Based on a government report outlining what is required for “Santa” to deliver presents to millions of children around the world, his existence is unbelievable. If “Santa” is unbelievable, then how can a 14 year old girl giving virgin birth to Jesus be believable? Is anything more mysterious than the conception and birth of Jesus Christ? And yet, the conception of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit stands in truth on the pages of scripture. (Galatians 4:4).The human mind cannot conceive it. It is “inscrutable.” (John Walver) We reason in faith and seek understanding, knowing that “nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)
THE BIRTH OF JESUS FORETOLD
Jesus’ birth had been in God’s mind since eternity past. (Micah 5:2) Gabriel’s announcement of the virgin birth was foreshadowed in Isaiah 7:14, 700 years before Christ. The prophecy is fulfilled and recorded in Matthew 1:20-22. Around 4 B.C., an angel comes to Joseph. Mary will fulfill prophecy and have a son called Immanuel meaning “God with us.” Luke 2:4-6 tells the story of Jesus’ birth which we all know, but do you believe it? It is inconceivable that a virgin can have a child. And yet, the scripture says she did. Promises made are promises kept with God. (The heavenly announcement made in Galatians 4:4 took 700 years to fulfill.) Jesus was not the first miraculous birth to be announced. Zechariah and Elizabeth had a baby in later years. Zechariah didn’t believe it could happen and wanted a sign, so God muted him until his child was born. God sent Gabriel to Nazareth to give Mary the news that she would conceive a child (Jesus, Luke 1:26). Gabriel called Mary the “favored one” meaning tremendous worth to God (Luke 1:28). Mary is perplexed. But the angel said “do not be afraid — you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:30-33).
THREE TRUTHS ABOUT THE BABY BORN TO MARY
1. His position: Great, son of the Most High.
2. He himself will be the son of God.
3. His rule: He will rule on the house of Jacob. His kingdom will never end. (Luke 1:33)
THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ROLE
Mary’s response to the news was simply “How? I’m a virgin.” (Luke 1:34) Gabriel responds that the Holy Spirit will overcome, overpower and envelop Mary. It’s the idea of a cloud overshadowing and enveloping someone. God miraculously creating.
We cannot reason in our mind, we reason in faith. The birth is supernatural. Mary was favored because God could see her heart at 14 — she believed and had faith. Gabriel answered Mary’s question “How can it be?” by saying, “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37). Mary doesn’t ask for a sign but Gabriel gives it anyway. (in Luke 1:36 that Mary’s cousin Elizabeth is pregnant.) Mary’s response (Luke 1:38) is:
• Humility: “I am your servant — do with me as you will.”
• Submission: “May it be done to me.”
• Trust/Acceptance: “According to your word.”
1. Is the Spirit of God encouraging you to give God’s message that Immanuel is with us to someone who doesn’t know Him?
BE A GABRIEL.
2. Others may need to humble and submit that God came to us, born of a virgin, Mary. It needs to penetrate your heart. Do you need simple humility and trust that God can do all things? If so, trust. Trust God’s word. Believe so that you may have eternal life.
Our prayer is this: God, may your spirit press on us until we obey and submit.
(Material is Copyright © 2009 by Derrick G. Jeter. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.)