As a father of three, I can relate to being surprised by questions from a toddler. I had to chuckle at the story of a young mother who was reading the story of Christmas to her preschooler. When she got to the part where the Bible said, “Jesus was born of a virgin.” Her son asked, “What’s a virgin?” The surprised mother looked at her Bible praying for help and replied, “It was the King James Virgin.”
The story of Christmas is often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Political correctness has pushed the manger out of the mainstream. The most you might see is a lonely nativity scene on private property.
But the history of Christmas is more like a saga than a story. There are a lot of moving parts. The Christmas story has many characters, sub-plots, twists and turns, and some wonderful surprises. When you put them all together – you get the greatest story ever told.
It all begins with the most miraculous event that took place since creation. Two Jewish teenagers carefully selected the perfect spouse and honored God in every way. If Israel had Facebook, there would have been countless selfies posted of the young innocent couple.
An engagement back then was as binding as a marriage, but the couple wasn’t living together. Then, all of a sudden, their lives were turned upside down.
Luke 1:26-38, “God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you...Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 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, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 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...Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”
Mary was a virgin and was chosen by God to be worthy of giving birth to the Savior of the World. God gave Mary favor above all other women in history.
Now there is only one miraculous conception ever mentioned in scripture, so don’t go getting any ideas. Even Mary needed an angel to explain her case to Joseph. We’ll take a look through his eyes next week.