A gracEmail subscriber’s 26-year-old son believes that whatever Scripture teaches is true but suggests to his mom that the Bible is not “black and white” that Jesus was born of a virgin. The young man’s mother considers this to be a foundational doctrine and asks for my assistance.
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Both Matthew and Luke affirm as sober narrative that Jesus was conceived in Mary’s virgin womb by the direct power of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-38). Inspiration aside, this is significant testimony. Matthew was a tax-man used to paying attention to detail. Luke was a physician who understood the normal process of procreation, and also a sophisticated historian who carefully researched existing data to ensure the reliability of his Gospel account (Lk. 1:1-4).
Mark begins his Gospel with Jesus at age 30, but he introduces Jesus in his opening sentence as “Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mk. 1:1). If Luke used Mark as one of his sources, as is widely thought, Luke actually clarifies Mark’s use of “Son of God” by including Gabriel’s explanation that the title fit Jesus because he was miraculously conceived by the power of God (Lk. 1:35). John’s Gospel focuses on the divine Logos that became man in the person of Jesus — a heavenly perspective on the divine conception that Matthew and Luke both describe from an earthly point of view (John 1:1-4, 14).
Like John, Paul affirms that in Jesus Christ the divine Son of God became man (Phil. 2:5-7), as does the unknown author of Hebrews (Heb. 1:1-3). For us sinners, it matters supremely that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself (2 Cor. 5:19). In the end, the main point of the virgin birth is the fact that the Son of God became one of us. The biological wonder of human conception without a male contribution was merely the manner by which God chose to bring that about.