Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
—Luke 1:34

Why was the virgin birth necessary? Some say it is just some extra mythology tacked on to the Jesus story. Let me show you four reasons that a virgin birth was absolutely necessary for Jesus.

Number one: The virgin birth protects Christ’s deity. Had Jesus been born of a human father, Jesus would have inherited the curse of Adam’s sin. Romans 5:12 says, “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men.” The virgin birth protects Christ’s deity. He could not have been God had He been born of Joseph.

Number two: The virgin birth preserves Christ’s humanity. Had Jesus escaped the birth process, then we could not have a high priest who understood us. Hebrews 4:15 says, “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” The fact that Jesus was born just like you and I are born, and He lived the same kind of existence we do, means He understands everything we are going through. His humanity is preserved through a virgin birth.

Number three: The virgin birth solves the problem of Jeconiah’s curse. For Jesus to be the Messiah He had to be a descendant of David (2 Samuel 7:16). But as you read through Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus, you find a man named Jeconiah (Matthew 1:11). Jeconiah, also known as Jehoiachin, was so evil that God placed a curse on him: “No man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah” (Jeremiah 22:30). Joseph was a descendant of Jeconiah. Had Joseph been the biological father of Jesus, then Jesus would have inherited the curse of Jeconiah. Because He was not Joseph’s biological son, Jesus escaped the curse–but because He was Joseph’s legal son, He inherited the right to rule as a descendant of David. Only God could come up with a solution like that to avoid the curse of Jeconiah.

Number four: The virgin birth fulfils prophecy. Seven hundred years earlier God had said through the prophet Isaiah that the Messiah would be born of a virgin: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (7:14). Jesus’s birth fulfills this prophecy.

Look at Mary’s response to Gabriel’s astounding announcement: “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). In other words, Mary was saying: “God, whatever You want to do with my life, do it. I am Yours.”

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Mary, Mary, Quite Extraordinary” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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