Reflection: What is the significance of Mary being a virgin? Why is it important?
The gospel writer, Luke, knew that by stressing that Mary was a virgin, he would answer three early threats to Christianity:
- It would answer the Jewish attack on Christianity that Jesus was not special (Christians were claiming that the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel,’ was a prophecy about Jesus.).
- It would answer the Docetic belief which taught that Jesus was not truly human. (It made it clear that Jesus was born of a woman).
- It would answer the Adoptionist belief that said that Jesus was not special until he was “adopted” by God when he was an adult.
In other words, the virgin birth teaches that Jesus is special, was human and is God’s fore-ordained gift to humanity.
And peerlessly: by organising for a virgin to give birth to the Messiah, God organised for the impossible to become possible through the work of his Spirit.
And he still does the same today.
Prayer: Dear Father,
It is impossible for me to imagine how I can be a child of yours, you, for whom all things are possible.
I honour you for the privilege of this, and ask that I might fulfil your purpose for my life.