Luke 1:26-27 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.
Why Mary? This is a question that some think is important while others brush it off as not important at all. Regardless of where you stand on that, Mary was part of a grand story and it was for a reason.
God is sovereign over all things and He provides a way for His will to be carried out. Long before John the Baptist was preparing the way for the Messiah, God was getting things in order. Mary was chosen specifically by God. There is no coincidence in regards to her being the one who would carry the Christ child in her womb. Mary was descended from the right line of Jews to fulfill the prophesies of old. Not only her, but Joseph as well.
Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). He was to be born unto a virgin mother (Isaiah 7:14). He was to live a life that could only have happened exactly as it did if Mary was His mother. Being engaged to Joseph meant that Mary had to make a journey to Bethlehem in Judea for a census at the time of Jesus’ birth. This was God’s provision for the prophesies to be fulfilled in the birth of Jesus. Mary was chosen for many reasons, but it had to be her. It had to be her that bore the Son of God into the world.
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Why is it so important that a virgin be the one to become pregnant with Jesus? Since the beginning, when Adam and Eve sinned and introduced a corrupt nature into all of mankind, we’ve been tainted. We can’t be good no matter how hard we try because we have that sinful nature.
Some have tried to convince us that a virgin birth was necessary in order for Jesus to be without a sinful nature. The logic is that the sinful nature must be passed down from generation to generation from the father. This may be the case, but a mother is also a sinful human being and therefore capable of passing down her sinful nature to her offspring.
Mary was a real person with a real human body and within that body was the Christ child. No other person ever had such a physical connection with Jesus than did His birth mother. How she became pregnant with the Son of God is where the importance of her virginity becomes important. Mary conceived without the help of a man. She was impregnated supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. Because He did this work in her to bring about the Christ’s birth into the world, there was no earthly explanation for her pregnancy. The supernatural circumstances of her pregnancy make it the only time in the history of humankind for a baby to be born with no earthly father involved. This was the sign promised in Isaiah, hundreds of years before.
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
What more needs to be said of Jesus’ birth? What more can be said? God came down to us. He humbled Himself to be born in a manger. He left His kingdom in heaven to be among the animals in a stable. Then He grew up to die on a cross for the sins of the entire world.
It’s hard to even comprehend. How could this be? That God would condescend to our level and take on flesh so as to provide a way for salvation… that’s beyond anything our insufficient human minds can fathom. He didn’t have to do it. He didn’t have to save us. But He did, and He chose to do it.
He was not only the High Priest who would provide the perfect, ultimate sacrifice, He was also the sacrifice. He paid the ultimate price for humanity. But first, He came down as an infant. First, He was Mary’s baby boy, wrapped up in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. First, it was Christmas.
Luke 2:6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
After all of the prophesy, all of the build up, all of the preparation; the time came for Jesus to be born into the world as a child. The second person of the Trinity, God the Son, became a helpless baby boy. He humbled Himself to the point of becoming a newborn infant to a poor teenage girl.
Though descended from the line of a king, He stepped out of eternity to become a servant. That baby who so desperately depended on His mother for life had created life from the very beginning. He, the Father, and the Spirit set it up so that at just the right time, He would enter into time and space and become one of us.
We may think today that we wish he’d have been born in our own time so that we could literally walk with Him as the disciples did, but that’s not how it was meant to be. The plan from the very beginning included that day, at that time, in that stable, to that mother, under that star. The inn? He was never going to be born in an inn. The trip to Bethlehem? He wasn’t to be born in Nazareth. That wasn’t the plan. He came at just the right time. And we should thank God that He did.
Matthew 1:19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
Who was Joseph and why is it important? We so often talk about Mary because she is the virgin mother who was chosen by God to bear the Savior. It was Mary who conceived by the Holy Spirit. But Joseph was chosen by God to be part of this story as well.
Joseph was a descendent of David, a requirement for the prophesy of the Messiah to come true. He was the one who was from Bethlehem in Judea, where the Savior was to be born. It was Joseph who had to return there for the census. But why did he bring Mary along with him? He wasn’t required to. Surely one of Mary’s relatives could have cared for her while Joseph made the journey to his hometown. But word had gotten out about this “virgin” who had conceived a child. The pressure was put on Joseph to divorce her, or worse, stone her to death. Joseph likely brought her along to protect her and the child.
But why would he do this? We learn from the Bible that Joseph was a just man. And why should that surprise us? This was to be the man who would play the role of father to the Son of God while he was growing up. Why would God have picked anyone short of a just man who had integrity and character? Mary was chosen with good reason, and so was Joseph. God provided the perfect settings for Jesus to come into the world.