Points Covered: This sermon proves the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. A detailed look at the life of Mary and Joseph.
The virgin birth of Jesus is the belief that Jesus was conceived in the womb of his mother Mary through the Holy Spirit without the agency of a human father and born while Mary was still a virgin. Whose son is Jesus? Mary, Joseph, or God. What is your thought about the birth of Jesus? Do you believe without doubt that Jesus was born of a virgin?
Now Matthew gives us the human answer to whose son Jesus is in the genealogy that he presents in Matthew 1:1-17. Here Matthew gives the genealogy of Jesus from the human side. However in Matthew 1:18-24, the Bible is giving the genealogy of Jesus from the divine side.
Humanly through the lineage of David, Jesus is the son of David. By the virtue of Jesus’ virgin birth, Jesus is the son of God. Jesus is God in a human body.
As the son of David, Jesus gains the right to rule the world. As the son of God, Jesus is God in human flesh who can take the stain of sin from mankind. If Jesus Christ was only the son of David, He may have had the legal right to be the king, but he could have never redeemed men. He could have never conquered death. He could have never conquered sin. He could have never conquered Satan and hell. For that, he had to be God. And so Jesus was God and man, 100 percent deity, 100 percent humanity. That is the message of Matthew 1. And so he splits his chapter into two parts, dealing with the human and then the divine.
Now, modern thinkers are not ready to accept the deity of Jesus Christ and his virgin birth. We cannot doubt the virgin birth if we simply open our eyes and look at Matthew 1:18-25.
Matthew 1:18-25 18This 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.19Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
There is no birth ever in the history of humanity that is as singularly spectacular as the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary.
The virgin birth conceived. There have always been a lot of virgin birth myths floating around. There was a wrong legend that Alexander the great who conquered the world was virgin born. People claim wrongly that Zoroaster, prophet among ancient Iranians was virgin born. Guess who made them up? Satan. Why? Because he is the master of counterfeit, he is the deceiver.
Matthew 1:18 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. Here we have the virgin birth conceived. Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit.
1. A look at Jesus’s mother Mary.
Her early life was spent in Nazareth. She was probably poor, probably hard working, and a very righteous and devoted lady.
a. Mary submitted to God’s Word.
In Luke 1, you have a parallel account of the annunciation. Luke 1:35 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.
Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
b. Mary was a woman of faith.
Mary left Nazareth and went to Judea to Zechariah’s house. There Elizabeth and Mary having a conversation, we learn a second thing about Mary from Elizabeth’s words. Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! Not only did she submit to the Word of God, but she was a woman of what? Faith.
She believed God. She must have been a great woman to just believe the angel. Most women would have said, “Say, Joseph about it. Let me see a counselor.” She believed. Great lady of faith.
c. Mary was a righteous person.
That kind of faith is characteristic of a righteous person. A person who submits to the authority of the Word of God and who lives by faith in that Word. A news even when it makes absolutely no sense and there was no human historical precedent on which she could say, “This is true.” That’s a woman who is righteous. She accepted it.
d. Mary glorified the Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 1:46-49 46And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
Oh, what a godly lady. There was no doubt in her mind. There was no pondering. There was no questioning. There was an instant submission and an instant belief that this, in fact, was God’s truth. What a righteous lady.
e. She was a true Old Testament saint in a dark age.
Remember God has hardly spoken to man in the past 400+ years. She held on to the scripture and she could sense when God was speaking, she recognized it. And she went on to praise God for what he was going to do. She was a true OT saint in a dark age.
By the way, you would be amazed to know that the word “Mary” in Greek is Miriam. And do you know what the root meaning is? Rebelliousness. Poor lady, badly named. She wasn’t rebellious.
f. She was betrothed.
Matthew 1:18 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.
Here is the proof of the virgin birth conceived: A godly lady, engaged, conceived before she came together with her husband.
2. A look at Jesus’s father Joseph.
a. A poor, hardworking man. Now, we don’t know anything about Joseph’s background. He is described as carpenter. He was undoubtedly a poor, hardworking man.
b. A godly man.
Matthew 1:19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. He was a true Old Testament saint. He was faithful to the law. Joseph was engaged to Mary.
So here are two Old Testament saints. They were very young, probably late teens and both were pledged to be married. What does it mean? Well, I’ll give you a little background. There were two stages in a Hebrew marriage. One is called the kiddushin, and the other is the hupah. Now the kiddushin was the betrothal or engagement. Two families would make a contract of promised marriage. It was a binding contract. You were constituted legally married, though there were no physical relationships whatsoever. It was a normally 6-12 month period of waiting. The boy had to get his home ready and the bride had to be ready for marriage anytime. This time proved fidelity of the husband and wife, that would become very manifest in that period. If anybody was going to be unfaithful, the contract was over. At any time during that contract of betrothal period you violated that marriage vow, you had to be divorced in an official sense.
Now, at the end of the period, somewhere from 6-12 months, the wedding took place, and weddings lasted approximately seven days. There is a lot of expense for the girl’s father. When you marry off your daughter, how would you like to have the neighborhood over for a week? You got to feed them, provide drink for them. That’s the marriage at Cana. Remember what happened? They ran out of wine, right?
Remember, during that period, there was not a lot of social contact at all. The boy and girl never met, they stayed in their parent’s house.
