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Contending for the Faith
The Girl From Nazareth
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 11:00am

READ: Luke 1:26-37

 

I find it interesting that people choose parts of the Bible to accept as true.

The virgin birth is often a rejected miracle.  The argument I hear is, “As long as I believe in Jesus, the rest doesn’t matter.” But that rationale isn’t logical.

Apart from the virgin birth, Jesus would have been just another man and therefore unworthy of anyone’s faith.

Consider the implications if Mary were not a virgin.

If that were the case, then the following things would be true:

  1. She was a liar who claimed to have been visited by an angel and told that she would bear the Son of God;

  2. She was unfaithful to her intended husband and, consequently,

  3. Jesus was an illegitimate child with no divine nature.

  4. Not only that, but if the virgin birth were a lie, then Jesus was a crazy man who claimed to be the Son of God and died a martyr’s death trying to prove it.

In fact, for Jesus’ death to provide atonement, the virgin birth had to be true.

·       A child born of a man and woman comes into the world with a sinful “flesh” nature (Rom. 5:12), but God required a perfect sacrifice to pay for sin. That message is all through the  Old Testament (Deut. 17:1).

·       Only Jesus, who was born of the Holy Spirit [3rd person of the Trinity] (Matt. 1:18), could have paid our penalty in our place.

If you don’t believe this foundational biblical truth, then you cannot be a Christian.

  • To question the virgin birth is to question the Bible, which clearly teaches it.

  • To question the virgin birth is to question the deity of Christ.

  • If Jesus was not supernaturally conceived in the womb of Mary, then he was not God.

  • And if He was not God, then his death on the cross really meant nothing at all.

For those who would suggest that the virgin birth is impossible, they are essentially denying what the Scriptures teach, because the Bible teaches that God can and will do miracles when and where he chooses.

So we must believe that God in human form, came in the way the Bible tells us he did.

Belief in the virgin birth is essential for a Christian.

Yet it seems as though people either honor (and in some cases even deify) Mary, or they ignore her altogether. We need to find the right balance in how we look at this special and godly woman.

In the New Testament, Mary is never presented as the principal figure. Jesus is. All New Testament references to her are directly connected to him. Yet the fact that she is constantly associated with him does give her a place of prominence and importance.

Some Bible commentators believe that Mary was as young as 12, perhaps not much older than 14.

Mary lived in Nazareth, a nothing town in the middle of nowhere. Had she lived her life as many other teens of her time, she would have married a poor man and given birth to numerous poor children. She never would have traveled more than a few miles from her home, and she would have died like thousands of others before her.

Nazareth was one of those places that someone would pass through rather than go to. It was simply a place that was on the way to another place. Nazareth was sort of the Austin of the Middle East, a place to fuel up, get a bite to eat and keep moving.

It also was a wicked place, a place where pagan temples were raised and Roman soldiers would go about their ungodly living.

It was to this wicked, wretched little place, to this unknown girl living in a relatively unknown city, that God sent the angel Gabriel to deliver the message that she would bring about the most known event in human history, an event that literally divided human time.

Without question there is no other person who has ever lived on this earth who had such a unique relationship with Jesus as his mother, Mary. Of course, she literally had him inside her womb, and she later embraced him in her heart as Savior.

And although Mary was a godly woman, she was still a member of the human race, which means that
she was a sinner. In fact, it was Mary herself who said in the Magnificat, her song of praise to God, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46–57). Mary needed a Savior, just like everyone else does.

"Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS” (Luke 1:30–31).

Poor Mary. Her head must have been swimming at that point: How am I going to explain this to Joseph? “Joseph, I’m pregnant. You know how the Scriptures talk about the Messiah coming to the virgin? I am that virgin. Everything is cool.”

Indeed, when Joseph found out, he was devastated. He was espoused to Mary, which was almost like being married. It was a very serious part of the marriage process, and if you broke your vows during that time, it was like getting a divorce. Under Mosaic Law, Joseph could have had Mary put to death by stoning. But Joseph loved Mary and decided that he would put her away privately and spare her the embarrassment.

But God had different plans. And according to Matthew’s gospel, Gabriel appeared to Joseph one night while he was sleeping and told him the whole story. Gabriel said, “... do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20–21).

God had clearly spoken to Mary, and he confirmed it through Joseph.

Martin Luther said, “[God] might have gone to Jerusalem and picked out Caiaphas’ daughter, who was fair, rich, clad in gold-embroidered raiment, and attended by a retinue of maids waiting. But God preferred a lowly maid from a mean town.”

Maybe you live in a “mean town” right now. Maybe you are the sole outspoken Christian in a family that is hostile toward the gospel. Or maybe you see that same hostility and resistance in your workplace. Or maybe you feel obscure and uncared for. In fact, maybe you’re wondering whether it’s even possible to live a godly life anymore when it seems as though everyone is compromising – even so-called committed Christians.

The same God who gave Mary the power to live a godly life will give you the power to do so as well. Mary lived a godly life in an ungodly place – and so can you.


Finally, we cannot treat God’s Word like a religious buffet, where we choose the parts we will believe. Every fact, promise, and principle is included for a reason.

The Father placed His Son in the womb of a virgin so that no one could doubt He was something special—the Lamb of God, Savior of the world.


Source: Adapted from a devotional by Charles Stanley at: http://www.intouch.org,

and another by Greg Laurie at  : http://www.wnd.com

Highlighting for emphasis and links to: www.biblegateway.com are mine. ... phh

Note:  All Scripture references are from the New King James Version (NKJV)


  "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."  1 Corinthians 16:13  

Call or email me if you have questions.

Amen and God bless you.

"Saint Pete", Sr.


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