Among the core teachings of Christianity, the virgin birth can be one of the most difficult for the human mind to accept. Yet in Luke's Gospel account, we see Mary respond in trust to the angel's mysterious message. Alistair Begg encourages us to consider the unique nature of Jesus' miraculous birth in the context of His divine mission and to respond, like Mary, in simple faith.
26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27to a virgin betrothed2 to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”3 29But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”4
35And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born5 will be called holy—the Son of God. 36And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant6 of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
In communicating the incarnation of Christ, the gospel writers were very clear on certain key points. They were writing history, events that really happened and not legends or fables, yet those events held a deep mystery that could not be explained by natural means. The reason for this paradox is plain: the One coming to redeem the world was God Himself, divinity in the form of a human baby. In this series, Alistair Begg focuses on the principles of history, mystery, and divinity to explore Luke’s account of those who first heard about the Savior’s coming. As we observe the faith and obedience of Elizabeth, Zechariah, and Mary, we are challenged to praise God for His goodness and receive His gift of salvation.
Elizabeth and Zechariah
The Magnificat, Part One
The Magnificat, Part Two
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