They boy had to pay the girl’s father a big money called “Mohar” according to the contract during the engagement. This took care of the wedding expenses. It was also to act as life insurance for the wife. The Jewish father would hold this money in trust and if the husband died, he would give it back to the daughter. And it also was kind of a divorce insurance because the husband, of course, would have to give it up, and, you know, it usually was a rather formidable price and he had no hope of ever realizing it back again unless he stayed married to the girl and received it back by inheritance after the death of the father. So it tended to keep the marriage together. Plus you couldn’t run around and marry too many people or you’d be destitute, giving all your stuff away.
So the betrothal period, then, was the period prior to the wedding itself, but marriage was not consummated physically and all. But, they used the term “husband and wife” because it was as good as valid, just not consummated. And you’ll not that in Matthew 1:25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son.
Matthew 1:18 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. In other words, it was in this betrothal period that Mary was made to be with child by the Holy Spirit. So that there would be absolutely no question about whether Joseph was the father. And Joseph was a godly man, a righteous man, who would not have violated God’s standard.
God looks with great concern on purity. Virginity is of high value to God. It’s a sacred thing, not something to be trifled with. And I’m reminded of how beautiful, lovely and sacred virginity is when I see in the case of Mary and Joseph, how honored they were because of it.
Mary she was found with child by the Holy Spirit. Let’s see out how Mary found out. Luke 1:26-28 26In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin (Again, betrothed. The Bible is very clear about this. The marriage was not consummated.) pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Luke 1:29-34 29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32He 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, 33and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Luke 1:34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” You see, here is Mary affirming her virginity.
Luke 1:35 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.” Not only be called the son of David, but the Son of God.
What an incredible announcement to just a lady living in a little place called Nazareth. And so Mary knew it when she became pregnant. But poor Joseph, he didn’t know. When he found out, it was a shock. He knew Mary that he was betrothed to. He knew the quality of her character. He knew the righteous standard by which she lived. This was totally out of character. It made no sense at all. And he knew Deuteronomy 22 well enough to know that back then when a woman became pregnant with a child outside of wedlock, the punishment was what? Death.
Deuteronomy 22:13-14 13If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her 14and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,”…
Well, if he finds that to be true: Deuteronomy 22:20-21 20If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.
Death would have been what happened then, and Joseph was literally rocked to the very core of his heart. He loved Mary. And Mary had absolutely no way under the sun to protect her reputation. So God protected it for her right here in the pages of the Word of God. Let there be no reproach on Mary ever.
Now listen to this: If Jesus had had no human parents, then he wouldn’t have been man at all. He wouldn’t have been partaker of our flesh. On the other hand, if Jesus had two human parents, he could not have avoided the contamination of humanity.
So he had to be the child of man and yet the child of God, and that’s exactly what he was. He was born of a sinner, and yet he was sinless because he was equally born of God. Deity canceled humanity’s curse. The water of the nature of God drowned the fire of the nature of man. So the virgin birth conceived. This was also prophesied in Isaiah: Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
So Matthew records for us clearly that God entered the flesh by a virgin in which seed was planted by the Holy Spirit. You say, “Well, how does that work?” The Holy Spirit.
This is nothing new for the Holy Spirit in this sense. His was always a work of creation. In Genesis 1, He brooded over the emptiness and the nothingness and he created everything. In Acts chapter 1, he moved upon the situation of people gathered in the upper room and he created the church. And why shouldn’t he be able to create the marvelous miracle of the virgin birth?
It should not have been a shock. The Jews then should have expected it. After the fall, the Lord cursed Satan and said: Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
God said, “Look, Satan. There’s going to come a woman and that woman is going to have a seed, and you may bruise his heel (Satan did that at Calvary, but he’ll do what?) “He’ll bruise your head. Do you know that Jesus is the only seed of the woman, only one time in the history of the world did a woman ever have a seed. Seed is in the man, but once in the woman. That is what Genesis 3 said.
Paul says in Galatians 4:4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law. Bypassing the curse of Jeconiah, as we saw last Sunday.
Conclusion: Jesus is the son of God in the human line. He is the son of God by the virgin birth. Jesus is 100% God and 100% human. Let there be no doubt about his virgin birth.
What has History to say about Jesus’ virgin birth?
Ignatius: A bishop of Apostle John and also the Bishop of Antioch who died in 117 AD wrote, “For our GOD, Jesus the Christ, was conceived in the womb by Mary according to a dispensation, of the seed of David but also of the Holy Ghost.” This proves the historical account of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
Quran: The 19th Sura (chapter)of the Quran named after Maryam, the mother of Jesus. According to the Quran, Jesus (called Isa in Arabic) was born miraculously by the will of God without a father. His mother is regarded as a virtuous woman and is a highly respected figure in Islam.
Now we have seen the proof of the virginal birth of Jesus Christ.
Bible is not a myth and the NT and the OT speak of the virginal birth of Jesus.
The historians of Jesus’ time speak of Jesus’ virginal birth.
The Quran speaks of Jesus’ virginal birth.
The study of Mary and Joseph proves beyond doubt of the virgin birth.
Moreover, the Holy Spirit is the creator God. God who created us does not need anyone to be created.
I am reminded of a carol which goes like this:
Christ by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord.
Late in time, behold him come, offspring of the virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see, hail the incarnate deity.
Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel.
Hark, the herald angels sing glory to the newborn king.”
Now that verse of that particular Christmas carol is a verse that is built around the theme that Jesus is God. And even though the world may sing the song, they’re not really ready to receive the reality of it.
Friends, Jesus is God. As the son of David, Jesus gains the right to rule the world. As the son of God, Jesus is God in human flesh who can take the stain of sin from mankind. Jesus is God with us. Let’s look to the Lord in prayer.