The Miraculous Birth of Jesus

The birth of Jesus was special; he was born as the result of a miracle. This is described in some detail in two of the New Testament Gospels (Matthew and Luke) and is mentioned obliquely in John’s Gospel and in the writings of the Apostle Paul.

 

The important fact is that Jesus had no human father - he was born because of the miraculous action of God on his mother.

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit."           (Matthew 1:18)

This tells us that Jesus was unique. He had no human father, but was born as the result of a miracle, where God used his power to cause Mary to have a baby.

The meaning of this is described further in a passage from Luke’s Gospel. The occasion this describes is when an angel appears to Mary to explain to her what is to happen.

"And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.'”                       (Luke 1:30-33)

Here the angel tells Mary of the event to come. She is going to have a baby. This baby is going to be the Messiah promised in the Old Testament, a descendant of David who will rule an eternal kingdom covering the whole world. Mary is told that the baby is to be called 'Jesus', a name which means 'God saves' or 'Saviour'.

Mary still requires further explanation, however. She asks for further confirmation that she is going to have a baby, explaining that she is not involved in a sexual relationship.

"And Mary said to the angel, 'How will this be, since I am a virgin?' And the angel answered her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.'"           (Luke 1:34,35)

The answer of the angel is to explain that the child is to be born as the result of the action of the power of God. The child will have no human father; his only father will be God. This is why he is to be called the Son of God.

The passage also gives us clues to show that Jesus is not God. Verse 32 contains the words: “And the Lord God will give to  him the throne of his father David.” As God is to give Jesus the throne of David, Jesus cannot be God, or he would be giving the throne of David to himself. The passage makes a distinction between Jesus and God.

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