John Pearrell

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14, NIV)

This is a familiar Christmas verse. What the prophet wrote 700 years before it happened began to unfold in a tiny, out of the way village in Judea through a poor Jewish girl. “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 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.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ 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. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.’ ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:26–38, NIV).

The story is incredible; perhaps that is why so many question its accuracy. A pregnant virgin is a contradiction in terms! This miraculous birth was going to be accomplished by the creative act of the Holy Spirit in the body of Mary. The virgin birth was a special miracle performed by the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, whereby the Second person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God, took to Himself a genuine, though sinless human nature and was born as a man without surrendering any aspect of His deity. He was fully man and fully God.

Let that sink in. Jesus was not just a good man; He was God in the flesh, God come looking for us! Now, if you struggle with the miracle of a virgin birth, let me remind you that the nature of a miracle is something that defies normal explanation.

While Satan through the ages tried to corrupt the concept of a virgin birth by creating stories of immoral Roman and Greek god’s having sexual relations with human women, the story of Jesus is totally unique and different. This is a creative act of the God of the Universe. If you can’t understand that, that is to be expected—a miracle that can be explained is no miracle at all! The essence of a miracle is it can’t be explained; it is the divine intervention of God, suspending natural laws and doing something supernatural. It is a pregnant virgin. How sad that we have come to the place today when we think that we have to have a natural explanation to help us try to explain supernatural intervention! When we do that, we are guilty of trying to reduce God to our understanding! What we have in the account of the virgin birth is a supernatural act of God and to try to explain it any other way is either human delusion or Satanic deception. No, we can’t understand it—but do the facts support it? Does the life Jesus live give evidence to what the angel announced, and Luke recorded?

Perhaps, for the first time now this announcement has made sense to you. You’ve heard it in the past, but you always put it down to a quaint Christmas story, perhaps on the level of Santa Claus. But maybe it has dawned on you that there is more history to the story than you previously believed. I want to encourage you to examine the evidence and then take an informed step of faith and receive Jesus as the Son of God; your Savior. No other religion in the world has a Savior — Christianity does. No other religion in the world offers you the promise of being able to stand and be accepted by God — Christianity does. I challenge you to look again at the Christmas story and discover the wonder of it for yourself.

Dr. John Pearrell is pastor of Gateway Community Church in Covington. For more information, visit www.gatewaycommunity.org or email john.pearrell@gatewaycommunity.org.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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