Tuesday is for Preaching

Virgin and Child

Actually, a “virginal conception” is what is really meant! The background to this powerful miracle is stunning. In 734 B.C. the prophet Isaiah was sent to an unbelieving and wicked King by the name of Ahaz. Two armies were allied against him and he was thinking about making an alliance with Assyria to fight against them. God sent Isaiah to him to warn him to not do it but to instead trust in YHWH. He even gave Ahaz the opportunity to ask for a sign (“let it be as deep as Sheol or high as heaven”) to show that God would protect him and the nation. He refused and God said okay then, I’ll give you a sign of what is going to happen.

The LORD then gives a short-term sign to Ahaz and a long-term sign to the House of David. The short-term sign is fulfilled in the defeat of the two armies allied against him in 732 B.C.. The long-term sign is that God will cause a virgin to be with child in fulfillment of His longer plan to send a Messiah through the line of David and the tribe of Judah. So here are seven reasons we should continue to believe that, Jesus was born of a virgin:

  1. Because God said he would give a colossal sign and the virginal conception of a child fits the prophecy. (Isaiah 7:10-14)
    ….
  2. Because the Hebrew word translated “virgin” denotes “‘virgin’ in every case where its meaning can be determined'” (cf. Kaiser, Toward an Old Testament Theology, 208).
    ….
  3. Because the septuagint translators, Jewish scholars of the Old Testament who used Greek to translate the Hebrew Scriptures two centuries before Christ) removed all doubt that almah (Heb. עלמה) should be understood not just as a “young girl” but as “a virgin” when they used the Greek word parthenos (Gr. παρθενος) to make their translation clear.
  4. Because Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38 tell us about the angel sent from God to tell of the virgin conception of Christ in fulfillment of prophecy.
    ….
  5. Because Jeremiah 22:24-30 (see esp. vs. 30) makes it clear that no one who is a blood relative of Coniah (alternate spelling for Jeconiah) will EVER sit on throne of David. This is a problem if Matthew’s genealogy is the genealogy of the Messiah (cf. Jer. 22:30 with Matthew 1:11). The virgin conception of Jesus is the New Testament solution.
  6. Because Matthew 1:1-17 does something that no genealogy in the Old Testament ever did. It highlights four women in the genealogy and a more scandalous group of women could hardly be collected (Tamar, Rehab, Ruth, and Bathsheba). And each is referred to in exactly the same way to ensure that the reader knows that the man mentioned just before is the paternal father by this particular woman. Each fathers or begets “by” (lit. “out of” Gr. κ τῆς) the woman mentioned (cf. vs. 3, 5, 6). The reader is meant to see these women and begin to ask “why?” When the culmination of the genealogy comes in verse 16 the pattern changes.
    ….
    .“Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.” (NASB 1995)
    ..
    The text distances Joseph from being the agent of conception and says Mary is the one “by whom” (Gr. 
    ἐξ ἧς ἐγεννήθη, literally, “by whom” or “through whom”). In other words, Mary is the human instrument but Joseph is uninvolved in the process. All of this sets up verses 18-25 where we are explicitly told that the Holy Spirit intervened and cause Mary to be pregnant apart from Joseph.
    ….
  7. Because it was through Adam’s sin that our sin nature is passed on according to Romans 5:12-21. Adam, not Eve is considered the originator of mankind’s sin nature. He is the responsible agent. So for the Messiah, the “second Adam”, to accomplish the task of atonement He too must be free of sin and also of a sin nature just like the first Adam before the Fall into sin.
    ….
    In some mysterious way, human fathers pass on their sin natures to their progeny. Mary had a human father therefore she had a sin nature and needed a Savior. But the second Adam has no human father. He is the “holy child” (cf. Luke 1:35) and free of all sin. Just as He must be if He is to be the perfect spotless lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29, 36).

Be amazed this Christmas at the wonder and glory of the plan of God to redeem man from sin to an eternity of joy with Him.

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