Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The Virgin Mary
If you type into Google "The Virgin Mary" you get 10,100,000 results. If you type in "Was Mary a Virgin" you get 27,100,000. Nearly three times the results.
Everyone's got an opinion. It seems that a lot of time is spent discussing whether Mary was an actual virgin, or if virgin meant pre-pubescent, or if a Roman soldier was the actual father, or if the whole thing was a hoax, or Mary was a lying whore (sorry to be rough, but it's a common argument on google), or if she had perpetual virginity, or if she was ascended into heaven because she was a virgin, or if she just died like the rest of us.
Hmmm...is this really necessary?
Oh, yes, it's necessary if you are trying to keep the focus off Jesus Christ.
This week I sent my gals out into the big, dark world to see if people in general believed that the virgin birth was what it claims to be. In some studies I have found, they claim that 70% of believers and non-believers think she was really a virgin. It will be interesting to see if most in this area believe in the virgin birth. I should have instructed the women to ask a second question then - if she was a virgin, how does that affect you today?
The big question is: why is the virgin birth of Jesus so important?
It comes down to truth. If Isaiah 7:14 says that a "virgin will conceive and bear a son" and this child is "God with Us," then for Jesus to be "God with Us" or Immanuel, then He must fulfill this prophecy. Matthew 1:18 tells us that "...when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit." Luke 1:35 tells how this happened - "...The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God."
At face value, you have an Old Testament prophecy that states the birth will be a virgin birth and you have two gospel accounts that state Mary was a virgin and became pregnant through the work of the Holy Spirit - that's why Jesus would be called the Son of God. If Jesus was simply a baby born of Joseph and Mary, then He would have the same nature that you and I have, and He would need a savior just as much as we do.
But He was not born of man, but He was born of God, fulfilling the OT prophecy and establishing His divine nature.
So, if it's really that simple, then why are there 27 million results on google? Because without the gift of faith, the fact of the virgin birth is something to distract the world from the truth of the person of Jesus Christ. Remember, Satan is the master at twisting truth and he loves to draw even believers' attention away from truth by getting them tangled in senseless debates.
So, here's my advice for you today: stick with Truth. If the Bible says it, believe it. Oh, go ahead and study it, compare scripture with scripture, understand the context and you can even review the culture. But if the scripture says something, have confidence that you have been given the Truth.
Don't worry about the 27 million opinions. You have the One that counts.