Miraculous Virgin Birth?
Here's a great question to ask your pastor after you wish him "Merry Christmas!" "Pastor, do you believe that Mary actually got pregnant with Jesus before she had had intercourse with any man?" If there's hesitation, then you need to find another place to learn about Jesus because if your spiritual leader struggles with the miracle at the beginning of Matthew's Gospel, they will certainly struggle with the greater miracle that comes at the end.
The Bethlehem baby is going to grow up, get crucified, and be placed in the grave. Suddenly, He will rise from the tomb and promise that He can give resurrection life to anyone who trusts Him. If we reject His virgin birth, then why not reject the far greater miracle—a Savior who rises bodily from the grave? One thing that none of us can say is that Matthew, one of the first century sources telling us about Jesus' birth, wasn't clear.
To make sure that we get the point Matthew spells it out twice. Read for yourself in the New Testament—
According to Matthew, Joseph was the legal father of Jesus but not the physical father. The choice is, we can believe the scandalous rumor of illegitimacy that was circulated by Jesus’ enemies (John 8:41), or we can believe Matthew's explanation: Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit who hovered over the chaotic dark waters in the creation account (Matthew 1:18, Genesis 1:2). The reason Joseph doesn't need to be afraid to take Mary as his wife is that she has not been unfaithful. In fact, she is the young Israelite girl chosen by God to fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14. (But that's tomorrow's devotional.)
Today the challenge is to believe that the Holy Spirit had the power to generate a human body for Jesus in Mary without the human seed of a man. This challenge leads to believing that this same Holy Spirit who had the power to give a human body to Jesus will give me a new body at the final resurrection.
Holy Spirit, thank you that you came to live in my life the moment I believed in Jesus as a five-year-old boy. Thank you that you are the down payment that guarantees that my physical death will not be the end of my story and that you have an eternal body prepared for me that will last forever. This Christmas move many of my Truth Encounter friends to not only believe in the miracle of Jesus' virgin birth, but in His power to fulfill your promise to give them a body that will be able to enjoy you forever.
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