This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18 NIV
When our Lord lowered himself and came to the earth to redeem us, He did this with a great miracle. No one can deny that Jesus lived for the historical facts are unequivocal. And when you look at the birth of Jesus, you will find that this must have been divinely orchestrated. There is just no way such an event could have been predicted so precisely throughout the centuries without God orchestrating it. And the responses of the people to Jesus’ birth are further proofs that this was supernatural. But please read for yourself, because I have collected some scriptures to point out the magnificence of the coming of our Savior.
The Birth Of Jesus Was Precisely Foretold
As mentioned above, Jesus wasn’t just born in a random time and place. Instead, the details of his birth were known long before. Those prophecies (not counting God’s promise to Abraham) go all the way back to Jacob. When he blessed his sons he said,
The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his. Genesis 49:10 NIV
This pointed to Jesus being born into the tribe of Judah. And the geneaological records in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38 prove that this actually happened. This was not all that was predicted though. The prophet Micah rightly foretold the birth of Jesus to take place in Bethlehem (see Matthew 2:1) as he wrote,
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days. Micah 5:2 ESV
Well, as if that wasn’t enough yet, God even foretold the circumstances of Jesus’ conception. This He did through the prophet Isaiah who proclaimed,
“All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” Isaiah 7:14 NLT
Just one of those precise predictions would have proven the involvement of God, because no man knows the future. But God made sure that even those who firmly believe in coincidences will have to admit that this straight line of true predictions is not natural.
The Prophecies Continued
Behold, there is still more! (Yes, I’m starting to use bible language.) The above examples were not the only prophecies about the birth of Jesus. There were many more and some of them even spoke about the true identity of our Lord. Isaiah for example knew that Jesus He wouldn’t just be another human because he wrote,
For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NLT
Those four titles clearly foretell Jesus’ divine majesty. Mary, too, was granted more insight into her imminent pregnancy. She was visited by an angel who terrified her at first,
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 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,and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33 NIV
All of the above examples show how precise and consistent the predictions of Jesus’ birth were. And as already mentioned, this by itself proves God’s existence and perfect providence!
If you don’t know this divine providence yet, I’d like to encourage you to read about how God Cares For Us.
A Miraculous Conception
Normally, a baby is conceived through a sperm meeting the ovocyte in the mother’s womb. The newborn will then have some genes from the father and some others from the mother. Even this natural conception is the work of God, because one single zygote can’t evolve to 200 different types of cells on its own. Also, cell division does not create a baby’s soul.
Anyway, Jesus was conceived through the Holy Spirit since Mary was a virgin (see Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:18). This means that there was no human sperm, hence no human father-DNA involved. Instead, God himself donated the “sperm” which made Jesus both human and God the same time. He was human through his mother and flesh and God through the spirit in his body. Or like Matthew Henry describes it,
It was so ordered that Christ should partake of our nature, yet that he should be pure from the defilement of original sin, which has been communicated to all the race of Adam. Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Matthew 1:18
That way, even those who think that God is not involved in the creation of life must admit that Jesus’ conception was supernatural.
Was Mary Really A Virgin?
I know that there are many who argue that the word הָעַלְמָ֗ה (hā·‘al·māh) that was translated to “virgin” should have been rendered “young woman“. Well, yes and no. It can describe young women, but as Barnes explains it,
This word properly means a girl, maiden, virgin, a young woman who is unmarried, and who is of marriageable age. The word עלמה (‛almâh), is derived from the verb עלם (‛âlam), “to conceal, to hide, to cover.” […] The word here translated a virgin, is applied to Rebekah Genesis 24:43, and to Miriam, the sister of Moses, Exodus 2:8. It occurs in only seven places in the Old Testament. […] In all these places, except, perhaps, in Proverbs, it is used in its obvious natural sense, to denote a young, unmarried female. In the Syriac, the word alĕm, means to grow up, […]
The etymology of the word requires us to suppose that it means one who is growing up to a marriageable state, or to the age of puberty. The word maiden, or virgin, expresses the correct idea. […] The Hebrews usually employed the word בתולה (bethûlâh), to denote a pure virgin (a word which the Syriac translation uses here); but the word here evidently denotes one who was “then” unmarried; and though its primary idea is that of one who is growing up, or in a marriageable state, yet the whole connection requires us to understand it of one who was “not then married,” and who was, therefore, regarded and designated as a virgin. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Isaiah 7:14
Thus, Mary was a virgin. And even if she wasn’t, she became “pregnant through the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18 NIV) which proves the miraculous conception.
People’s Responses to the Birth of Jesus
When the time of Jesus’ birth came, many people knew about this miracle. One example are the men of the east. They were familiar with the promise of the rising star in Numbers 24:17 and responded as follows:
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2 ESV
But not only wise men knew about the birth of Jesus. God also sent an angel to spread the news among shepherds.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12 ESV
And while Mary was still pregnant, some people already knew the identity of the Messiah because
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:41-45 NIV
Those reactions testify about how evident the importance of Jesus’ birth was. And the fact that so many were aware of it, bears witness to God’s involvement.
How Should We Respond to the Birth of Jesus?
The magnificence of Jesus’ birth should satisfy our craving for more miracles. We should be content with what God has already given to us. Otherwise, we would be like annoying children who just can’t get enough. And that is not very nice because God, our heavenly Father, has provided us with all we need.
If you don’t believe me, please take a look at the Diversity of Creation and see for yourself how much God has blessed us.
Furhtermore, it is fully sufficient to rejoice over what God has done in the past, because that is still affecting us today. The birth of Jesus was the beginning of the awe-striking act of love which redeemed us from our sins. His death on the cross proves The Perfection of God’s Justice, as well as God’s Unfailing Faithfulness.
Therefore, when you’re looking for signs and wonders again, think about the amazing miracle with which Jesus came into the world to save you. Also, remember that every life is in the hands of the Lord and that He truly loves you and cares about you!