and worth celebrating.
Implication no. 1, Truly Man. “Forasmuch as he is no half-savior, but redeemer both of body and soul.” – Thomas Monck. Indeed, Christ can only be the worthy sacrificial lamb if He can represent humanity. But he cannot if He is not man. Therefore, the birth of Christ through Mary was a reminder that He is Truly Man.
Implication no. 2, Truly God. Likewise, the mystery of conception that Jesus cannot at the same way represent God if He is not God. Therefore, Jesus was conceived by the Spirit of God—the Holy Spirit—who is the Third Person of the Godhead. This reality shows that Jesus is God
A final point here. This may not be an implication but let us dwell on this promise. In verse 37 of Luke 1, “For no word from God will ever fail.” The book of Isaiah was written in 800 BC, while the gospel of Luke was in the range of 80-90 AD. The ultimate fulfillment of the promise of the prophecy took place after 800 years.
What can we learn from this? Somehow, for Christians, we thought God does not work because we do not feel Him, we do not encounter him. Yet the verse reminds us that God’s Word will never fail. As humans, we fail, but God’s Word lasts forever. Trust God’s Word. Read it.
Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
December 5, 2021
This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.